Power to the People Media Statement
October 13, 2009
“The fight against the privatisation of New South Wales’ public assets and services is entering a new phase”, Colin Drane, the convener of the Sydney-based anti-privatisation coalition Power to the People, said today.
Drane was announcing a four-pronged spring offensive against the New South Wales government’s “fire-sale of community assets and services”:
1. An awareness campaign about the anti-union private prisons operation GEO (recently awarded the management of Parklea Prison). Drane called GEO “the James Hardie of prison corporations”;
2. An October 31 public meeting to mobilise community opinion against privatisation. “The meeting will boost support for struggles against privatisation, like the Maritime Union of Australia’s battle to keep Sydney Ferries in public hands.”
3. A November 14 rally outside the NSW Labor conference, in support of the rank-and-file ALP delegate and union opposition to privatisation.
4. An open letter to all members of parliament demanding that they clearly and openly state their position on the privatisation of public assets. The results will be made known in every NSW electorate.
Drane said: “The NSW government may think that it is finally winning the battle for the sell-off of the State’s assets because they got a deal with the Coalition over NSW Lotteries and have handed Parklea management over to GEO.
“They are sadly mistaken. The vast majority of the community still opposes handing over its services to private profiteers; the ALP rank-and-file membership oppose it as much as when they voted down the Iemma-Costa electricity sell-off; and significant sections of the NSW union movement and many Labor MPs remain opposed.”
“Drane, a community activist and assistant secretary of his local ALP branch, concluded: “Some in Sussex Street may have decided the ALP cannot afford another internal struggle over privatisation only 16 months from the next state election, but ALP members and unionists are in tune with community feeling. For them, stopping the vandalisation of public assets is the most important issue.
“The NSW Government should not forget they must face the electorate in March 2011. Power to the People – Sydney will do all it can to build community support against privatisation and raise public awareness about the need for better public services”
For further information: Colin Drane 0419 698 396