Wednesday 2nd March 2011
This State election we need to be asking politicians to make a stand for public services – no matter which party wins office.
The polls, political commentators and gut sense indicate there’s likely to be a change of government on 26 march. What isn’t clear is the impact a change of government will have on public services.
After 16 years, the Labor Government’s record is open to scrutiny but less clear is the commitment of the Liberal Party to public services.
Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon says unions, including the NSWNA, are sponsoring a campaign Better Services For A Better State to ensure the quality of public services is maintained as the demand for those services increases no matter which party becomes the government.
‘The campaign is a long-term one but the state election provides an opportunity for voters to find out what their candidate’s position and that of their party are on public services,’ he said.
‘We want the pressure to be on all candidates from all political parties to make a stand for better services.’
NSW’s population is growing fast but funding for services isn’t keeping up with demand. Independent research commissioned by the Public Service association found that population increases and volatile economic times increase the demand for public services.
‘Now, more than ever, [we need to] maintain services, invest in infrastructure, set yourself up for the future. The demand for services is strong in areas like training, in areas like housing and community services, even in areas like health and law and order,’ said David rumbens from access Economics. ‘The demands are not falling away, if anything they are rising.’
Mark Lennon says these demands need to be met with a government commitment to invest in services.
‘To deal with the increase in population, the government must invest at current levels or increase the investment as the population increases,’ he said.
‘It must also maintain the current size of the public workforce and increase it in line with population growth.’
The Better Services for a Better State campaign will be organising events leading up to the election to give the community an opportunity to hear from candidates about their commitment to public services. For more information contact rita martin at the NSWNA – firstname.lastname@example.org.
NSW unions have put together a five-point plan to ensure our communities get the services they need as our population grows. We are asking politicians to make a stand for better services and pledge to:
Invest in services
Guarantee that service funding and workforce size will increase as the population grows.
Look after public assets
Ensure that no public asset will be privatised without an Act of Parliament.
Plan long term
Develop and implement a long-term plan to establish world-class services and infrastructure for our communities.
Back our workers
Guarantee the rights of workers who provide services to the public.
Govern for the common good
Commit to the common good and be held accountable by Community Impact Statements and State Community Audits.