Proud to be Public campaign against privatisation of Medicare, Centrelink

This story was published in the Townsville Bulletin on 22 January 2019 - read it online here.

“Proud to be Public” campaign launched in Townsville, Cairns against privatisation of Medicare, Centrelink

North Queensland public sector workers are ramping up pressure on the Federal Government to rule out privatising Medicare and Centrelink services.

A crowd-funded advertising campaign “Proud to be Public” was this week launched in Townsville and Cairns in a bid to draw attention to the issue in the lead up to the next federal election.

Community and Public Sector Union Queensland assistant regional secretary Amy Smith said the use of labour hire and potential privatisation of the service industry would negatively impact the North.

“Centrelink services in North Queensland are under pressure because the Government has put profits before people by selling out jobs and millions of dollars to Serco, Stellar, Concentrix, Datacom and other labour hire companies,” she said.

“The money that’s being handed to corporations through privatisation should be spent providing quality, permanent jobs in North Queensland.”

Ms Smith said there was strong support in the community to keep service roles in the public sector.

“When new jobs are created in Cairns and Townsville, the money people earn also gets spent here,” she said.

LNP candidate for Herbert Phillip Thompson said there had been no moves to privatise Townsville’s services.

“There has been a trial elsewhere to see if it’s cost effective for the taxpayer but the report has not been finalised,” he said.

“I support jobs for locals and supporting Townsville workers.”