AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.
PRESS RELEASE #18.
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|3CR PROGRAM 19 AUGUST 2000
PUBLIC EDUCATION, GLOBALISATION, AND THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
|The DOGS referred to an article from the New South Wales
Teachers Federation Journal 31 July 2000 'GATS TO IMPACT ON PUBLIC EDUCATION"
This article by Sally Edsall, the research officer for the Federation noted that GATS (The World Trad Organisation's General Agreement on Trade in Services) is a charter of rights for corporations which restricts the rights of governments to regulate them.
It opens up all services, including education, to full overseas competition and guarantees transnational education providers the right to both operate and receive government funding.
Now, the Roman Catholic Church, a multinational organisation has already done this in Australia and is receiving billions of dollars in public funding.
This precedent is being used by GATS and other transnationals to open up all services, including education, to full overseas competition and guarantees transnational education providers the right to both operate and receive government funding.
At NSW Teachers Federation Annual Conference delegates stated in a resolution that public education was under threat from government support of GATS.
"This attack on the integrity and inviolability of Australian education, in particular public education must be repelled,"conference resolved.
Council of Canadians national volunteer chairperson and globalisation opponent Maude Barliow told and ACTU Congress fringe workshop recently:
"At the heart of the transformation of the global economy is an all-out assault on virtually every public sphere of life, including the democratic underpinnings of our legal system."
She said that tribunals and enforcement systems of the new trade regimes superseded the legal system of nation states and supplant domestic judicial systems by setting up dispute resolution procedures that sit outside national courts and laws.
She said what makes the World Trade Organisation (WTO) so powerful was that it has both the legislative and judicial authority to challenge laws, policies and programs of countries that do not conform to WTO rules, and to strike them down if they seem to be too "trade restrictive".
Cases are decided - in secret- by a panel of three trade bureaucrats. Once a WTO ruling is made, world-wide conformity is required. A country is obligated to harmonise its laws or face the prospect of perpetual trade sanctions or fine.
Under GATS any aspect of the service, "Education" is potentially open to foreign competition, from curriculum development, to owning and operating schools, to hiring of teachers. If award wage conditions are seen as being "too restrictive" then the private corporation seeking to employ teachers would have the right to challenge the laws.
In the matter of private schools, a section of GATS states that if government subsidy is already available to any private provider, then the same subsidy would also have to be paid automatically to a foreign entrant to the field. If a government declined to do so, then the corporation would be entitled to sue for an equivalent amount, claiming an impediment to its activities.
2. SEPTEMBER 11 AND THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM
For the above reasons, DOGS, and supporters of public education will be protesting against the meeting in Melbourne on September 11 of the World Economic Forum. On our program we interviewed Ken Mooney from "Public First". This group is organising an Alternative Conference on Saturday September 9, 2000 at the VUT Conference Centre, 300 Flinders Street Melbourne. Further Information is available on 9 662 9688.
3. CALLING OUT THE MILITARY TO DEAL WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
On our program DOGS also informed listeners about a Bill before the Commonwealth parliament. This Bill is known as the Defence Legislation Amendment (Aid to Civilian Authorities) Bill 2000. It appears that the ALP have gone along with this extraordinary development and only Senator Bob Brown is ringing the bells on this covert and overt attack on the basic liberties of our democracy.
In general terms, the bill permits members of the Defence Force to exercise what are essentially civilian police powers when carrying out police duties during a time of threat. As such, it seems to represent a change in the distinction previously drawn between military and civilian powers.
It is an obvious attempt to gain control, through the military if necessary, of any protests that might occur on September 11 in Melbourne or at the Olympic Games in Sydney later that month.
The triumvirate, Howard, Reith and Costello will be given the power to decide whether "domestic violence is likely to occur" and call out the troopers - one two three - to make sure that any unwanted protesters can be rounded up and transported up to Puchapunyal.
How frightened of the ordinary people our far away politicians are becoming -
In conclusion, we suggest our readers and listeners keep tuned in to 3CR because it is only on this station that you will find out about the progress of this extraordinary legislation. The silence of the mainstream Press and the ABC to date - surprise, surprise - is deafening.
If you have a message for supporters of public education:
Ray Nilsen on
(03) 9326 9277 or Fax: (03) 9326 9180
P.O. BOX 4869
Melbourne Victoria Australia 3001
Or complete our feedback form.
|Last modified:Monday, 25 April 2005|