AUSTRALIAN COUNCIL FOR THE DEFENCE OF GOVERNMENT
SCHOOLS - D.O.G.S.
PRESS RELEASE 181#.
22 NOVEMBER 2006
AUSTRALIAN HIGH COURT I.R. CASE
JUSTICE KIRBY'S DISSENT REVEALS DANGERS OF
PUBLIC PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS - PPPs
FOR PUBLIC EDUCATION
The Australian High Court iNDUSTRIAL rELATIONS (wORKCHOICES) decision ENDANGERS THE FUTURE OF PUBLIC EDUCATION THROUGHOUT AUSTRALIA
kIRBY'S DISSENTING JUDGMENT SOUNDS THE ALARM
THE MAJORITY DECISION Illustrates the importance of the eight fold definition of secular, universal public education.
Public Education has eight aspects. It must be public in :
None of these aspects of our public education system are found in the private church system although they are currently favoured by the Commonwealth Government.
These are under threat with the Victorian Treasury's policy of public private partnerships.
The future of our public system is jeopardised by the recent High Court I.R. decision. Fortunately, in the same way that Justice Murphy left a seminal dissenting report in the DOGS 1981 High Court Challenge to State Aid, so Justice Kirby has provided a dissenting finding in the recent. I.R. case
The following Statement by Justice Kirby in the recent High Court decision on the use of the Corporations Power of the Commonwealth in the area of Industrial Relations indicates the enormous dangers to
Consider the following:
States, correctly in my view, pointed to the potential of the
Commonwealth's argument, if upheld, radically to reduce the application
of State laws in many fields that, for more than a century, have been
the subject of the States' principal governmental activities. Such
fields include education, where universities, tertiary colleges and a
lately expanding cohort of private schools and colleges are already, or
may easily become, incorporated. Likewise, in healthcare, where
hospitals (public and private), clinics, hospices, pathology providers
and medical practices are, or may readily become, incorporated.
Similarly, with the privatisation and out-sourcing of activities
formerly conducted by State governments, departments or statutory
authorities, through corporatised bodies now providing services in town
planning, security and protective activities, local transport, energy,
environmental protection, aged and disability services, land and water
conservation, agricultural activities, corrective services, gaming and
racing, sport and recreation services, fisheries and many Aboriginal
activities. All of the foregoing fields of regulation might potentially
be changed, in whole or in part, from their traditional place as
subjects of State law and regulation, to federal legal regulation,
through the propounded ambit of the corporations power. ( New
South Wales v Commonwealth of Australia; Western Australia v
Commonwealth of Australia; South Australia v Commonwealth of Australia;
Queensland v Commonwealth of Australia; Australian Workers Union & Anor
v Commonwealth of Australia; Unions NSW & Ors v Commonwealth of
Australia; Victoria v Commonwealth of Australia [ 2006] HCA 52, 14
November 2006 paragraph 539)
It is clear from the Justice Kirby decision that the I.R. decision has grave implications for the control, ownership and provision of public education.
The involvement of corporations of any kind in public education would enable the Federal Government to intrude much further into public education.
ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
It is time that all persons with any interest in the future of public education in Australia should say No to any corporate involvement in the provision of public education by whatever the name of the process. Public Private Partnerships or Private Finance Initiatives. DOGS have already indicated opposition to PPPs in Press Release 57 at www.adogs.info/pr57.htm
What are PPP and FPI?
Public Private Partnerships (PPP) is the umbrella name given to a range of initiatives which involve the private sector in the operation of public services. The Private Finance Initiative ( PFI) is a frequently used initiative. The key difference between PFI and conventional ways of providing public services is that the public does not own the asset. The authority makes an annual payment to the private company who provides the building and associated services, rather like a mortgage or debenture. Whereas public services in the past were in part financed by taxation and in part by loans from the public raised through governments bonds, the assets and services were owned, controlled, financed, and accountable to the public or their political representatives. The opposite is the case with PPPs.
Call to Pat Byrne
We trust that Pat Byrne , the President of the Federal AEU will say No to PPPs in her address at a Seminar on Public Private Partnerships in Education to be held at the Four Points by Sheraton Darling Harbour Sydney, on 7 December 2006. We also hope that she persuades the AEU Victoria branch to vigorously oppose their implementation in the Victoria public education sector.
Countless lessons and articles have been written on the folly of Public enterprises being entangled with privateers and profiteers in PPPs . DOGS quote from UK sources found on the unison website at http://www.unison.org.uk/
DOGS refer readers to the work of Ken Davidson in the Age, the work of Unison in the UK and other research units throughout Australia and the UK with the countless pages written on the stupidity of these schemes. No supporter of public services and the public good can tolerate the entanglement of public enterprises with the private sector through PPPs. The IR High Court decision is an additional reason for saying NO to these arrangements.
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Melbourne Victoria Australia 3001
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|Last modified:Wednesday, 22 November 2006|