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The Fruits of the Kennett Revolution:   Our Rights and Property turned to Charity and Profits

January 14 1999


.In an article in The Australia of January 7, 1999, p.5, readers were informed that the Kennett classroom sell-off has netted $129 m. Readers were also informed that the vast majority of  the 350 public schools closed and then put on the market  by the Kennett government, about 80% have been bought by private enterprise for development and profits.

Local residents are now confronted with the fact that they have not only lost their community asset which they and their forefathers built up over 150 years. They have now  inherited a planning situation where medium and high density housing presents sewerage, planning and social problems for the future. Meanwhile, when those families who buy and move into the new housing estates have children, where will they attend school? Their local school is gone!

DOGS note with interest the instances where public schools have been sold to religious organisations. Where such organisations set up a school, they in fact promote the opposite to the public system The former public school bought all our children together in a publicly owned facility which is open to all children, teachers, parents and citizens whatever their creed, culture or ability to pay. The converted private school divides our children along religious, racial and economic lines. For example, the public primary school at Coburg is now a school owned and run by the Maronite sisters, a Roman Catholic sect from Lebanon.  They are catering for a section of the Lebanese community in an area of Melbourne which is also inhabited by Lebanese Muslims. This school, like all private church schools is almost completely publicly funded by the Howard and Kennett Governments.

In the Kennett/Howard right wing Revolution our public taxes are channelled into private enterprise. The mainstream churches are fully implicated in this fundamental change. Church and State are no longer separate.The main beneficiaries is the Roman Catholic Church which is in receipt of billions of dollars of public money for their educational enterprise alone. 

But the other churches are only too happy to go along for the ride. And "Charity" is the flavour of the privatisation  Revolution.   The Salvation Army took over the West Melbourne primary School, against the wishes of the local residents and have converted it into an institution for "homeless" men.  But all they really did was move the home from a piece of valuable real estate in a city location which they can now realise  and  take away from the small close knit community their only community facility. The Salvos may receive the adulations of the mainstream media for their "charitable" activities, but they are not popular with the people of West Melbourne.

As Church and State become further entwined, our people are dragged back, past the French Revolution to a time when the right to education is a charity avilable to those with  the right religion, political background and   ability to pay.






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Last modified: November 19th, 1998