||Issue No. 326||29 September 2006|
Interview: Australia’s Most Wanted
Industrial: The Fox and the Contractor
Unions: Industrial Wasteland
International: Two Bob's Worth
Economics: National Interest
Environment: The Real Dinosaur
History: Only In Spain?
Review: Clerk Off
Minchin Takes Back Door Route
In a leaked e-mail, Medibank Private management has confirmed the existence of an team of Government appointed bankers, lawyers and spin doctors that will start stripping away the health insurer's not-for-profit status.
The Government had announced it would only sell in 2008, if it won the next federal election.
CPSU National Secretary Stephen Jones, speaking on behalf of the Save Medibank Alliance, described the back-door sale plans as "an absolute scandal".
"The Government's been caught red handed trying to sell Medibank on the sly," Jones said.
"If the sale is off the cards until after the next election, why strip Medibank's not-for-profit status now?"
The Government has already appointed advisers to assist with the sale. They are bankers, lawyers, accountants and communication experts, the leaked document states.
It goes on to reveal plans to strip the insurer's not-for-profit status, clearing the decks for a full sale.
"Although the actual float of Medibank on the stock exchange is not for some time, there are a few steps that need to happen before we can be listed... Medibank will be converted to a 'for profit' business," the memo states.
The leaked document contradicts comments made by Finance Minister Nick Minchin to AAP yesterday.
"It is likely that the conversion of the company to 'for profit' status, including amending the constitution, will occur in 2008, prior to the sale being concluded," he said.
All the secrecy and subterfuge concerning the proposed sale means a full-blooded public enquiry is essential, according to Stephen Jones.
Find out more on the campaign to save Medibank by visiting http://www.savemedibank.net.au
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