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  Issue No 85 Official Organ of LaborNet 23 February 2001  

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News

Competitive Tendering Hits Welfare Sector


Operators of disability advocacy and information services have been told by the Carr Government they will need to undergo a competitive tendering process to get funding for the next financial year.

A total of 36 disability services across the state have been notified by their funding body, the Department of Ageing and Disability, that all existing funding to their services beyond June 30 will cease to exist. They have been asked to lodge tenders by March 3.

While the Carr Government has turned back the tide on competitive tendering in key sectors like rail and road maintenance in recent times, the push into the welfare sector is alarming unions.

Australian Services Union Branch Secretary Luke Foley, says the move will place jobs at risk and that the track record of tendering in human services to date has been abysmal.

"The Commonwealth has been doing this for ages, but this is the first example in NSW where community sector agencies have been asked to compete with with each other for their existing funding pool," Foley says.

The expressions of interests have been called under the auspices of allocating $1 million in new funding for individual advocacy work. But instead of only seeking bids for this money, agencies are being asked to tender for their entire budgets.

The ASU says there are fears from members that those agencies that have been critical of government policy, will now be made to pay for their 'systemic advocacy'.

A spokesman for the Ageing and Disability Minister Faye Lo Po has denied the policy amounts to 'competitive tendering'. "The process will be done by calling for expressions of interests and funding will be allocated on that basis and the major peak organisations will be included in the process."

The ASU's response? "Sounds like competitive tendering to us!"

The Labor Council has resolved to support the union and seek an urgent meeting with the Minister Faye Lo Po.


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In this issue
Features
*  Interview: Tony Abbott – Workers' Friend?
The new Workplace Relations minister relives his own union background and explains why he’s really just another worker at heart. Honestly.
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*  Politics: The Politics of Petrol
Australia might be burning, but is it a fire that can be brought under control?
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*  Organising: The Battle of Campsie
SDA delegate Maria Kavaratzis recounts how the Campsie Big W has been transformed into a union shop.
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*  History: Scabbing Through the Ages
Neale Towart looks back at how popular culture has treated those workers who have not considered themselves part of the collective.
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*  International: Diary of a Showdown
The Korean Metal Workers Federation recounts a week which culminated in violent attacks on workers outside the Daewoo factory.
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*  Economics: Debt Dumping Campaign Enters New Phase
The millennial deadline might have passed, but Jubilee 2000 is not giving up the fight for debt cancellation for the world’s fifty-two poorest countries.
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*  Health: The Real Drug Wars
As Africa attempts to deal with the HIV crisis, access to the medicines that can relieve victims’ suffering is emerging as a major humanitarian issue.
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*  Satire: Liberals Claim Triumph in Queensland
John Howard has claimed the Liberal Party’s decimation in Western Australia and Queensland as a triumphant vindication of his party’s embracing of the national competition policy.
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*  Review: Beyond a White Australia
As we ponder the One Nation renaissance, a new book challenges the current debates around xenophobia and the perceived threat of danger from Asia.
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News
»  Labor To Move on Outsourcing Scams
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»  Opera Workers Join Freeloader Chorus
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»  Independent Eyes for Asbestos Deal
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»  Employment Records Must Be Protected
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»  Workers to Float Down Oxford Street
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»  Competitive Tendering Hits Welfare Sector
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»  Violence Hits Indonesian Dispute
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»  Locked Out, ‘Cause The Boss Won’t Talk
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»  New Laws To Protect Carers
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»  Acoustic Shock Cases Tip of the Iceberg
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»  Teachers Fed Gives Free Membership to Students
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»  Miners Union Calls for ‘Community Dividend’
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»  Hanson's Nursing Plan Bad for Health
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»  Refugee Plight Focus of NESB Network
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»  Unions Pause On New Safety Laws
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»  Heavy Handed Tactics Leave Speedo Workers Exposed
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»  Activists Notebook
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»  Vale: Charlie Fitzgibbon (1922-2001)
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Columns
»  The Soapbox
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»  The Locker Room
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»  Trades Hall
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»  Tool Shed
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Letters to the editor
»  No Shrinking Violet
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»  Service Fees a Cop Out
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»  Not Quite Right on Discrimination
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»  Explaining it to Pauline
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»  The Canada Bay Debacle
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