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Government opts for profit, not people?

Large numbers of new Employment Services contracts could be awarded to profit driven overseas providers, revealed the Australian Greens today.

"Hundred of jobs are being lost by compassionate people, working long hours for caring community service organisations. We have heard of at least one provider that will be forced to let go 400-500 people between now and July," said Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

"It is outrageous that this Government think it appropriate for commercial organisations to profit from peoples' vulnerabilities and misfortunes. Where the motive for service delivery is profit rather than compassion, the harder cases requiring more effort can end up being shunted aside and ultimately left behind."

"The former Government demonstrated the failure of privatising Australia's welfare sector - it is high time we learned from that mistake," said Senator Siewert.

"While the Minister says the process is still ongoing, many existing service providers have already been told they have been unsuccessful in tendering for the services they currently deliver."

"The Government's tunnel vision on the provision of employment services lacks the holistic approach that this sector demands. Community organisations commonly use Government funding to cross-subsidise other chronically under-funded services such as emergency relief, financial counselling, and family support - providing wrap-around services that better deal with complex needs."

"In the current economic climate, with expected job losses and further hardships ahead, we should be investing in community services that provide much needed support services - not allowing people to profit from tax dollars," she concluded.

For more information or media enquiries please call Tim Norton on 0418 401 180

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