How can we have an active voice in public debates and at elections? Save Our Services has been learning from the efforts of others during the recent Queensland, New South Wales and Victorian state elections. One conclusion is clear - while the tide of public opinion is against privatisation and service cuts, that isn't enough to create a fairer future that includes everyone.
Meredith Hammat, Save Our Services spokesperson and Secretary, UnionsWA.
I often think about how I will feel the day after the next WA election. Will the funding for the public schools that my children attend continue to fall? If my parents or other loved ones need care, will our hospitals be able to cope with our growing population in the face of funding cuts. I worry about the quality of health services delivered by private providers. Like many, my journey to work is often frustrated by traffic congestion made worse by a public transport system that can't cope.
I want to wake up after the next election to find we have elected a government that will make life better for working people in WA for the short and the long term. Services that we all rely on should be available to those who need them and our schools, hospitals, emergency and other services have the funding they need. We need governments that will put an end to the years of privatisation and cuts to services and jobs.
Recently we welcomed Luke Hilakari, Secretary of the Victorian Trades Hall Council to speak to our supporters about how they helped to defeat their conservative government.
His inspiring presentation told an important story about the power of people to change the agenda. They campaigned against privatising and cutting public services – issues of concern to Victorian citizens. Issues of concern to West Australians.
At the recent Queensland election, savage cuts and privatisation of services by the previous government were important to the public. However, despite having an unpopular policy of privatising electricity, the government in NSW was re-elected.
Here in WA we are two years away from the next state election. We need to learn from others and find what is relevant to WA.
It seems every day we hear more about how the Barnett government is pursuing privatisation and cuts to public services and public sector jobs.
The privatisation of the Fiona Stanley Hospital has been grossly mismanaged while the private provider of the Midland Hospital has refused to deliver contraceptive and termination services. The Barnett Government proposes to further privatise our prisons. Our children have fallen victim to funding cuts to our public schools and there have been significant cuts back to basic water services as well as those that manage our food and agricultural sectors.
We don't have to wait until the next election to take action. And we shouldn't. We can make the choice now to commit to a better future.
We welcome all supporters and volunteers. If you haven't already you can sign up here. If you have signed up, share with family and friends.
We have a great new website where you will find our new online videos. This is a way of staying informed, to be better able to talk with family, friends and co-workers. Our Facebook and Twitter pages are also worth liking or following.
Staying informed and talking with your friends and family is important.
But we need to do more.
We want to work with people like you, who share our vision to reclaim a society that gives a hand to those who need it and ensures that everyone has an equal chance to succeed and get ahead; where working people can access the services they need.
We need to work with people like you so we can make it real. We want volunteers who will take to the streets, talk to their colleagues and neighbours and strangers and tell their stories, the stories of how we are trying to create a better and more equitable society.
If you can spare some time please volunteer here.
Online activity helps to create awareness but it's person-to-person communication from someone known and trusted that really reinforces these messages.
You won't be doing it alone. We will provide training and support and help you discover which tasks suit your talents and interests. Tell us how you can help - and let us know how we can assist you become part of this movement.
Strong community action on the issues that matter to us will lead to positive results - we've seen it happen.
Will you make it happen?
Spokesperson, Save Our Services