Public Sector

PRINCIPLES

The Greens NSW believe that:

1. Everyone in New South Wales has a basic and universal right to public services.

2. The public sector is best placed to respond to changing social, environmental and economic circumstances, and to enhance society’s capacity to pursue important goals such as justice, equity, and environmental objectives and community services obligations.

3. Public ownership of strategic infrastructure and services enhances the strength of a democracy by increasing accountability, cooperation and the empowerment of communities.

4. Governments must operate public assets and services in a manner that best serves the public interest.

5. Privatisation of public services and assets has always come at the expense of long-term social, economic and environmental outcomes, delaying actions to reduce greenhouse emissions and delivering poorer services at higher costs to the public.

6. Regulation of privatised public services has repeatedly failed to protect the public interest.

7. Greater public ownership will strengthen the influence of the community in decision making, and enhance opportunities for public participation.

8. Public ownership and control must be subject to native title and respect for the prior custodianship and occupation of Country by First Nations peoples.

9. Bail-outs, or subsidies to private companies in financial difficulties, should be replaced by buy-outs to transfer all or some of the company to public ownership.

10. Public ownership:

  1. Removes the requirement to maximise financial return and creates opportunities to provide quality goods and services, protect disadvantaged groups and prevent environmental damage; 
  2. Contributes to higher employment and enhanced working conditions, including best-practice safety standards;
  3. Enhances the ability of trade unions to represent workers and thus helps to protect workers from inadequate remuneration and deteriorating working conditions; 
  4. Allows for greater control over the price and accessibility of essential services and infrastructure, including in remote areas, and consequently ensures equality of accessibility, regardless of ability to pay;
  5. Works against the creation of private monopolies;
  6. Safeguards against a focus on short-term profit and allows for more investment in research and development;
  7. Prevents private owners of public utilities exercising undue political influence including through political donations;
  8. Should be exercised democratically and support local decision making in the economy.

AIMS

The Green NSW will work towards:

11. The restoration of public ownership and control of public services, corporations and assets that have been privatised.

12. Worker and customer representation on the board of every publicly-owned enterprise.

13. Ensuring that natural monopolies and other essential services such as water and correctional facilities are under public ownership, and that there is a higher level of public ownership in energy, education, hospitals, health clinics, public transport, aged care, early childhood education, housing, banking, insurance, telecommunications, and other areas as appropriate.

14. Financing and delivering welfare services through direct government provision.

15. Maintaining public lands and airspace in public ownership.

16. Bringing key aspects of the electricity industry into public ownership and investing in the rollout of publicly-owned and unionised renewable energy projects, as well as the provision of a publicly-owned retailer.

17. Maintaining mineral rights and electromagnetic spectrum frequencies as public assets, with private access to these assets restricted to leases and licences, for a fair return.

18. Opposing any legislation that seeks to promote, or lays a foundation for the subsequent privatisation of any public utility, service or infrastructure.

19. Opposing the introduction of competitive tendering for public services or infrastructure, and instead favouring direct public provision.

20. Prohibiting privatisation and contracting out of core and regulatory local government services.

PUBLIC SECTOR PROCUREMENT

The Green NSW will work towards:

21. Requiring that procurement policies take into account the environmental, social, ethical and economic costs in the acquisition of products and services.

22. Prioritising locally manufactured goods and services, and using procurement policy to foster the development of local industries.

23. Ensuring that goods sourced by government agencies are manufactured by companies that comply with international labour standards and the principles of the UN Global Compact in relation to human rights, labour, the environment and anti-corruption.

24. The development of a clear and accountable e-waste policy to ensure that electronic goods no longer used by the public sector do not end up in landfill or are exported to countries with unsafe and unregulated waste-management systems.

25. Sustainably sourcing and disposal of all paper products used by government agencies.

26. The adoption of catering policies by all government agencies that respect animal welfare standards, with commitments to providing vegetarian and vegan options at catered events, meetings and subsidised eateries.

27. Increased transparency in the procurement process and sources of products. 

28. Preferential purchasing from First Nations-managed companies and cooperatively-owned enterprises.

References
UN Global Compact at COP27

Revised October 2022