THE DISABILITY workers union says it’s disgusted with a State Government decision which could see almost 200 jobs at Colac’s Colanda Centre privatised.
Disability and Ageing Minister Martin Foley has confirmed that Colanda will be a part of a state-wide review of the management of disability services.
The State Government announced this week that it would begin a process to review which organisations could best provide disability services across the state.
Health and Community Services Union state secretary Lloyd Williams said he was disappointed in Premier Daniel Andrews’ decision to renege on an election promise that Department of Health and Human Services’ jobs would remain under government control.
He said he was disgusted with the State Government’s decision and contracting out Colanda’s jobs could “throw job security” for workers into question and could impact the centre’s quality of care.
“This announcement is just an absolute betrayal for the disability workers in the Colac Otway region and HACSU will be fighting against this decision,” he said.
“They’ve been promising since the last election that DHHS jobs wouldn’t be contracted out and the Premier personally promised delegates from Colanda that not only were they not going to contract out jobs, they were looking to expand DHHS workers.
“A lot of those people will be considering whether they will be continuing on in the sector and it’s just an appalling thing to happen.”
Mr Foley said the review would help the government ensure the National Disability Insurance Scheme would reach all areas.
“People with disabilities can expect that the range of services they need to live full and active lives will be ready,” he said.
“The current disability service system is inequitable, underfunded, fragmented and inefficient. That’s why we need this transformational change.
“The government is committed to ensuring staff are supported and treated fairly through this significant change.
“We also recognise the high level of care by current providers and will work with them to get the right organisations delivering the services people want and need.”
Mr Williams said the union would campaign against the decision and was waiting for more information from the State Government about the review.
“There is still big information gaps about how the government intends to proceed with contracting out,” he said.
“We are now demanding detailed information and we will advise members as soon as it comes to hand.”