Rural Abandonment – health, jobs, farming, roads, rail, schools

LibLabs only look after their own in the cities.  Anyone living outside the city electorates has long been abandoned by these two self-serving partners in crime. The Greens are only interested in encouraging more illegal foreigners these days.

Campbell Newman’s Liberal National Party is halfway through axeing 14,000 government jobs, after Bligh Labor recruited them all.   It’s a perpetual pattern of Labor splurge and swill followed by Liberal Austerity.

In New South Wales, Liberal Health Minister Jillian Skinner in September 2012 announced a $89 million funding cut announced for locums and overtime payments across regional hospitals.

Murrumbidgee Local Health District has been asked to find ‘more efficiencies’.

Wagga Base Hospital has to spend $6 million a year flying in locum doctors to cover a shortfall in specialist medical services.

Nurse training in Australia is so neglected that now there is a critical shortage of nurses and midwives, especially in the areas of psychiatric care and midwifery.   Due to Health abandonment by successive Labor and Liberal Governments in New South Wales, there are more than 800 nursing and midwifery vacancies currently advertised.

Health Workforce Australia, an advisory authority to the Australian government, has predicted a shortfall of more than 110,000 nurses across the country in the next 12 years. The Australian Government is actively recruiting trained nurses from Ireland.

According to figures from the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship, more than 700 Irish nurses have been sponsored by healthcare employers for 457-visas since Kevin ’07.

In NSW regional Wagga Wagga,  twenty government positions in Education are to go, as well as sackings in the Lands Department and Primary Industries.  Another eight jobs are set to go in Griffith and two in Albury.

Wagga Mayor, Councillor Rod Kendall, has observed, that this will mean the services will have to come from distant locations, so public servants will end up spending more time travelling and less helping their clients.

“So rather than do the job in half a day, it takes you two or three days to do the same amount of work, the rest is spent travelling.  What we need to do is get the proper recognition that government, both federal government and state, that the regions are vital,” he said.

But LibLabs don’t care about the Bush and The Nationals are long missing in action.

Meanwhile, the rail system across rural Australia, built with much effort and pride since the mid-19th Century, has been reduced to a shadow of its former glory.  Libs Nick Geiner killed it across New South Wales in the 1980s, even ripping up tracks.

In 1988, the NSW Greiner government commissioned consultancy firm Booz Allen Hamilton to prepare a report on the viability of the then State Rail Authority. It recommended slashing 8,000 jobs throughout the railways.  In fact, public servant sackings and closures resulted in the destruction of more than 10,000 jobs, the closure of “unprofitable” rail lines and of railway workshops including Eveleigh and Chullora.

Labor’s Nathan Rees cut the ‘fuel by rail’ subsidy to petrol companies in 2008, encouraging more road freight.

In June 2012, the O”Farrell Liberals, with Greiner brought back from retirement, announced 750 railway jobs to be axed.  It is part of the Liberal’s Privatisation Policy for all public assets.  Public-owned RailCorp is set to be sold off, just like Bligh Labor tried to do with Queensland Rail across the border.     Greiner has phoned up the same consultancy firm Booz Allen Hamilton (now called Booz & Co), at a cost of $6.5 million, to justify one of the largest slash-and-burn operations in the history of the NSW railways.

The latest restructure announced on May 15 is just the initial stage of a broader agenda, with Booz & Co recommending the government eliminate 4,500 of RailCorp’s 15,000 workers.  Yet the content of this report, drawn up at tax payers’ expense, is being kept secret by the O’Farrell government. In an extraordinary move, the NSW Department of Transport has denied freedom of information applications by the Sydney Morning Herald to obtain a copy of the complete Booz & Co report recommendations.

The NSW Carr Labor Govermment privatised the state’s rail freight services back in 1996, creating FreightCorp.  It is all cash grabbing by illegitimately flogging off public assets that governments have no mandate to sell.

Public assets, by definition, have been built with taxpayers’ money.   So it is only the taxpayers than have a right to what happens to these assets, and that can only be democratically decided through referenda.  If public assets are sold, then the proceeds need to be returned to the public, not squandered to the coffers of the incumbent government of the day to cash fund their pet pollie projects.

LibLabs have a record spanning three decades of privatisation which was begun by the Hawke-Keating Labor governments in the 1980s that included the fire-sale of Qantas, the Commonwealth Bank and Telstra.

Across Australia, state governments are enforcing massive cuts to public spending in line with the Gillard government’s insistence that the federal budget be brought into surplus. The cuts are part of a global agenda of austerity as the ruling elites seek to place the burden of the global economic collapse onto the backs of working people. In Britain, for instance, the Tory-Liberal Democrat coalition plans to destroy 20,800 rail jobs on top of the 10,000 already announced by the previous Labour government in 2009.

As for schools, according to secret modelling prepared by state and non-government schools, as many as 3254 private and state schools across the nation are set to lose Gillard Labor Government funding.  Catholic Education office executive director Stephen Elder said schools had not released their modelling to date because negotiations with the Government were continuing.

“There’s a large number of Catholic schools that could be worse off as it stands,” Mr Elder said. The worst hit states are Victoria, NSW, the ACT and WA, but other states are also affected.”

Australia’s rural communities have been abandonned by the LibLabs and Greens.  Industry and work is almost non-existent in many rural areas.  LibLab state governments are happy to encourage cheap imports to replace regional manufacturing and jobs.  They manage to find billions for new motorways in Sydney and Melbourne, but cry poor when asked to upgrade dilapidated timber bridges on country roads, or to remove dangerous level rail crossings.

Male and female suicide rates amongst youth, farmers and Indigenous people in remote areas are significantly higher than in the cities.