A bin win at Moreland


While many councils were tweeting furiously yesterday about #YourRatesAtWork, Moreland Council was conspicuously quiet. We recently took them to the Fair Work Commission over a failure to put in an in-house bid on a chunk of their garbage run and they were given a rightful smack.

Ready to hand over service provision to a private company Moreland had to be reminded to fulfil the clause in their agreement that they would “strive to maintain and expand, if required, to meet the needs of the community”.

Since Kennett introduced competitive tendering people have assumed that out sourcing was the most frugal or responsible option however a recent international report 'Reclaiming Public Services' on re-municipalisation supports our long held understanding that privatisation has equated to paying ever higher tariffs for lower standards and workers accepting degraded conditions.

Key findings include:

  1. There are better solutions than privatisation.
  2. Remunicipalisation is far more common than presumed, and it works.
  3. Remunicipalisation is a local response to austerity.
  4. Bringing services back in-house is ultimately cheaper for local authorities.
  5. Remunicipalisation drives better, more democratic public services.
  6. Remunicipalisation presents 835 more reasons to fight trade and investment deals.
  7. Lessons learned: Don’t privatise in the first place.
  8. Remunicipalisation provides opportunities for new, diversified, democratic public ownership.
  9. Remunicipalising cities and citizens groups are working together and building networks.

We look forward to Moreland's genuine bid and hope to see Council retain their high-quality waste collection service for much of their municipality.

Ron Woods 2nd August 2017  
  When a councillor at a regional council proposed contracting out garbage services many years ago (well before Kennett's CCT), the Deputy Engineer convinced him that it was a foolish idea. Apart from the effect on workers and ratepayers, the DE explained that councils usually received more complaints about the garbage service that almost any other service. If the service is in-house, council can deal with complaints immediately (and directly discipline staff should that be justified). If the service is contracted out, council can only pass on complaints to the contractor and hope appropriate action is taken, which often it is not.  
ASUVicTas 2nd August 2017  
  So right Ron. You lose that quality control.  
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