Magazine of Socialist Action in Australia

WA: No to Group Home privatisation

The Western Australian state government are planning to privatise 60% of Disability Service Commission (DSC) Group Homes and early childhood intervention services. If allowed to go ahead 500 jobs would be cut.

By Patrick Murphy, Socialist Party

Families – including parents in their 70’s and 80’s – have been informed that the living circumstances of their loved ones will have to change. They will have to transfer across to a non-government provider.

Many of the individuals have intellectual disabilities and have lived in these homes for up to 30 years. In some cases they have enjoyed the same support staff for most of that time.

In response families have become organised. A petition of over 2500 has been tabled in parliament and a rally of more than 200 people was organised against the closures. Union members working in the homes have also protested the privatisation plans of the Liberal government.

The government had planned to privatise 11 homes by the end of the year, however so far they have held back as a result of campaign of the families and the union. The privatisation of Group Homes can be stopped but it will require union members taking industrial action to stop the closures.