State might privatise services

The State Government could privatise disability services in Colac after it opened an expression of interest process to “test” if non-government providers could deliver the service.

Health and Community Services Union state secretary Lloyd Williams last week sent a letter to disability workers that said Disability and Housing Minister Martin Foley had announced the government was proceeding with the next step towards privatisation.

The government opened an expression of interest process on April 27 and it will close on June 29.

A spokeswoman for Mr Foley said the government had designed the process to “test whether the strict conditions the government has set for the future of the disability services can be met” with a non-government provider.

“And to measure the interest and ability of the non-government sector to deliver services,” the spokeswoman said.

“Expressions of interests will help the government understand the extent to which services can be delivered by non-government providers and where the government may need to continue to provide services,” she said.

“After the EOI process has concluded, the government will assess responses, test whether conditions have been met, and make a decision regarding the future delivery of disability services in Victoria.”

The government announced in its 2016-17 budget that it would close Colac’s Colanda Centre by mid-2019 and would move residents to six community-based care homes in Colac.

An additional seven houses at Geelong, one at Warrnambool and one at Ballarat will also accommodate residents.

Mr Foley’s spokewoman told the Colac Herald the new services were included in the expression of interest process.

For the full story see today’s Colac Herald.

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