Privatisation: Essential Services

Privatisation: Essential Services

Wednesday - 24 February, 2021 - 07:30 PM

Online - A Zoom link will be forwarded on RSVP - Victoria, Australia


The Victorian Branch of the Australian Fabians invites you to the first event of our Autumn Series on Privatisation

Since the 1980’s and 1990’s there has been a massive privatisation of Australia’s public assets, essential services, infrastructure and strategic capabilities. The proposition was that competition and the profit motive would deliver better results than government.

In the light of forty years of experience, how does that proposition stand up today?

Event 1: Essential Services

Australia has escaped the Covid carnage of much of the rest of the world, but much of the mortality that we have suffered has a connection with privatised essential services - care homes and hotel quarantine.  Other essential services that have been privatised in recent decades include prison services, Centrelink services, debt collection, banks and many more.

But do essential services benefit from privatisation and contracting out?

What sorts of insights can we gather from these cases regarding financial outcomes, service quality, public accountability and working conditions? What are the alternatives?


David Hayward is Emeritus Professor of Public Policy, at RMIT University and was Dean of the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies between 2009 and 2016. His research interest is the funding of social policy in the Australian federation.  His writings on privatisation include The Privatised City: Urban Infrastructure, Planning And Service Provision In The Era Of Privatisation; For all the cuts and privatisation, government is bigger than ever (The Age); and Why Victoria's budget splash raises questions about privatisation (ABC).

Graeme Hodge was formerly a Professor of Law at Monash University (2001-2020) and is now a Monash Adjunct Professor. His research has included public-private partnerships, privatisation of public sector enterprises, outsourcing/contracting-out government services and regulation.  He has been published widely on these topics.  He has worked in both the public and private sectors, including for the OECD, European Commission, United Nations, and Australian government.

All welcome to stay for our 'online pub' after the event:

With ongoing COVID restrictions, this is an effort to maintain the social aspect of our face to face events. So come prepared with your own BYO drink and nibbles for the after event discussion. We encourage all members to switch on video at the event to improve sociability.


This is an Online Only event - a link to join the Zoom event will be forwarded via email upon RSVP and prior to the event.

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