Today, the Greens launched our new campaign: Our State. Not For Sale.
Privatisation has failed Victorians. We won't stand for our state being sold off for corporate profits any longer. Learn more about the campaign and take action at state4sale.org.
Here's my full speech from the campaign launch:
I’m Ellen Sandell, the Treasury and Finance spokesperson for the Greens.
As Sam [Hibbins] has outlined, it's clear that privatisation has failed Victorians.
Even Premier Daniel Andrews himself took to Facebook recently and posted that “the Liberals should never have privatised electricity”.
Funny that – maybe he should take his own advice! Because his Labor Government plans to sell of over $15 billion of our public assets in their first term of Government alone
But we in the Greens won't stand for it.
I'm here today to tell you about our plan to stop Labor selling off our state.
I want to tell you about a couple of things that are happening right now in Parliament, then tell you about our exciting new campaign.
Our first step in fighting for the public good is to prevent Labor selling off what’s left of our state.
Last sitting week, the Greens moved a motion for an inquiry into the sell off of the Land Titles Office here in Victoria, and we were successful.
This means an inquiry has been set up, which Samantha Ratnam will sit on, to look at how the Land Titles Office is being sold, why, and to look into issues such as data privacy and security, which could be seriously compromised under Labor's deal.
This inquiry will shine a light on why selling off an essential service Government – let’s not forget managing Land Titles has existed as a core function of Government for two hundred years – why this is a bad idea.
And tomorrow, the Greens will also use our powers in the Parliament this week to try and block the disastrous private toll road - the West Gate Tunnell - and the selloff of public housing land to private developers.
Tomorrow Huong will move in Parliament to revoke the planning rules that allows the WGT to go ahead, and Samantha Ratnam will try to revoke the planning rules that allow public housing land to be sold off.
Now, whether these get through the Parliament depends on how Labor and the Liberals vote,
and we're calling on them to join us in listening to the community and to transport and planning experts, change track and stop these terrible ideas.
But regardless of whether we’re successful, make no mistake - we will do everything our power to stand in the way of Labor's plans to sell our transport system and public housing to the highest bidder.
Because we know that big corporate CEOs might benefit, but it's people who will ultimately suffer.
But today is also about a bigger vision, and today we’re launching our vision of for how Victoria could be, if the Government changes track.
Going into November, we need to make privatisation a big issue.
In other states, elections have been won and lost on this very issue.
Today we're releasing our campaign to make that happen right here in Victoria.
Today our website goes live!
This the beginning of our campaign that declares our state should not be for sale.
The website features a report - written by David Mejia-Canales in my office and Clare Ozich our Chief of Staff - that details the impact of privatisation on our state and why it's been a failed experiment, you can pick up a copy on the table.
It also features stories from real people who have experienced the impacts of privatisation.
I'd like to share one of those stories with you right now.
Kerry and Bill are just two supporters who have shared their stories with us about the impact of privatisation on their lives, but there are so many more stories to tell, because privatisation is affecting so many people.
That's why between now and November,
as well as blocking Labor's sell-offs,
and launching this campaign,
the Greens will release our plan to start to bring important public assets back into public control.
Today we're starting by announcing our policy that we wouldn’t renew the public transport private train and tram contracts when they end in 2024, and bring our public transport system back into public hands.
But this is just one part of our plan.
We will also release plans for how we can regain ownership of our energy system, our public housing, TAFE, planning, the environment and more.
We are at an exciting time in politics right now in Victoria.
This Labor Government only holds Government by one seat.
The Greens can pick up two more seats in the lower house this November, and hold and expand our numbers in the Upper House.
This could get us to balance of power in both houses.
Labor are vulnerable, and they know it.
If we can make privatisation a big enough issue this election, and win balance of power, we could prevent our state being sold off to big corporations, and finally bring public assets back into public hands.
The Greens are the only party who stand for this vision: a vision where the services we all need to live good lives – are run for people, not profit.
A vision where we don’t let corporations skim profit off the fact that we all need water, electricity, transport and housing to live our lives,
but where the Government provides these services so they can take into account the needs of everyone, not just those with the thickest wallets
If you too believe in this vision, join our campaign.
The first thing you can do is sign our petition on the website.
Then take a flier and share the campaign with your friends.
Thank you for being here today to launch our report and website, just the first step in our campaign which will run from now until November.