Professor Peter Shergold AC, has bee invited by the Hon Mary Wooldridge MP, Minister for Community Services, Victoria, to head this project of attempting to discover why services for vulnerable people is such a mess in Victoria.
Professor Shergold says, “I have become increasingly persuaded that more effective collaboration between the public, community and private sectors can help drive social innovation. This would allow governments to receive larger returns for their increasing investments in addressing disadvantage and improving opportunity. Most importantly, it will enable citizens to gain access to better services”.
There have been many similar reviews over the years, but they have been negated by the Department of Human Services “DHS”) issue avoiding, in denial and manoeuvring every which way to maintain their traditional status quo of maintaining their power over the people who they consider are always wrong and should feel totally grateful for whatever they get, and never, ever, complain – the consumers.
Traditional public service culture is safe, comfort-zone, appearance-employment. Paid to just be at their workplace. Within such a comfort-zone, there is no room for customers or customer service.
History shows there is little chance of changing such an entrenched, captive market culture without a drastic change towards a marketplace culture similar to that which broke the Telecom monopoly over all telephone services throughout Australia. Or, by closing government direct care services in favour of the non-government, not for profit, CSO services.
Melbourne’s train services were once run by the state government with public service staff, where passengers considered themselves lucky to have a train at all. Whereas, state governments are now able to penalise the contractor for questionable services.
State governments are unwilling/unable to penalise the DHS for its questionable activities. The best they can do, is just conciliate at best. Mainly, state governments are ‘in-bed’ with the DHS.
With all direct care disability support services provided by non-government, not for profit, services, the state government, through DHS, would take pleasure in keeping CSOs up to scratch.
LINK to Project Review Paper
Forums in Victoria