MP's worries remain over potential privatisation plans involving Services SA at Gawler

The possibility of a privatisation of Service SA will lead to cuts in services and an increase in charges and fees, says Light MP Tony Piccolo. Photo: Supplied
The possibility of a privatisation of Service SA will lead to cuts in services and an increase in charges and fees, says Light MP Tony Piccolo. Photo: Supplied

With plans for the closure of three metropolitan Service SA centres underway, the possibility that the remaining centres will be privatised was raised in State Parliament last week.

Under questioning from the Opposition Leader Peter Malinauskas, both Premier Steven Marshall and Transport Minister Stephan Knoll, refused to rule out Service SA Centre privatisation.

Light MP Tony Piccolo is worried for those without access to internet technology, who rely on Service SA centres.

"People who are unable to undertake Service SA transactions online will be particularly hurt, as they rely on face-to-face contact and service delivery," Mr Piccolo said this week.

He also highlighted the Liberal Party's poor record on privatisations.

"The Liberal Party's sale of ETSA and the management of our water services have only led to heartache for South Australians," he said.

"The most important shareholders in the state, namely the South Australian taxpayers, have been the biggest losers."

Mr Piccolo was also critical of the Marshall Government's own record on privatisation.

"Despite giving a public assurance, prior to the election, that he did "not have a privatisation agenda", several government services have, or are earmarked, for privatisation," Mr Piccolo said.

"The management of the Adelaide Remand Centre was privatised in last year's Budget, and SA Pathology is still on the privatisation chopping block."

Mr Piccolo added that in the past few months the Liberal Government refused to rule out the privatisation of SA train and tram services, before their privatisation was announced shortly after.

"There is a pattern emerging where the State Government winds back services, or fees and charges are increased, to make them more profitable and therefore more attractive to a private buyer," Mr Piccolo said.

"As part of the Budget, the Marshall Liberal Government has increased fares by more than two per cent above the rate of inflation, abolished the two-section rail ticket concession, and imposed a $5 charge to obtain a MetroCard, all in preparation for the privatisation of rail and tram services.

"This practise is designed to make their sale more attractive to private contractors and hide the impact that privatisation will have on service delivery.

"In the end, commuters will pay for the ideological campaign this State Liberal Government is waging against vital public services, through increased fares and reduced services," he added.