The Public Good is about ensuring quality public services are available for all Western Australians throughout every stage of life, including for vulnerable people.
We know there is a lot to celebrate about the quality of WA’s public services.
Millions of Western Australians are given the opportunity to thrive in our schools and TAFE. Every Western Australian has access to quality healthcare, even during an emergency. Our water is clean, and our lights are always on. Safe and efficient movement of people and goods through our public roads and public transport networks is important for our economy and allows us to engage in community life, including access to services. And, when there is an accident, emergency, or crisis, it is our public sector that comes to the rescue.
- In 2017-18, 92% of emergency admissions Australia-wide were in a public hospital;
- A quarter of all Western Australians – about 1.5 million people - were hospitalised in a WA public hospital in 2017-18.
- Over 310,000 secondary and tertiary students are currently enrolled in public schools across Western Australia.
- A quarter of the workforce in the entire Perth Metropolitan region travel to work on public transport.
People are the purpose of our public sector. People are at the heart of delivering public services.
That’s why we respect and acknowledge all of those across the public sector workforce through fair pay and conditions in healthy and safe workplaces.
At the end of the day, for-profit services are only interested in those that can pay. Public services must be accessible to all. Publicly provided services are also more likely to work with the most vulnerable in our community, as many cannot afford fees for services like private education or healthcare.
There are many tens of thousands of vulnerable people in Western Australia who depend on public services for assistance.
- Approximately 705,000 Western Australians earn under $500 a week, and over 200,000 of those people have negative or no regular form of income.
- Over 400,000 people in WA are currently living with a disability, many of whom have complex needs and face difficulties finding regular employment.
- Nearly 4% of Western Australia’s population are aboriginal, compared to 3% nationally. Aboriginal people are at a high risk of chronic illness and have unique health requirements due to socioeconomic and environmental factors.
- Older Western Australians are at a higher risk of chronic or severe health conditions, and are likely to be low-income earners. Currently, 325,000 people in WA over 65 have a long-term health condition.
- Over 900,000 people in Western Australia were born overseas, and over 430,000 Western Australian's speak languages other than English at home. Those who are culturally and linguistically diverse can require extra support in navigating employment, housing, and access to services.
Our campaign is about making sure every State Government department and agency has adequate resourcing and support, so that everyone in our community has opportunities for the future, and access to the services they need.
Our goal is to keep WA’s public sector strong, as we believe public services for all are at the foundation of The Public Good. We campaign to encourage this Labor State Government to continue contributing to a strong public sector in Western Australia.
Rebecca Thompson is Campaign Organiser for The Public Good