I am Essential

I Am Essential

Public Servants provide vital and accessible services to the South Australian community in health, education, child protection, transport, correctional services, primary industries, environment and heritage, emergency services, and much, much more.

A strong and well-resourced public sector builds our State's capacity and ensures all South Australians have equitable access to the services they need to thrive.

Public Servants are essential.

Properly funding public services

Decades of underfunding and outsourcing have laid the groundwork for the current Marshall government's dismantling of the public service. 

Rather than ensuring public services are properly funded, the Marshall government has cut up to 2,000 public service positions and begun privatising essential services like trams and trains, road, bridge and port maintenance and the Adelaide Remand Centre. 

SA Pathology is also under threat of privatisation, despite the fact it is leading the world in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cuts and privatisations since the 2018 State Budget

  • SA  Pathology told to cut $45m over three years or face privatisation

  • Adelaide Remand Centre sold to the notorious Serco despite mountains of evidence that private prisons fail

  • Axing of around 60 Financial Counsellors in Child Protection when the numbers of abused children is on the rise    

  • Cuts to the Public Trustee Service meaning, among other things, that low income earners may not be able to get their will made

  • Cuts to Legal Services and our Courts ($7.7m in cuts meaning some courts will close)

  • Closure of multiple TAFE campuses including Port Adelaide TAFE, despite its proximity to the Techport  
  • Cuts to Park Rangers despite pre-election promises there would be more, and the leasing of National Parks to private developers for high-end eco-tourism

  • Cuts to the Department of Environment and Water and shift in focus to economic development rather than biodiversity and conservation    
  • Security guards removed from trains on unsafe routes

  • Privatisation of road, bridge and port maintenance and traffic light/sign maintenance in DPTI

  • No paper copy timetables for public transport users    

  • Removal of ticketing on some public transport services

  • Cuts in the Department of Education, including support for Flexible Learning Options for disadvantaged young people, IT support, and training and development for schools
  • Radiography in Murray Bridge and Port Pirie proposed to be outsourced to private     providers

  • Shift of disability support to the NGO sector with no quality and policy watchdog left in state Government    

  • Abolition of Arts SA    

  • Cuts to Marni Wodli, a place that keeps young Aboriginal people out of the justice system

  • 4,000 jobs cut in the public service resulting in services taking longer and fewer jobs in the economy.

Take action to support our campaign for properly funded public services:

Sign the petition

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With PSA membership you know you're protected at work and have access to a huge range of member benefits. We strive for a South Australian public sector in which staff are highly valued and well resourced, with fair and secure working conditions.


Phone Number
8205 3200