Robertson to turn screws on privatisation SMH - Alexandra Smith and Andrew Clennell January 31, 2009 HAVING helped topple the former premier Morris Iemma over the sale of the state's power industry, John Robertson now has the job of privatising prisons after he was handed the corrective services portfolio. Mr Robertson was sworn in yesterday as Minister for Corrective Services, Public Sector Reform and special Minister of State after a two-month caucus battle to fill two ministerial positions created by the sacking of Matt Brown and Tony Stewart. But Mr Robertson faces a bitter battle with the Public Service Association, the union representing prison officers, after the Government announced plans to privatise Parklea and Cessnock jails in its mini-budget. Asked yesterday about his views on privatisation, having led the charge to stop the sale of the electricity industry, Mr Robertson said: "I am going to get a briefing on that and I am going to take that on board and move forward on it but I am not going to comment without a briefing." Mr Robertson, who replaced Michael Costa in the upper house and was promised a swift promotion to cabinet, said the newly created public sector reform portfolio would give him the opportunity to work on delivering services to taxpayers. "We need to, as the Premier has said, move on and stop talking about ourselves and get on with the job," Mr Robertson said. The Premier, Nathan Rees, denied Mr Robertson's main task was to cut public service jobs. "Given the current economic circumstances, small business and public sector reform will be key to protecting jobs in NSW. John and Steve will be out of the blocks today working with me and the rest of my team," he said. But the Opposition Leader, Barry O'Farrell, said Mr Robertson and the union movement had created many of the problems in NSW. "Putting Robbo in charge of public sector reform is like putting an arsonist in charge of emergency services," Mr O'Farrell said. Onya Bazza, finally getting stuck in.