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Cutting a path to a healthy budget

By 24 February 2006 6

Chief Minister Jon Stanhope has said he expects the structural review to recommend drastic cuts to the public service.

Mr Stanhope said it is most likely the 10 departments will be turned into five or six uber-departments, each one probably overseen by a single minister.

The dashing Ben Doherty says likely combinations are Urban Services and Planning and Land being merged; Emergency Services subsumed into Justice and Community Safety, even though an independent Emergency Services Authority was one of the McLeod recommendations; and Education and Training merged with the Community Services portfolios making a giant services department.

Any merging of departments inevitably comes with job cuts, particularly since the point of the exercise will be to bring the budget back closer to break even (or ideally to surplus).

Brendan Smyth has, of course, put his two cents in, telling the CT there should be cuts in the number of SES staff but saying in his release the cuts should be at senior levels.

He also says, somewhat inevitably, this is all Labor’s fault because they have doubled the number of government departments since coming into office.

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6 Responses to
Cutting a path to a healthy budget
nyssa76 5:56 pm
25 Feb 06
#1

They unmerged the Dept of Education with Community Services because of that whole fiasco with Katy Gallagher and Fran Hinton re: abuse of children not being dealt with properly.

Why in the hell would they want to put the two back together?

Why don’t they just take a pay cut and stop cutting the departments?

Maelinar 9:01 am
27 Feb 06
#2

Well this would explain the peculiar email I received this morning, regarding the SES and that a decision had not been made either way.

To put my 2c in, the Emergency Services section of a governmental response isn’t something you can fuck with like the dept of housing. OK you can get away with dropping a house or two off the budget here and there, but when the ESA needs an emergency vehicle or other equipment, there is an immediate on ground effect of the potential is raised that people could die.

When departments are merged, lines of fiscal responsibility are often one of the first casualties, and from personal experience, the Justice and Community Safety branches of the department will get priority in funding over the ESA, because afterall, we’re just a bunch of scummy unpaid volunteers aren’t we ?

I think that they should think long and hard about merging ESA with anything, as it needs a protected income source, as well as being a unique organisation that requires special attention.

That said, cutting cream from the top wouldn’t go too far astray especially if there are a few bits of deadwood taking up oxygen reserves, although I think that ESA is pretty lean at the moment anyway.

apostropheman 11:10 am
27 Feb 06
#3

For f*ck’s sake you idiots, obviously in this context SES stands for Senior Executive Service! I thought this was supposed to be a public service town – you people are obviously way to wrought up in the State (Territory) Emergency Services milieu.
Smyth will cut fat cats – not volunteers, after all what savings do you get from sacking voulnteers?

caf 11:29 am
27 Feb 06
#4

With respect nyssa there’s not much money to be saved by giving a pay cut to the 17 MLAs, that’s just populist BS.

Maelinar 12:23 pm
27 Feb 06
#5

!man, for f*ck’s sake read the article man.

EMERGENCY SERVICES will be subsumed into Justice and Community Safety.

ESA = State (territory) Emergency Service. (not the highly paid public servant type)

Maelinar 12:24 pm
27 Feb 06
#6

**Disclaimer**

ESA is a wider organisation than simply SES, however in the context of the above comment, I felt it important to link ESA with SES.

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