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Abbott: one pitch for the tabloids, different one for the marginal electorate

By Gungahlin Al - 2 June 2010 8

So when he’s pitching for the city tabloids, Tony Abbott is all “we are going to slash jobs in Canberra”.

But then he realises that when he goes campaigning in the “bellwether” electorate of Eden-Monaro, even though those people are in NSW (not the dreaded Canberra), a lot of them work here too, so he’s all “it’ll be alright – trust me”. (Or not – given it wasn’t written down in a careful scripted and focus-grouped script, so it doesn’t really count.)

Seems he’s realised that he has reminded people a little too much about what happened when John Howard got in.

But then he couldn’t help but toss in another slur on the public service while he’s at it: “I think it is a mistake to think Eden-Monaro was dominated by the public service.” Dominated – because the public service is a nasty big overbearing beast isn’t it? Nudge wink.

Of course it must be acknowledged that Rudd did much the same thing on the campaign trail himself.

Surely we’ve had a gut full of Canberra being the whipping post for anyone after some cheap political point scoring, where the search for a few media headlines for a day or two has lasting impact on our community and on many people’s lives?

What’s Your opinion?


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8 Responses to
Abbott: one pitch for the tabloids, different one for the marginal electorate
J Dawg 12:22 am 03 Jun 10

sepi said :

It is always wierd when people think that slashing jobs will produce a better performance.

If 100 people couldn’t run the insulation scheme, how would 50 people manage it?

Same screw up, half the wages paid. Sounds like a better deal to me!

sepi 9:20 pm 02 Jun 10

It is always wierd when people think that slashing jobs will produce a better performance.

If 100 people couldn’t run the insulation scheme, how would 50 people manage it?

PM 12:25 pm 02 Jun 10

Gungahlin Al said :

Sheesh. Can’t be everywhere PM. Go look at the infrastructure plan thread if you need to see some criticism of “the other side”.

Wasn’t so much a criticism re party politics. Just wondering where the concern was for Canberra’s frontline services.

johnboy said :

Redundancies are much better for Canberra.

Talented people with money trying to start businesses are great and brought a huge surge of energy to the city in the wake of the Howard cuts.

A hiring freeze on the other hand is a slow throttling bringing misery to workers.

You have to admit, some of that private industry surge was simply a transfer of roles from the APS into the private sector, and that was with the benefit of a large payout. The huge payouts are simply no longer there, nor are new opportunities to compete for traditionally public sector roles (ie mostly already outsourced).

I reckon talented people will always be able to thrive in the private sector if they want to… It’s just that I’d prefer a job to no job, personally, especially if I had a family.

And from the APS perspective, getting rid of the talented people would be shooting the government in the foot.

Waiting For Godot 12:23 pm 02 Jun 10

I’m not surprised Abbott wants to cull the PS. After the complete bungle the pubes made of implementing and administering the free insulation scheme (resulting in the death of four young tradies as well as countless house fires), as well as the Building the Education Revolution rorts and corruption, could anybody seriously consider not putting the cleaners through. Not to mention the constant whinging after Rudd came to power when the pubes had to actually work for the first time in their lives and no longer counted on sitting back and crawling to the minister and PM to get their performance bonuses. As far as reforming and cutting back the PS is concerned, I say “bring it on!”

johnboy 11:49 am 02 Jun 10

Redundancies are much better for Canberra.

Talented people with money trying to start businesses are great and brought a huge surge of energy to the city in the wake of the Howard cuts.

A hiring freeze on the other hand is a slow throttling bringing misery to workers.

Gungahlin Al 11:43 am 02 Jun 10

Sheesh. Can’t be everywhere PM. Go look at the infrastructure plan thread if you need to see some criticism of “the other side”.
On top heavy – sure. And I believe they are already doing something about that (or talking about it anyway). 16,000 top heavy? That’s another thing. As someone in the PS you’d likely also know how hard it often makes it for those left behind when vacancies aren’t filled indiscriminantly.

PM 11:12 am 02 Jun 10

Al, I think you’re reading too much into things. I mean, having a dig because he used the word “dominated”? Hey, maybe Tony has a fetish instead!

At least a freeze is better than redundancies.

I don’t think Canberra is the whipping boy… THAT would in fact be the populist thing to say here, at least at the local level. Australia (including Canberra’s taxpayers) can’t afford to not have limits on the public serivce. There needs to be a limit in line with what we can afford. Governments make decisions about “winners and losers” all the time.

And as a public servant myself, I know the APS is far too top-heavy.

Finally Al, I don’t recall seeing a post from you regarding Stanhope’s recent efforts to reduce the ACT public service….

neanderthalsis 9:44 am 02 Jun 10

Saying you will implement a recruitment freeze is a little different to “we’re going to take a meat axe to the public service” that we heard from the other mob 3 years ago.

It’s all part of the posturing and posing of an election campaign. the rest of Australia has a general dislike of public servants, shiney bums, carpet strollers etc. The pollies talk it up but then do nothing because they realise that they need pubes to roll out their election promises.

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