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Canberra growing fat on a nation’s suffering?

By johnboy - 15 December 2011 57

The Daily Telegraph is incensed with the rising wages of the top end of the public service:

Now comes shock news of further federal government largesse, this time directed towards Canberra’s ever-expanding top tier of public servants, some of whom will now haul in annual salaries beyond $700,000.

Once public service pay hits the half-million mark, surely the phrase “public servant” requires some revision. Just who is being served here? It hasn’t escaped the notice of those who frequently travel between our various capitals that Canberra features a disproportionate number of building sites for big new hotels.

While most state capitals are working hard just to maintain some momentum in a tight financial era, Canberra is growing fat on big public service expansions.

That expansion is taking place mostly at the very top of the public service, where pay is already extremely generous. Lower-level public servants – those who actually have to deal directly with the public – are set for far less extravagant wage rises.

What’s Your opinion?


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Canberra growing fat on a nation’s suffering?
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Deref 8:58 am 16 Dec 11

Mumbucks said :

poetix said :

Postalgeek said :

100% of RiotAct will happily tell you 50% of RiotAct is isolated from reality. Don’t need stats for that.

You’re wrong! Just wrong!

You’re wrong no you can’t be. I was wrong first!

I was wrong once. I remember it. I thought I’d made a mistake, but I hadn’t. So I was wrong.

Diggety 2:45 am 16 Dec 11

Skidbladnir said :

“How dare those public servants responsible for budgets which can be measured in percentages of GDP be paid a fraction of their Private Sector equivalent!

Skid, you really need to learn the difference between what is yours, and what is not yours.

Hint: search for more objective and independent information sources, rather than the Australian Council of Trade Unions website.

justin heywood 10:59 pm 15 Dec 11

LSWCHP said :

Yeah. I recently spent a weekend in a country town in central NSW. Attitudes, speech patterns, expectations, incomes, life expectancy (deduced from universal smoking habits)…they were all different to anything you’d find anywhere in Canberra.

So, should we make things in Canberra more like that? Or would Australia be a better place if other populations centres had the amenities and opportunities that we have here?

Yes, I’m actually proposing that it would be a good thing if the rest of Australia looked more like Canberra. I wonder what the Just Grounds Truckie Protest lurkers think about that?

Well you might need more than a ‘weekend in a country town’ before you make sweeping statements like the rest of your post.

But yes indeed, lets ‘make things more like they are in Canberra’. Let every town have a huge employer like the public service so that everyone can be paid well on a 37.5 hour week and not worry too much about losing their job or their business going bust.

Canberra was built by the sweat of the bogans of western Sydney and the rednecks of the country towns, which so many of you seem to despise. No surprise then that many of them resent the fact that their money was (and is) used to build and to run an artificial town that they feel is increasingly removed from their reality.

In my opinion many Canberrans are out of touch – so out of touch that it never occurs to them that Canberra lives off the collective fat of the land. To suggest that they should get of their collective arses and become ‘more like us’ is just as ignorant as the Tele article.

Mumbucks 10:12 pm 15 Dec 11

poetix said :

Postalgeek said :

100% of RiotAct will happily tell you 50% of RiotAct is isolated from reality. Don’t need stats for that.

You’re wrong! Just wrong!

You’re wrong no you can’t be. I was wrong first!

LSWCHP 9:32 pm 15 Dec 11

drfelonious said :

I seem to remember that the likes of Keating and Whitlam were quite ready to ignore rubbish rank populist gnat-like intelligence arguments and on occasion even told people peddling such rubbish to go stick it. .

Oh yeah, spot on. Our political “leaders” are gutless wimps who live in fear of media buffoons like Andrew Bolt and Alan Jones.

How can they be so stupid that they don’t realise that almost everybody in the country would *love* to see a show of spine, and a bit of biff instead of their usual nauseating acquiescence and unjustified politeness? I dream about the day Julia goes on Jones’s show, and tells him to go pound sand up his flabby arse. Those clowns show respect to nobody, and it’s about time that someone with some weight fired back at them…someone they couldn’t hang up on.

Let’s get a bit of mongrel into the public debate.

LSWCHP 7:04 pm 15 Dec 11

Classified said :

Jim Jones said :

Classified said :

Some very good points, especially about Canberra and the RiotACT not being representative of wider Australia.

Australia isn’t a homogenous nation – the very idea of ‘being representative of wider Australia’ is a bit of a misnomer.

Agreed, and yet there are people I know who live in ACT who think that the rest of Australia is like here…

Yeah. I recently spent a weekend in a country town in central NSW. Attitudes, speech patterns, expectations, incomes, life expectancy (deduced from universal smoking habits)…they were all different to anything you’d find anywhere in Canberra.

So, should we make things in Canberra more like that? Or would Australia be a better place if other populations centres had the amenities and opportunities that we have here?

Yes, I’m actually proposing that it would be a good thing if the rest of Australia looked more like Canberra. I wonder what the Just Grounds Truckie Protest lurkers think about that?

drfelonious 6:58 pm 15 Dec 11

Stories like this one in the Tele help to ensure that when the Liberals next come to power they will cut the bejesus out of the APS just for the hell of it.
Is it just me, or has the standard of political debate sunk to new lows in the last decade?
I seem to remember that the likes of Keating and Whitlam were quite ready to ignore rubbish rank populist gnat-like intelligence arguments and on occasion even told people peddling such rubbish to go stick it. Even Fraser and Howard (early years) didn’t seem to care much for the Tele, and I imagine Menzies must not have done so otherwise Canberra would never have been built up in the 50s and 60s!
Meanwhile the current crop put the brown undies on at the slightest hint they might cop a burst from the likes of Ray Hadley or the Tele. While I’m on the subject, the lack of leadership is probably a big part of the reason why the infrastructure in this country is so shite. I mean can you imagine any politician embarking on a big nation-building project now – they’re all too worried that they might get bagged in the Tele so they won’t put themselves out there.

Classified 4:37 pm 15 Dec 11

Jim Jones said :

Classified said :

Some very good points, especially about Canberra and the RiotACT not being representative of wider Australia.

Australia isn’t a homogenous nation – the very idea of ‘being representative of wider Australia’ is a bit of a misnomer.

Agreed, and yet there are people I know who live in ACT who think that the rest of Australia is like here…

Mess 4:29 pm 15 Dec 11

“It hasn’t escaped the notice of those who frequently travel between our various capitals that Canberra features a disproportionate number of building sites for big new hotels.”

Erg0 said :

Where are all these big new hotels they’re talking about? Other than the The Realm/Burbury precinct, I can’t think of any others that have opened recently or are currently being built.

For that matter, can anyone explain to me what hotel development has to do with Canberra’s prosperity? Surely that relates more to the prosperity of our visitors.

+1
What a crock. They aren’t building any new hotels in Canberra at the moment, in fact one of them is getting knocked down (The Marque) and replaced with apartment blocks.

Jim Jones 4:21 pm 15 Dec 11

Classified said :

Some very good points, especially about Canberra and the RiotACT not being representative of wider Australia.

Australia isn’t a homogenous nation – the very idea of ‘being representative of wider Australia’ is a bit of a misnomer.

Classified 3:52 pm 15 Dec 11

harvyk1 said :

Here is the thing, if the nation feels that Canberra has such great job prospects compared to the rest of the nation, why do they not just get off their collective arse’s and move to Canberra?

It’s not like there is Customs \ Immigration \ Visa issues which would stop them from coming here. In years gone by many a person has moved because there was greater opportunity for work in other towns.

Of course the answer as to why not is it’s far easier to sit there and complain how life is not fair…

The same reason lots of people do (or don’t do) a whole range of things. The path of least resistance.

harvyk1 3:06 pm 15 Dec 11

Here is the thing, if the nation feels that Canberra has such great job prospects compared to the rest of the nation, why do they not just get off their collective arse’s and move to Canberra?

It’s not like there is Customs \ Immigration \ Visa issues which would stop them from coming here. In years gone by many a person has moved because there was greater opportunity for work in other towns.

Of course the answer as to why not is it’s far easier to sit there and complain how life is not fair…

Jivrashia 2:36 pm 15 Dec 11

rosscoact said :

dey turk err jurbz!

Jim Jones said :

TERK ER JEEEERRRRRBS!!!

BimboGeek said :

DEeEeRK er DEeEEeeEeERBS

DEEERRRP???

basketofcat 2:21 pm 15 Dec 11

What I’d like to know is how many of these highly paid public servants are real Canberrans. I bet most of the upper echelons of the SES are in fact FIFOs who wouldn’t otherwise dream of coming to Canberra.

In fact, do you know what we need? We need a tax on power. The higher up the APS you go, the more tax you pay. The further away from power you are, the less tax you pay. The Secs. of AGs, Defence, etc should be paid absolutely nothing.

The stupid people of Western Sydney, with the influence they wield over the nation, should be paying us all for the privilege of being allowed to live…

poetix 2:19 pm 15 Dec 11

Postalgeek said :

100% of RiotAct will happily tell you 50% of RiotAct is isolated from reality. Don’t need stats for that.

You’re wrong! Just wrong!

Postalgeek 2:05 pm 15 Dec 11

arescarti42 said :

p1 said :

For anyone tempted to be outraged by this story (or anything that comes out of Mr Abbott’s mouth), I direct you to this.

All in all that ABC opinion piece is pretty poorly written and somewhat misleading. A couple of things that stood out to me:

1. GDP growth is totally meaningless unless it is on a per capita basis. If your population is growing at 4%, you need 4% GDP growth just to not go backwards.
2. The assertion that the prosperity of the last few decades was not a big unsustainable debt bubble because government debt is low. Lets just ignore the fact that Australian private debt per capita is now larger than it was in the US before their debt bubble exploded.

Sure, the Daily Telegraph story is mostly just bogan pandering bullshit, but it does touch on the more substantive notion that Australia is an increasingly unequal society and that Canberra is in many ways isolated from the realities of the rest of Australia.

The-riotact.com highlights this in many ways, according to the 2009 RA media kit, 68% of rioters earn more than $50K a year, almost 20% earn more than $125K. According to the ATO, the median full time earnings of Australian employees was $44,222 in 08/09. That means that 50% of Australian employees earn less than $44k a year.

100% of RiotAct will happily tell you 50% of RiotAct is isolated from reality. Don’t need stats for that.

knuckles 2:00 pm 15 Dec 11

Isn’t the Daily Telegraph aimed at this demographic?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUfTaey7NGk&feature=related

NoImRight 1:51 pm 15 Dec 11

The story is a light light on detail and balance beyond its shock horror motif

Classified 1:46 pm 15 Dec 11

arescarti42 said :

p1 said :

For anyone tempted to be outraged by this story (or anything that comes out of Mr Abbott’s mouth), I direct you to this.

All in all that ABC opinion piece is pretty poorly written and somewhat misleading. A couple of things that stood out to me:

1. GDP growth is totally meaningless unless it is on a per capita basis. If your population is growing at 4%, you need 4% GDP growth just to not go backwards.
2. The assertion that the prosperity of the last few decades was not a big unsustainable debt bubble because government debt is low. Lets just ignore the fact that Australian private debt per capita is now larger than it was in the US before their debt bubble exploded.

Sure, the Daily Telegraph story is mostly just bogan pandering bullshit, but it does touch on the more substantive notion that Australia is an increasingly unequal society and that Canberra is in many ways isolated from the realities of the rest of Australia.

The-riotact.com highlights this in many ways, according to the 2009 RA media kit, 68% of rioters earn more than $50K a year, almost 20% earn more than $125K. According to the ATO, the median full time earnings of Australian employees was $44,222 in 08/09. That means that 50% of Australian employees earn less than $44k a year.

Some very good points, especially about Canberra and the RiotACT not being representative of wider Australia.

arescarti42 1:22 pm 15 Dec 11

p1 said :

For anyone tempted to be outraged by this story (or anything that comes out of Mr Abbott’s mouth), I direct you to this.

All in all that ABC opinion piece is pretty poorly written and somewhat misleading. A couple of things that stood out to me:

1. GDP growth is totally meaningless unless it is on a per capita basis. If your population is growing at 4%, you need 4% GDP growth just to not go backwards.
2. The assertion that the prosperity of the last few decades was not a big unsustainable debt bubble because government debt is low. Lets just ignore the fact that Australian private debt per capita is now larger than it was in the US before their debt bubble exploded.

Sure, the Daily Telegraph story is mostly just bogan pandering bullshit, but it does touch on the more substantive notion that Australia is an increasingly unequal society and that Canberra is in many ways isolated from the realities of the rest of Australia.

The-riotact.com highlights this in many ways, according to the 2009 RA media kit, 68% of rioters earn more than $50K a year, almost 20% earn more than $125K. According to the ATO, the median full time earnings of Australian employees was $44,222 in 08/09. That means that 50% of Australian employees earn less than $44k a year.

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