16 December 2022

Christmas wishes and a career change for your hound on the ground

| Mr Smiggle
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Christmas Smiggle

Mr Smiggle will be off chasing sticks and lucrative contracts on the dark side. Image: Region.

Oyster crushers

It’s that special time of year when hard-working, well-behaved pooches get to down tools and take a little break at the beach, just like most of Canberra’s public servants.

But, as I’ve been reminded by some very civic-minded public servants who will be among the hordes flocking to the NSW south coast, we dogs can cause a lot of havoc on the delicate natural environment.

There have been some sightings of the threatened pied oystercatcher (Haematopus longirostris) in recent months and other rarely spotted birdlife.

So please keep your dogs on leashes, except when playing on the designated dog beaches.

We pups can get a little overexcited and destroy anything in our way.

Return service

While Services Australia has said goodbye to a thousand ICT contractors (Merry Christmas), it’s not just the workforce who are having a few sleepless nights.

Management is now having to come to grips with the fact that so much of the agency’s corporate knowledge has walked out the door along with the contractors.

As one executive told this pooch: “Some of those contractors have been working on the Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation project since it began six years ago. That’s a long time and a lot of expertise walking about the door.”

Will the public notice?

READ ALSO Davis says APS must value their stewardship: ‘Public service without purpose is bureaucracy’

Energise this

Parliament was recalled this week at an estimated cost of more than a million dollars to the taxpayer, all to push through the Albanese Government’s energy intervention legislation in a day.

That’s the price tag for bringing MPs, senators and staff back to Canberra and keeping Parliament House fully operational for the debate.

But while the lights were kept blaring (and the ovens warm and the fridges cold) on Capital Hill on Thursday, will this deal result in power bills coming down for the average Australian household?

Well, um, probably not. Just ask Energy Minister Chris Bowen.

“We are certainly not saying this is a magic bullet and we’ll see energy prices fall,” he said before the 227 parliamentarians gathered for the power price powwow.

Really? Then why the rush and all the expense?

This wasn’t all some big political stunt, was it? Surely not.

A final growl

This is my last bark.

Mr Smiggle here has been offered a lucrative consultancy gig (not at Services Australia), and I’m going to take advantage of it before Katy Gallagher freezes all the contracts.

READ ALSO Operation Christmas Drop 2022 brings the spirit of the season to the remote western Pacific

The Public Sector Editor thinks it’s too much of a conflict of interest for me to keep writing this column while also consulting. He doesn’t mind me keeping my newshound role here at Region, though.

But never fear, the column will continue in another guise next year … Maybe the editor and all his ethics will have to write it himself.

Have a fantastic Christmas and New Year, everyone.

Smiggle out!

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Anne Cahill Lambert3:32 pm 16 Dec 22

But has there been any consultation about Mr Smiggle not doing the editorial next year? We in The Capital Of The Republic Of The Inner North enjoy his work and are most grateful for his insights.

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