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Lundy’s fear of Tony Abbott

By johnboy 15 February 2013 31

Labor Senator Kate Lundy is banging the drum as to what a Liberal government could do to Canberra:

Tony Abbott has once again confirmed his plans to cut the federal public service – meaning 20,000 people would lose their jobs.

The policy if fully implemented would put 18 per cent of the city’s commonwealth workers out of work and wipe out about 6 per cent of Canberra’s jobs.

The Liberals’ ‘positive plans for the future’ will impact thousands of public servants and their families, many of whom have young children and mortgages to manage.

Recently Tony Abbott said he will compulsorily relocate public servants to the most remote parts of the country to find work. And just yesterday, Barnaby Joyce signalled his intent in Senate Estimates to move the Department of Regional Australia to Tasmania.

But if you’re not moved north, and you’re not moved south, then there’s a very good chance your job could go under a Coalition government. That means 20,000 public servants working in our federal departments in areas like health, education and disability services will face the chop.


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Lundy’s fear of Tony Abbott
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OLydia 12:03 pm 17 Feb 13

loosebrown said :

Abbot has said he will do it by ‘natural attrition’. Which is exactly what is happening now. So what does Lundy say about that? Sick of both of them.

Very little “natural attrition” occurring in my department. About 50% of the staff that have left were given VRs. Most of the others were contract staff who’s contracts were never extended. We are still above our staffing target. Recruitment is at a trickle (except for the graduate program), 99% of vacancies aren’t being advertised and are left unfilled. Discretionary spending has been slashed to 0 but we are still over budget. More staff will be offered VRs.

Natural attrition works only when there are places for “excess” workers to go. Options are limited in the current environment so people aren’t leaving unless they are pushed.

Thumper 7:43 pm 16 Feb 13

loosebrown said :

Abbot has said he will do it by ‘natural attrition’. Which is exactly what is happening now. So what does Lundy say about that? Sick of both of them.

Nope, we have the ‘efficency dividend’.

loosebrown 6:34 pm 16 Feb 13

Abbot has said he will do it by ‘natural attrition’. Which is exactly what is happening now. So what does Lundy say about that? Sick of both of them.

rosscoact 2:06 pm 16 Feb 13

bd84 said :

Let the fear campaign begin. Good to see the usual fools jumping up and down stating that entire departments will get the sack and Canberra will become a ghost town, with no evidence of this.

Labor will run the same campaign no matter how many jobs may happen to go, despite the fact they themselves have forced departments to make thousands redundant or not backfilling.

A restructure and reorganisation when a new government comes in is inevitable, no matter which party is. There are areas of government that have far too many people for the work (and many of the opposite). I would be more concerned if governments never went through the process of forcing their departments to review their operations and make the unnecessary redundant. They’re no different to any private organisation really.

This shouldn’t be an election issue whatsoever. They need to get on with focusing on more relevant issues.

Well, it won’t take long to find out one way or the other will it?

Thumper 1:26 pm 16 Feb 13

Jethro said :

G.R.R said :

Is no-one taking drugs in sports today!? Surely there’s a press conference smearing everyone in sport somewhere she can attend!

Exactly right. Everyone know the PM convinced the Australian Crime Commission to fraudulently accuse the NRL and AFL (and specific teams within these competitions) of drug cheating,match fixing and links with organised crime in order to help the ALP in the opinion polls.

/end sarc

Actually, now you put it that way… 😉

bd84 1:18 pm 16 Feb 13

Let the fear campaign begin. Good to see the usual fools jumping up and down stating that entire departments will get the sack and Canberra will become a ghost town, with no evidence of this.

Labor will run the same campaign no matter how many jobs may happen to go, despite the fact they themselves have forced departments to make thousands redundant or not backfilling.

A restructure and reorganisation when a new government comes in is inevitable, no matter which party is. There are areas of government that have far too many people for the work (and many of the opposite). I would be more concerned if governments never went through the process of forcing their departments to review their operations and make the unnecessary redundant. They’re no different to any private organisation really.

This shouldn’t be an election issue whatsoever. They need to get on with focusing on more relevant issues.

drfelonious 8:00 am 16 Feb 13

Just be patient – eventually the Liberals will get excited about an actual policy or two once they get over the knee jerk reaction to govt and satisfy the APS cutting bloodlust of their supporters.

Once they decide on some policies just watch as they start hiring APS again with gay abandon – just like the Howard years (and the Fraser years).. Indeed it seems to me that there was never more rapid growth of the APS than in the latter years of PM Howard.

gentoopenguin 7:50 am 16 Feb 13

Wah wah wah, beating up on the PS is a much cherished political football. Plays well with the punters out in suburban Syd/Melb. If Abbott could only find an occurence of a refugee sitting in a cushy PS job he’d have electoral gold!!

rosscoact 7:46 am 16 Feb 13

Lets face it. The mad monk will cut entire departments and send Canberra into a 1996 style recession. In fact he must to prove to the rest of the country that he’s a strong man. Oh, and it’s their policy. Climate change will go because the Trogs don’t think it exists or if it exists then there’s nothing we can do about it.
SEWPAC will be severely cut and duties devolved to States, turning the boats back or whatever cruel thing they’ll do will cut IMMI.

The vast majority of the cuts will be in the ACT and Gary will weep for our future (but really, really, quietly). Unfortunately, teaching the smug public servants a lesson plays very well in tabloid land and no concern will be voiced anywhere except here, and we don’t matter.

The only question is how long and how deep will this recession be.

Given the retail and office commercial market has been declining for a couple of years and the industrial market is flat, all that’s left is residential. Residential is oversupplied and yet the ACT trying to bring down the deficit with more land releases. 12,000 people out of work in the ACT will account for about 3 years of land releases, three years worth of construction jobs etc.

It will take at least a couple of years before they are all hired back again to build dams or towers of babel or whatever they intend to do.

So, if you live in the ACT, no matter where you are employed, you should be concerned.

Jethro 12:45 am 16 Feb 13

G.R.R said :

Is no-one taking drugs in sports today!? Surely there’s a press conference smearing everyone in sport somewhere she can attend!

Exactly right. Everyone know the PM convinced the Australian Crime Commission to fraudulently accuse the NRL and AFL (and specific teams within these competitions) of drug cheating,match fixing and links with organised crime in order to help the ALP in the opinion polls.

/end sarc

justin heywood 10:42 pm 15 Feb 13

gungsuperstar said :

justin heywood said :

Jeez Louise. Ranting about the other team’s manipulation of figures and exaggerated claims would look a lot more convincing if you weren’t doing so much of it yourself.

Well rather than being so parochial as to say “I’m right, you’re wrong” – tell me what you have a problem with. I can provide a source for all that.

Sure you can. With lots of references to draft reports, media speculation and wishful interpretation of off-the-cuff comments. All of it means nothing this far away from forming government.

This idea that the sky will fall when/if Abbott is elected is ludicrous. I don’t think he’s prime ministerial material (I’m hoping for a Turnbull coup). But then nobody but the most rusted-on labor luvvie can argue that Gillard and Swan are anything other than hopelessly incompetent.

HiddenDragon 10:10 pm 15 Feb 13

Rather than making comments which seem to have more than a touch of “the sky is falling in” to them, it would be far more useful for Labor representatives to engage their Liberal opponents on meaningful detail, even if it is still only at a relatively broad level, about what the Liberals might have in mind for the Canberra component of the APS.

The two specific examples which senior Liberals have repeatedly mentioned are the Departments of Health and Ageing, and DEEWR – with obvious thoughts of devolution of responsibilities to State/Territory governments and/or local community management. The broader issues involved here have been traversed many times over the years, and if there were any magic solutions which could save hundreds or thousands of jobs, while maintaining a reasonable degree of accountability for the expenditure of large amounts of public money, chances are they would have been implemented by now.

It would thus be most interesting to hear a little more from the Liberals as to how their plans might be put into practice, particularly in communities which simply do not have the capacity to take on complex oversight and co-ordination functions formerly exercised by public officials. Kevin Andrews is reported as having developed a “model” for this (drawing, one assumes, on UK experience), so some detail on that would be fascinating, as would an indication of whether any APS staff might be given a genuine opportunity to transfer, with their functions, to a State or Territory public service. Tony Abbott was reportedly an enthusiastic centralist as Health Minister – if so, his conversion has been truly Damascene, and it would be fascinating to know what has persuaded him to such a contrary view.

Noting that there is, at present, broad bipartisan support for the NDIS, it would also be interesting to have some idea as to how many, if any, net extra jobs a fully operational NDIS would create in Canberra.

cegee 10:09 pm 15 Feb 13

observation:

12,000 jobs to go in CBR affecting thousands of families; local economy – crickets chirping

500 jobs lost after factory closed in woop-woop – F***ING ANARCHYYYYYYYY

Billy_Shears 9:45 pm 15 Feb 13

Senator Lundy, perhaps you could leave the politicking to your colleagues Gai and Andrew, I think you’ve got more important things to deal with right now

Tetranitrate 9:26 pm 15 Feb 13

OLydia said :

There’s no such thing as natural attrition if the major territory employer is trying to downsize. The only natural attrition in this environment is retirement, move to private sector or self employment. When big numbers of staff have to go across the board, natural attrition doesn’t work.

The private sector in Canberra will go through a downturn at the same time as the APS for obvious reasons, so while some people will switch they’ll be more than offset by others being jettisoned. Realistically, large cuts in the APS mean significant numbers of people leaving Canberra and the region altogether. Population fell 0.5% in 1997, and given positive birthrates the number of people (including children, ect) actually leaving would probably be more like 1.8% of the population, based on the Australia-wide birth rate that year of 13.6/1000 (don’t have a figure for Canberra alone so that could be wildly high if the Canberra rate was significantly lower).

Only thing is though that unlike in 1996-7 every east coast state public service is cutting as well, and while unemployment is lower now than it was then the labor market is pretty tepid so I don’t know where greener pastures might lay for people who get cut.

StevenBailey 9:21 pm 15 Feb 13

OLydia said :

StevenBailey said :

The ACT economy is threatened by both of the major parties whenever they find it politically convenience. Both parties should agree on abiding by a principle of natural attrition regardless of who is in government rather than swapping roles in a game of good cop/bad cop.

There’s no such thing as natural attrition if the major territory employer is trying to downsize. The only natural attrition in this environment is retirement, move to private sector or self employment. When big numbers of staff have to go across the board, natural attrition doesn’t work.

You are right insofar that if you have already decided to sack twenty-thousand people, natural attrition doesn’t work. There are many examples of new governments coming into power and devising plans to reduce spending whilst adhering to a principle of natural attrition for the public service.

Diggety said :

” plans to cut the federal public service – meaning 20,000 people would lose their jobs.”

Good. PS jobs should never be considered secure.

Job security is a service to society, not a disservice.

gungsuperstar 9:07 pm 15 Feb 13

justin heywood said :

Jeez Louise. Ranting about the other team’s manipulation of figures and exaggerated claims would look a lot more convincing if you weren’t doing so much of it yourself.

Well rather than being so parochial as to say “I’m right, you’re wrong” – tell me what you have a problem with. I can provide a source for all that.

justin heywood 9:02 pm 15 Feb 13

gungsuperstar said :

I can’t believe some of the comments here!

Give me one example of a job that was lost due to the carbon tax! Carbon Tax fear mongering is so 2012. Nobody cared when 1 July came and… no one noticed any difference.

And 20,000 jobs is a direct quote from the alternate Treasurer, Joe Hockey – who probably has his finger closer to the pulse than Gary Humphries, who didn’t even have the nous to know he was about to get rolled.

The actual increase in APS numbers since 2007 is less than 3000. While the country has grown by over 3 million.

But Abbott’s lie about the APS increasing by 20,000, while knowingly including over 10,000 weekend Army reservists obviously suits the Torys and the $70 billion black hole much better.

And that $70b is before they’ve even costed their 100 dams that will prevent flooding (so will always be empty) as well as prevent drought (so will always be full). That’s goooood policy!

Abbott must really hate Canberra with his plans to sack 20,000 workers and send another 40k of you to Karratha and Townsville. (Yes, you – I’m not even a public servant)

Jeez Louise. Ranting about the other team’s manipulation of figures and exaggerated claims would look a lot more convincing if you weren’t doing so much of it yourself.

gungsuperstar 8:24 pm 15 Feb 13

jase! said :

on the off chance Kate’s media advisers read this. A link/reference to the 20k number would be nice as would the number of jobs already lost in the Public Service due to the current government’s increased efficiency dividend

Here’s the interview where Joe Hockey said that 20,000 jobs would be cut: http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3498465.htm

Here’s a budget article that says that the ALP cut about 4200 jobs – the final number was about 50 more than that: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/national/swan-slashes-4200-ps-jobs-20120508-1ybkl.html

But aside from some of the involuntary voluntary redundancies in ABS and Climate Change, these were achieved by natural attrition and genuine VRs.

gungsuperstar 8:14 pm 15 Feb 13

I can’t believe some of the comments here!

Give me one example of a job that was lost due to the carbon tax! Carbon Tax fear mongering is so 2012. Nobody cared when 1 July came and… no one noticed any difference.

And 20,000 jobs is a direct quote from the alternate Treasurer, Joe Hockey – who probably has his finger closer to the pulse than Gary Humphries, who didn’t even have the nous to know he was about to get rolled.

The actual increase in APS numbers since 2007 is less than 3000. While the country has grown by over 3 million.

But Abbott’s lie about the APS increasing by 20,000, while knowingly including over 10,000 weekend Army reservists obviously suits the Torys and the $70 billion black hole much better.

And that $70b is before they’ve even costed their 100 dams that will prevent flooding (so will always be empty) as well as prevent drought (so will always be full). That’s goooood policy!

Abbott must really hate Canberra with his plans to sack 20,000 workers and send another 40k of you to Karratha and Townsville. (Yes, you – I’m not even a public servant)

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