16 September 2022

More APS news bites from our hound on the ground

| Mr Smiggle
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Mr Smiggle

Mr Smiggle – head of HR at Region. Image: Region.

Mr Smiggle here again with the latest juicy bits I’ve snooped out while on walkies around our beautiful public sector precincts.

Right royal time at PM&C

As our Public Sector Editor reported recently, the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet officially informed agencies on the day of the Queen’s death that there would be no public holiday to mourn her passing.

Then the PM himself subsequently announced that there would be. Oops!

My dogged snooping has informed me that there was fury inside PM&C once the error in its missive was pointed out. No one updated an old document, it seems.

Or – as more than one person has quietly suggested – the new PM hadn’t updated his own department on his latest thought bubble before “issuing the decree”.

Kings do things like that, don’t they?

READ ALSO Public service told there would be no holiday for Queen’s death

Iva the great

Aussie rock band Icehouse has been hanging around the National Museum of Australia this week to help launch the impressive new Great Southern Land gallery. They played their iconic song of the same name at the media launch on Thursday morning and returned that night for another gig at the gala opening celebration.

Additionally, frontman Iva Davies was very generous with his time and gave a string of media interviews to support the event.

But it was NMA director Mathew Trinca who pointed out at the media launch that rock stars get bigger stages than mere gallery directors – but he at least got to stand on the specially built platform and say a few words before introducing the band.

I can’t remember what he said, though, I was panting for Iva and Icehouse.

Iva Davies

Iva Davies at the Great Southern Land exhibition launch at the National Museum of Australia. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Cop this!

The Federal Government is in full-flight preparation mode for its bid to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference of Parties in 2024 – COP29.

There is a long way to go before the successful bidder is announced, but the Albanese government is proceeding with plans for what would be a pretty big deal.

Session topics, presentations and mind-boggling logistical arrangements are well and truly underway.

The government is reaching out to the very best of public sector talent and even urging some to come out of retirement to help make the event a winner.

About 40,000 people are expected to attend. That’s huge!

Bombing at the BoM

Speaking of climate, the Bureau of Meteorology is undergoing something of a restructure.

From some accounts, though, it’s not all going super smoothly, with the agency struggling to source the talent it’s looking for.

Could it be that they’re not offering enough money in the current competitive market?

The salaries on offer are nearing the lower end of the range, with EL1 applicants being offered between $100,075 and $112,725.

That’s the salary range of lower-tier APS agencies.

Top talent won’t weather that.

Mi casa es su casa

And if we’re talking about things not going to plan, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) is moving headquarters from Aviation House in Phillip to the swanky 18 Marcus Clarke Street.

The stated aim has been to take over the top three levels of the building and move all 250 or so staff in there by the end of next year.

But more than one hiccup with the already-signed lease (and maybe the current tenants) could mean that the deadline won’t be met.

For the moment, CASA remains grounded in Aviation House.

What about the turtle?

I’m happy to report that Squirtle the Turtle is alive and well and was not abandoned on the 11th floor of 50 Marcus Clarke Street when access to the building was denied due to water damage on level one. (Read my column from last week if you want to know what I’m talking about.) There is still not much in the way of human bodies back in the building, though.

Smiggle out.

What have you heard? Tell Mr Smiggle – the dog with the nose for news.

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