23 September 2022

Mr Smiggle, back with more APS news bites

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

Mr Smiggle here again with a few snippets of interesting info from around the public service (not that I’m a gossip). It’s been a short week, and most of you are probably enjoying the coast right now, but this stuff is worth knowing.

Something fishy at DEWR and ED

50 Marcus Clarke Street has been a veritable ghost town since early August, and staff will not be allowed back into the building until mid-October.

As I have previously mentioned, water damage caused by a massive sprinkler malfunction on level one wreaked such extensive damage that no one from the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations or the Department of Education has been allowed to step foot in the building since.

But while staff have been told several times that they would soon be allowed to return to their desks, the latest instruction is that they must steer clear until at least the middle of next month.

That will make it more than two months since the lockout.

What’s going on in there?

The building’s owners have done their bit to fix what was broken (and a lot was broken), but now engineers are being called in to assess the work.

With “staff safety” being the reason no one has been able to go inside the building for so long, it must have been quite a flood.

I smell a fish …. or maybe a turtle.

You can’t sit on Defence for long

Did you hear the cheers coming from over Russell way a week ago?

When the ABC’s Laura Tingle (my favourite newshound) reported a leaked document revealing that Scott Morrison had scrapped the French subs deal a year ago without letting hardly anyone in Defence know what he was up to, there was widespread delight at ADF headquarters.

“Finally, the truth is out,” one operative told me.

“Morrison was just doing his own thing, and it ended up making not just the French look silly but also the Australian Defence Force.

“There are about 350 of us very delighted that this news got out.”

The actual cheering might not have been too audible, but I heard it. We dogs have a heightened sense of hearing.

All in the family

This is not really public sector gossip, but lots of Canberra public servants will be interested to learn that the new luxury Ohana waterfront apartment block in Batemans Bay is getting a very high-profile occupant.

Tennis superstar Nick Kyrgios has bought the penthouse for him and his girlfriend to live in.

And to show he’s an all-around nice family guy, he’s bought an apartment directly beneath the penthouse for his parents. What a nice guy.

And it’s very fitting because the word Ohana is Hawaiian and refers to “extended family”.

Smiggle out.

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

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