14 February 2023

PODCAST: The Hoot on Spilt Milk, Services Australia cuts and what to do with Lake George

| Genevieve Jacobs
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festival goers

Is Canberra’s infrastructure ready for big crowds? Photo: File.

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Is Services Australia really the Grinch that stole Christmas?

The Hoot podcast is here and this week, Ross Solly and Genevieve Jacobs debate how bad it is for around 1000 contractors to lose their jobs.

Many face the prospect of an uncertain holiday period after the government stepped in to cut costs now that the specific pandemic and aged care responses have ended.

Many of those who lost their jobs are former public servants who will now return to APS jobs at somewhat lower pay rates – but given the scale of APS pay rates compared with private industry, is that really a disaster?

READ ALSO Services Australia lays off hundreds of contractors before Christmas

On other matters that may (or may not) be disasters, we’re also talking about the fallout from Spilt Milk after the Liberals challenged Transport Minister Chris Steel on whether the light rail system was fit for purpose.

There was plenty of grumbling from the 45,000 attendees after vehicles stopped running, but the government hit back by pointing out that was largely because people were walking on the tracks.

READ ALSO Spilt Milk public transport issues now ‘learnings’ for future large events

So are there better ways to transport people to and from popular events? Ross says yes and has plenty of ideas to share – and if Canberra wants to step up to the tourism opportunities in front of us for the region, we’ll need to work this one out.

It’s less clear if there’s any genuine mileage to be had out of the water in Lake George (aside from the fact that it’s in NSW, so we don’t get a say anyway).

READ ALSO Lake George is full, here’s what we should do with it

While Viking funerals and fish and chip shops are all very well, and sure, the Lake is shallow, muddy and probably quite cold, what about skinny dipping?

The Hoot appears every week on Riotact and wherever you get your podcasts, including Apple and Spotify. Have a listen, tell us what you think and rate us.

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