Pork barrelling: the Feds hit Canberra again
250 public service jobs will be pork barrelled off to Victoria to help Premier Denis Napthine maintain his first-term government. Within a month of the state election it was announced that, in spite of the Australian Bureau of Statistics already losing 350 staff due to redundancies, the 250 ABS staff will reallocated to Geelong. As the ACT Government sticks by the light rail project and deals with the Mr Fluffy crisis, the ACT’s economy is being pushed to the brink.
While 6500 public service jobs are to be cut from the ACT’s economy by 2017, politicians from Tasmania and Queensland are also calling for public service jobs to be relocated to their electorates.
Fraser Labor MP Andrew Leigh commented that ‘apparently there’s jobs and funding to spare when one of their state Liberal mates needs a quick election goodie.’
But the pork barrelling isn’t limited to the Coalition.
It seems that whenever a light bulb appears above a politician’s small head to create jobs in a struggling electorate the Australian Public Service is treated as a golden goose instead of, well, the Australian Public Service – Bob Katter and Andrew Wilkie come to mind.
E-cigarettes in the ACT
The ACT Government will release a discussion paper which will consider the regulation of the so called e-cigarettes. Currently, individuals under the age of 18 are not banned from buying the devices in which vaporising mechanisms mimic the action of smoking a cigarette. Chief Minister Katy
Gallagher said, ‘the ACT Government is keen to ensure that non-smokers, particularly young people, are not encouraged to start using personal vaporisers.’ As states and territories across Australia scramble to deal with an ever-changing drug environment, the ACT will deliberate on regulations where the vaporisers can be used and how they can be sold. If you want to have your say, members of the public have from this week until
December 24 to contribute to the discussion.
Burch defends Labor’s pokie addiction
Opposition gaming spokesman Brendan Smyth has accused ACT Labor of funding campaigns from the misery of people addicted to gambling. The accusation comes in response to Ms Burch’s defence of the government’s decision to desert the target of 4000 poker machines in the territory in favour of a new population ratio. The Australian Bureau of Statistics projects that the adult population of the ACT may reach approximately 332,000 by 2020. These estimates would allow for 4982 machines in the ACT. Currently, the ACT has the most poker machines per capita out of any jurisdiction in Australia.
According to the ACT Gaming and Racing Commission ACT Labor has traditionally been the largest recipient of direct donations from the pokie sector. Perhaps Labor could endear itself to some small businesses for donations for 2016…
On the Federal Note…
Jacqui Lambie. Remembrance Day. Need I say more?