The guards they are a grizzling at Parliament House

johnboy 7 August 2005 7

The Canberra Times has got a story on disatisfaction amongst the guards at Parliament House. Is it normal barrack room grumbling or something serious?

The service is also experiencing high levels of staff turnover and absenteeism

So it’s for real then. RiotACT favourite and Secretary of the Department of Parliamentary Services, Dr Hillary Penfold, weighed in:

“It’s certainly true that we’re trying to manage within a reduced budget,” she said. “We have to … cover more things like training and corporate activities in general than we do at the moment.”

Bonding sessions and Barbecues to the rescue? Arbitrary and confused management decisions are the chief cause of the grizzling that I’ve heard. But why is the budget reduced? Well Hillary has been spending a lot of money on walls and bollards of late. Some people hold that a wall is only as strong as the people that defend it, but what would they know?

Low morale in the guards is probably not going to be too much of a terror security problem. But it is going to be a be a security problem for Members of Parliament. The guards know an awful lot about who is doing what to whom. If they’ve got the hump who knows what tid-bits will start showing up in the public domain?

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7 Responses to The guards they are a grizzling at Parliament House
bulldog bulldog 5:07 pm 08 Aug 05

Feasibly, what civil rights will we lose in the act of protecting the nation? I may be playing devil’s advocate, but tell me how it will/could affect day to day life in this fair city?

IMHO I’m yet to see or hear any potential (realistic) outcomes that will have a negative effect on my lifestyle. If I get pulled over and the stormtroopers want to check my boot, so be it as I have nothing to hide.

I will comply willingly with this ‘loss of civil rights’ to try and ensure I can sleep at night without wondering if myself or one of my loved ones are next.

Spitfire3 Spitfire3 4:51 pm 08 Aug 05

The terrorists and the government working hand-in-hand to stick it to Mr John Q Citizen.

johnboy johnboy 4:34 pm 08 Aug 05

Have you been reading Ruddock’s transcripts lately?

He’s buttering us up with an argument that if the threat is severe enough there can be no limits on what the government does to head it off.

Combine that with Mick Keelty’s recent statements and I’m much more nervous about the government than any terrorists.

Have a look at this transcript

in relation to rights, there are no absolutes. Rights are often the subject of balancing and it’s important – and the Prime Minister, in a different formulation, referred to one of the points I made in an address fairly recently – that one of the fundamental rights that we enjoy is the right to life, personal safety and security. And sometimes other people’s entitlement to exercise rights that they see as important to them might infringe my rights to a personal liberty or safety or security. And so you have to balance those.

bulldog bulldog 12:07 pm 08 Aug 05

Valid opinion JB, but personally I don’t buy that tired Michael Moore-esque argument because I still have trouble believing what the Government has to gain from ‘violating our civil liberties’?

Hope you can enlighten me because I had put this down to a case of an organisation having too many chiefs and not enough indians; thus the ‘minor details’ of Security at PH and various other National Institutions is suffering accordingly.

johnboy johnboy 8:46 am 08 Aug 05

How can the Government justify spending millions on a ‘keep your eyes peeled’ advertising campaign whilst short-changing their ‘professional’ security staff

Easy one.

The ads aren’t about making you safe, they’re about keeping you scared.

Letting Phillip Ruddock tell us that the government has a higher calling to “keeping you safe” than it does to protecting civil liberties.

bulldog bulldog 8:38 am 08 Aug 05

I know first hand just how poor the Security budgets are at National Institutions. It’s pretty simple; you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

How can the Government justify spending millions on a ‘keep your eyes peeled’ advertising campaign whilst short-changing their ‘professional’ security staff at what could very well be a potential terrorist target?

WilliamW WilliamW 6:27 pm 07 Aug 05

I wonder what the guards at other government buildings get paid?
Word from the Big House is that several areas are facing budget cuts and redundancies …

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