Letters: Your SayFighting words!
This article is very well written, perceptive and pointed (Abuse is inevitable if you want a fighting military, PS Features, 11 December 2012).
It probably falls in the category of “the truth hurts”!
I am impressed that we have lecturers like that in ADFA.
I am also surprised that this article survived the Politically Correct brigade.
Tasers should be knocked out
‘S’ of Defence justifies the use of tasers by police (Letters: Your Say, 11 December 2102) with a most surprising statement, saying “If a taser or any other use of force is being used it is because the offender has acted in a way that warrants that course of action”.
Firstly, tasers and capsicum spray were introduced as less lethal alternatives to the use of firearms by police.
As has been established in investigations into many incidents, however, tasers and capsicum spray are routinely used in circumstances where, in the absence of these weapons, the use of firearms would not be even remotely considered.
Secondly, the assertion that the use of tasers and other forms of force only occurs when warranted does not tally with the evidence.
Numerous cases have reached the media where it is clear that these weapons are used to punish those who have angered or annoyed police, rather than formed a threat which is needs to be defended against.
This should not become a society where police can appoint themselves judge, jury and occasional executioner over people who pose no threat of violence.
Both tasers and capsicum spray should be withdrawn from service.
Australian Bureau of Statistics
In previous editions... Centrelink pride
I regret that your story on Centrelink safety (Union call to protect staff in firing line, 7 December 2102) ran without any contact with my office.
Contrary to claims that service bottlenecks are responsible for increased aggressive behaviour towards Department of Human Services officers, call and queue waiting times have declined significantly.
The Department has encouraged staff to report incidents, and it anticipated there would be a rise in reporting this year.
I should also clarify that the figure is for reports of incidents, not actual incidents, and that there are sometimes multiple reports of the same incident.
The causes of aggression are complex, but it is simplistic and incorrect to blame such behaviour on delays and staff cuts when there has been an improvement in response times, and staff reductions this year are only 318 out of 32,592.
I must also point out that it is misleading to say that staff are dealing with a 63 per cent increase in call volumes.
The growth in calls is increasingly being handled by the Department’s automated phone service, which provides self-service for people to conduct straightforward transactions.
Furthermore, it is not correct that signage in centres has been delayed.
Signs requesting respect for staff are available to all Centrelink and co-located service centres wishing to display them, and have been for some time.
Every year the Department’s contacts with the public are in the tens of millions, well over 99 per cent of which are mutually cooperative.
I take pride in the service the Department provides and I support its renewed efforts to ensure it has a workplace that is safe and friendly for all Australians.
Senator Kim Carr
Minister for Human Services
So what about us who have been acting EL1 for years? (Job classifications ruled on the level, 4 December 2012).
Why can’t we be broadbanded too?
Sports not supported
In a time when the Government is pushing APS cuts and crying there’s no money, we get rubbish about funding mediocre Australian athletes that inspire us to sit on our behinds and get fatter, all so the Government can get into a pissing contest about physical superiority (New sports program all funds and games, 4 December 2012).
Surely this money can be better used on health, education and law enforcement and other things actually useful to the public, rather than athletes that close to nobody aspires to be (if anyone really cared about them they’d be raking in sponsorship dollars).
Your story (Income management manages changes, 4 December 2012) comes straight out of Minister Macklin’s media release which is surely available to all in the APS.
It might be more useful to actually quote from the executive summary of the New Income Management in the NT evaluation which notes that there is no strong evidence that income management has had a major impact on outcomes and that impacts are viewed diversely, positive, negative and no change.
More balanced reporting please.
Let the Ministerial media release do the propaganda work!
Australian National University