PS shake-up among
The Federal Opposition has foreshadowed high-level changes in the Australian Public Service should it win the 2013 election scheduled for 14 September.
Speaking at the National Press Club in Canberra, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott put departmental secretaries on notice, saying not all their jobs were safe.
“Can I say that every single departmental secretary will stay in his or her existing position,” Mr Abbott asked.
“No, I can’t.”
He said despite his plans to cut at least 12,000 public sector jobs he was not waging war on Public Servants.
“I have spent many years working with the Australian Public Service (APS) – as an employment minister, as a workplace minister, as a health minister, as leader of the House of Representatives,” he said.
“I spent an enormous amount of time working with the Australian Public Service and I came to really respect and admire the professionalism of the public service.
“There certainly won’t be anything resembling a night of the long knives or a bloodbath of the Public Service.”
However the National Secretary of the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU), Nadine Flood said Mr Abbott had again failed to explain how he intended to find more than $50 billion he had pledged to save.
Ms Flood said the APS was already stretched to the limit, and that services would suffer if Mr Abbott pressed ahead with his plan.
“You can’t cut $50-plus billion from public spending without affecting services deeply,” Ms Flood said.
“For example, Mr Abbott’s cut would affect Centrelink staff who have been working round-the-clock all week to assess disaster relief payments in place such as Bundaberg and Coonabarabran.
“Every agency and service would be impacted.”
She said with two-thirds of all APS staff located outside Canberra, the cuts would be felt right across Australia, including in many rural and regional areas.
Edition 347, 5 February 2013