I have to applaud Mr Morrison's invitation to the public service to think about and support those "quiet Australians" who go about their business unsupported by lobbyists and other special interest groups.
Presumably he has in mind those quiet Australians who, through no fault of their own and through circumstances beyond their control, are forced to live on the streets and endure all the dangers associated with such an existence. He's probably also thinking of the quiet Australians who struggle to exist on the current level of Newstart benefit.
Included also might be those quiet Australians who suffer domestic violence and have difficulty accessing adequate support services. Then there are those quiet Australians who have a mental disability and live without proper support services.
Perhaps he is also thinking about the army of quiet Australians who spend a lot of time and effort trying to provide support to the groups of quiet Australians mentioned above. They brandish no weapons and wear no uniforms; they just go about the business of providing support to those in need because the services provided by the government are inadequate.
But I suppose that governments, through the public service, can only do so much. When the costings are done and the high income earners are satisfied through billions in tax relief, there's probably not much left over for the quiet Australians I'm talking about.
Brian Smith, Conder
I am sure we will hear a lot more about the Federal Government's demands on the Public Service, in terms of advice, performance and delivery of services.
Having spent much of my working life with very large multinational corporations, in work study and systems design, before moving to the public sector, I have seen both sides of the issue.
The private sector is exceptionally good at marketing its own agendas, lobby groups, vested interests and paid advocates. Some are simply noisy and vacuous interests, but all are alive and well in the "Canberra Bubble". We must appreciate that their interests are not necessarily yours or mine or the nation's. They are there, in the main, to satisfy their own requirements or are pursuing some extreme economic philosophy, either of the left or right.
Private sector outsourcing and advice always comes at a price. It is, by definition, a "vested interest" and is never value free.
Such groups have been enormously influential however. As a nation we have adopted simplistic laissez fair economic policies in the past 20 or more years. These, I would argue, have compromised our long term strategic capabilities and our security.
We have had an out "sourcing mantra" which has proved hideously expensive to us the tax payer. We have seen it in energy policy, education policy, in science and technology and in manufacturing.
Party party political philosophies have come first, to the detriment of the nation and, in the longer term, the economy.
We are at a watershed. The successful economies of the 21st Century will be those which are focused on science, technology and manufacturing high quality products and services and those with specialised industries. They will be, in short, the more diverse economies.
The private sector is exceptionally good at marketing its own agendas, lobby groups, vested interests and paid advocates. Some are simply noisy and vacuous interests, but all are alive and well in the "Canberra Bubble".Mike Flanagan, Farrer
While it will make sense to retain a part of our commodities base we need to address the need for new industries, new ways of doing things, and the associated cultural and environmental changes that comes with that.
Such an environment demands a public service that can synthesise, analyse, and evaluate data and present ministers with frank and fearless advice based upon factual research. A tenured, skilled and highly competent public service is more essential than ever.
Mike Flanagan, Farrer
Stick to your last
It is said that morale within the public service is at an all-time low. The major reason given is that the current government is trying to run departments with ministers attempting to be "all out leaders" and providing diplomatic positions to those who either lost their seat in parliament or retired.
If this continues then there is no purpose in young people learning foreign languages and obtaining degrees with a desire to become a career diplomat.
Nor does it encourage effective and efficient staff to work up the ladder in the public service. The government needs to take note from past secretaries and ministers.
Malcolm Fraser said: "If you're advised by somebody who's been advising two or three other prime ministers before you, has seen the mistakes they've made, the successes they've made, you're going to be kept out of trouble much better than if you'd bring on your own principal person. The department secretary along with his staff should run the department".
Don Russell, a former secretary of the Department of Industry said: "In contrast to the roles of apolitical public servants, many advisers are explicitly political. While public servants provide non-partisan advice, advisers offer a partisan perspective. For the most part, these distinctions are complementary and ultimately beneficial to ministers. They add to the diversity of skills, experience, perspectives and ideas available to support decision-making. The presence of advisers allows public servants to be robustly independent in their advice, knowing that those in the minister's office are there to focus on the political challenges it may present".
Bubble will burst
The PM's call for public servants to "look beyond the bubble" to serve the "quiet Australians" must be a joke.
The only public servants (and yes, politicians are also public servants; or at least are meant to be) that go with lobbyists to the Ottoman and hang out in the Qantas Chairman's Lounge are politicians and departmental secretaries.
The rest of the service is working very hard with less resources and constraints in the PM's bubble that is getting smaller and smaller.
Bubbles eventually burst. The consequences are normally messy.
Guess who will suffer?
The "quiet Australians".
Bruce Phillips, Watson
AWM development plan
The many short letters regarding Brendan Nelson's imminent departure from the Australian War Memorial appear to indicate an increasing community resistance to his grandiose plans for the redevelopment of the Australian War Memorial site.
The claim by a "spokesman for the war memorial" that the Heritage Master Plan that is now open for comment ("War memorial hall should be conserved and not demolished", August 19, p5) is incorrect in saying "the heritage plan was separate to the redevelopment".
It is not at all separate. It is a requirement that such reports be produced and be considered by the Buildings and Services Section within the AWM. Furthermore, the Draft Heritage Plan makes it clear that Anzac Hall should be retained and conserved. Those wishing to comment on this matter should consult the AWM's website.
Murray Upton, Belconnen
More Bus chaos
I refer to the article "Urgent action plan" (April 15, p3) which raises questions about the strategic environment regarding the new bus timetable when it was released in April.
Was the ACT government merely keeping up with, or indeed even exceeding, its incompetence key performance indicators on this? If the timetable was never deliverable when it was announced was that deliberately disingenuous?
Who made the call? The need for an urgent action plan three months after the implementation of the "spoke and wheel" timetable is prima facie evidence of a strategic failure on a grand scale.
Rohan Goyne, Evatt
Not the case
Suggestions by so called experts that proposed Liberal anti-hoarding laws are detrimental to mental health are straight out of the "it's not my fault" playbook beloved of socialists. One can be socially irresponsible, trash a property, and then blame everyone else for what amounts to laziness and a selfish disregard of one's neighbours.
I well remember going to an open inspection in Theodore when my son and daughter-in-law were house hunting. The property was immaculate inside and out, but next door was a "salt and pepper" house. Metre-long grass, beer cartons, garbage, and wine casks strewn around the yard, with two individuals sitting out the front on a decaying, inside lounge drinking from long-necks. The property didn't sell.
Of course they must have had "mental health" issues, and bugger the mental anguish of those next door that couldn't sell their house at a fair price. These proposed laws by the Canberra Liberals are way overdue.
P. Reynolds, Gilmore
TO THE POINT
IT'S A JOKE. RIGHT?
2GB's website states: "Alan Jones is a phenomenon. He's described by many as the nation's greatest orator and motivational speaker". Jones just made it crystal clear women disagreeing with him should be sorted out with a few "backhanders". If he is Australia's greatest orator, our standards are in the toilet and the campaign to end acceptance of violence against women lost.
Sue Gerrard, Dunlop
RIDDLE OF THE SPHINX?
Who's Alan Jones?
Chris Fowler, Bywong, NSW
Pezzullo's rants about leaks might have some relevance if the powers that be refrained from classifying documents which have no reason to be classified apart from avoiding embarrassment. The documents which were the subject of recent raids by the AFP are cases in point.
T. J. Marks, Holt
It is amusing that Scott Morrison has declared war on Get Up. After all surely he has skeletons locked securely away from prying eyes. What's the old saying Scott? "Those who are without sin let they cast the first stone".
D. J. Fraser, Currumbin, Qld
As a 71 year old who spent 50 years serving Australia in the public and private sectors, with medals and commendations to support my service, I cannot bring myself to comment on the Prime Minister's patronising bull dust on the public service. He talks of veterans but cannot even deliver the veterans badge he promised last year.
Hugh Guilfoyle, Holt
Does the PM understand the inherent bigotry in his call for the public service to refocus on "middle Australia" rather than "highly organised and well-resourced interests"? This was said to a highly organised and well resourced interest, the conservative Institute for Public Affairs. The message is clear. Only listen to conservative views.
Bill Wood, Greenway
PM'S UTOPIAN VISION?
Well, in regards to what passes for our public service nowadays and in particular its lobbying by industry and vested interests, it may just be that Scott Morrison too watches the ABC's Utopia.
Alex Mattea, Sydney, NSW
Scott Morrison is a master wordsmith; a genius at political nonsense and waffle. He clearly operates in a world of make believe and magic, nothing like the real world most simple mortals enjoy.
David Lander, Forrest
THE INUTILE TRAM
I have received my Annual Rates Assessment Notice from ACT Revenue Office. They have thanked me for my contribution to the community to help fund essential services like hospitals, schools and roads. They forgot to mention my enforced donation to the "inutile", imprudent tram.
Steven Hurren, Macquarie
If your whole nation is about to be wiped out due to rising sea levels don't worry. China is well experienced in taking low-lying atolls and reefs and building military bases on them.
Nick Swain, Barton
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