Today the Prime Minister has put his head in the sand and chose smoke and mirrors instead of real action.
Slashing four departments and creating super-departments will not address the service crisis, it will only escalate it.
We know that staff morale in the first super-department Home Affairs has crashed and this has serious impacts on service delivery and capabilities.
The Government’s own interim report into the Australian Public Service, chaired by David Thodey, did not suggest the creation of any new super-departments. In fact, it suggested steps be taken to reduce Machinery of Government (MOG) changes like this. The Government has been sitting on this report since September, it must be released.
The CPSU is calling on the Government to release the Thodey Report and reverse the Average Staffing Level cap.
Quotes attributable to Melissa Donnelly, National Secretary CPSU:
“It is clear that the Prime Minister is out of ideas, first he borrowed Services Australia from the NSW Government, now super-departments. Moving buildings and merging departments does not fix the service crisis created by his own government.”
“We know that since 2013 18,908 or 11.4% of public service jobs have been cut under successive Liberal Governments, causing enormous damage to the capacity of the Commonwealth to deliver policy and essential services that all Australians rely upon.”
“This change will not do anything to address the 48 million unanswered calls to DHS in 2017/2018 or the further 5.3 million calls abandoned out of frustration. These are not the actions of a good government. This won’t change the delays in the Family Court, and it won’t change the challenges our CSIRO face.”
“The Prime Minister is wrong if he thinks slashing departments is going to improve services to the community. If Scott Morrison was serious about making sure Australians can rely on government services, he should stop gutting jobs and lift the ASL cap. “
“The community does not care about Canberra games, they care if their call to Centrelink get answered or if their Robodebt gets fixed; that their visa gets processed; that we meet our climate targets; and that our bio-security officers can stop threats at the border. This announcement today doesn’t fix any of the mess the Morrison Government has made and doesn’t do anything about the ASL cap or budget restraints.”