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MORRISON GOVERNMENT RESPONSE TO THODEY REVIEW A MISSED OPPORTUNITY

December 13, 2019

SENATOR KATY GALLAGHER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCE
SHADOW MINISTER FOR THE PUBLIC SERVICE
SENATOR FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY

The Morrison Government’s response to the ‘Thodey Review’ today confirms in writing what we have come expect from the Morrison Government when it comes to the Australian Public Service (APS).
 
Scott Morrison’s record cannot be disputed.
 
The Liberals have spent the last six years slashing $8 billion in “savings” out of the service, including abolishing 19,000 jobs, and overseeing a litany of service failures across the APS.
 
After sitting on the review for three months, the Government has today delivered a totally inadequate response to the considered and substantial work of David Thodey and his team.
 
The Government’s response is weak and non-committal - fully agreeing to just 15 of the 40 recommendations and providing a miserly $15.1m to ‘initiate reform’.
 
The true colours of this Government are on full display when they have rejected important recommendations which call for:
 

  • Abolition of the ASL (staffing cap) after implementing a new workforce strategy (rec 19) 
  • Moving to common pay and conditions for public servants (rec33)
  • Improvements in integrity and transparency (rec 7, rec 30, rec 38, rec 39a)
  • Working more closely with the States and Territories (rec 12)
  • Robust processes to govern the termination of secretaries’ appointments (rec 39c)

 
The APS is a crucial organisation that touches on the lives of all Australians by delivering important services through the NDIS, Centrelink, Medicare, ATO, Border Force, and quarantine services just to name a few.
 
The work of the APS matters and it deserves better leadership from the executive government of the day.
 
There is no doubt that there are challenges ahead for the APS but the Government’s response today indicates that it will do very little to prepare for those challenges.
 
Scott Morrison doesn’t get the APS, he doesn’t respect the APS or its workforce and he clearly doesn’t understand its important role in delivering services to Australians.
 
Today marks a major missed opportunity to modernise the APS and ensure it is properly equipped to deliver for Australians into the future.
 
FRIDAY 13 DECEMBER, 2019