The Turnbull Government’s announcement of a review of the public service by a panel stacked with big business bosses shows how badly the Turnbull Government is beholden to the big end of town.
The Thodey Review, chaired by former Telstra CEO David Thodey, will be conducted by a panel that includes Business Council board member Alison Watkins. Watkins is also a board member of the hard-right Centre for Independent Studies. Other panellists include former QBE Chair Belinda Hutchison, and ANZ digital guru/former Google head Maile Carnegie.
The review will cover the entire public service. Public servants have been subject to 18,000 cruel and unnecessary job cuts under the Abbott/Turnbull Government, and some people working for government departments have been four years without a pay rise. Meanwhile the Government’s spending on high-price consultants has ballooned alarmingly.
There is concern that the panel will recommend further job cuts and privatisation, both of which would be disastrous for people working in the public sector and for members of the public who use government services.
Quotes attributable to ACTU Assistant Secretary Scott Connolly:
“The Turnbull Government has appointed a senior staff member of a bank that’s currently before a royal commission, a board member from a big business lobby group, and the former boss of a privatised public service to give advice.
“While there could have been value from a moderate and well-informed review of the public service, the decision to stack the panel with big business bosses and right-wing ideologues is deeply concerning.
“The Turnbull Government has trickle-down economics, job cuts and neoliberalism hard-wired into their DNA. I’m deeply concerned that this review will be used as cover to justify further job losses and damaging privatisation.
“The people who work hard to keep our country running don’t need corporate bosses dispensing their high-price wisdom. They need good, secure jobs and fair pay.
“And the rest of us don’t need expensive reviews by hand-picked big business lobbyists. They need properly-funded services that remain in public hands.”