ACTU calls on the Commission of Audit to be transparent, consult with stakeholders and release an issues paper if it wants to be viewed as credible.

ACTU President Ged Kearney said: “Transparency and consultation are extremely important considering that this is not a broad-based commission, it is a body that has no representatives from civil society or unions and yet will be responsible for major national reform.”

“The Government has outsourced decision making to one section of the community, namely big business, and must open up the process to community, unions and small business in order to create perception of fairness.”

“Credibility will be a major issue for this commission particularly if there is a lack of transparency and consultation. Australians are not stupid and they will identify rushed policy, created behind closed doors, as something to be very suspicious of. That’s why we call, among other things, for early publication of details.”

“A letter has been forwarded to the audit’s chairman Tony Shepherd from the ACTU calling on consultation, transparency and the publishing of clear and appropriate timelines for submissions.”

“If Joe Hockey follows through with his commitment to keep findings and decisions secret until the Federal Budget 2014 then this will signal an unfortunate modus operandi where the Australian government will only consult with big business on issues that affect the whole nation.”

“How will Australian’s know that this major political process represents all interests and not just an agenda of cuts and contracting out services in a similar fashion to the unfortunate example of the UK? All evidence points in that direction.”

“We have seen the results of government ‘austerity’ programs in Europe, and we do not want Australia to go down that path.”

“While in opposition Joe Hockey boasted of plans to cut 20,000 jobs from the public service. This commission must not be used as an excuse to make deep cuts to services and permanently reduce the capacity of the public service.”