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Politics

State Government Rejects Unions Pay Freeze Deal

Tassie's public sector pay-freeze war is over

The declaration that the so called "war is over" on the public sector pay freeze is total crap! This government never had any intention of working with unions. The liberals stated their intention to cull the public sector by 700 jobs and now it's clear that the intended cuts would involve unions and the plan was to play hard ball and simply claim that unions weren't going to negotiate throughout the process.  Now let's watch this space closely, because you can be assured that any cost blow out will be by default the previous Labor fault (mark my words) It's my firm belief that the forced redundancies haven't been fully funded so there's going to be further cuts to front line services.  Any cuts should start within the government itself, politicians are getting it way to easy to cut important services and never looking for savings within its own sector.  I bet politicians get yet another pay increase before their first term of government is complete.  I hope that unions stand their ground and make it as difficult as legally possible over the coming months…

Categories
Politics

State Government won't avoid industrial action

Tasmanian public servants set stop work for two hours on November 27 over pay freeze plan
Categories
Politics

State Government won't avoid industrial action

Tasmanian public servants set stop work for two hours on November 27 over pay freeze plan
Categories
Politics Random Ramblings

The Real Agenda Revealed

State Government rejects Industrial Commission's pay freeze recommendation
Categories
Politics

State Governments 500?

So this comes as no surprise, the government had always intended to lay off more public servants than what was "promised" during the election campaign. The tactic is very reminiscent of the Robin Grey's administration of the early 80's where negotiations fail so plan B is to bully the real plan A through.

There's going to be industrial action for sure, if the premier & cabinet department come out without any loss. So if the government has the money to payout entitlements, surely the treasurer is lying about the state coffers.

State Government pulls pin on pay freeze, meaning 500 more public service jobs will go
Categories
Politics Random Ramblings

Kindergarten Politicians

IF Tasmanian politics is theatre, albeit played on a very small stage, Budget Estimates is a week of matinee performances.

It's a space where the elected representatives can liken each other to Robert Mugabe, accuse one another of "constipating the economy", claim the Spirit of Tasmania ferries are "a superhighway for drugs", thank one another for "another completely unsatisfactory answer", and misconstrue Budget papers to say just about anything they want.

The annual hearings crack open the door on Government spending and fiscal performance, giving an insight perhaps not so much into where Tasmania is going as where it has just been.

The hearings can be marathon affairs lasting 10 hours as members traverse portfolios in exacting detail, before committee chairs mercifully declare: "The time for examination has expired."

Otto von Bismark once said something to the effect that the business of government was like the manufacture of sausages, it is better not to see them being made. Estimates is Bismark's adage writ large.

This year's hearings were a chance for the Liberal Opposition to forensically extract the effects of the massive cuts in the 2010-11 Budget through the system.

So Tasmanians learned that in the past nine months 250 nurses had disappeared from the state's health system one a day as the Opposition delighted in calculating and hospital waiting lists had grown about 5 per cent.

We heard of 150 fewer teachers (or 373 depending on how you count) and 118 teachers aides too, along with 50 police, although one of those will return to the streets thanks to cuts to the PCYC.

Perhaps the most extraordinary revelation of the hearings was the Government's plan to table legislation to enact the forest peace deal with big gaps for the details to be filled in later.

Absent from the Intergovernmental Forestry Agreement bills will be the size of the reserves or of timber quotas, but at least the deadline will be met. The move will give parties to the peace deal a couple more months to sort out a lasting agreement.

By fulfilling the letter of its deal with the Federal Government, the Giddings Government will ensure $100 million in development funding continues to flow.

Among other revelations were the likelihood that Social Inclusion Commissioner David Adams will not be replaced when his contract expires in October, although the Education Department will find some work to keep the premier's dumped $200,000-a-year former chief of staff Mark Sayer busy.

A new Basslink connector isn't likely anytime soon, thanks to the troubled Budget, nor is a 35-seat Lower House, but the people of the Huon Valley will be getting a visit from entrepreneur whisperer Ernesto Sirolli.

And the state's Aboriginal people will have to wait another year for proper protection of their ancient heritage, although the 14-year delay has probably imparted a degree of patience.

Estimates is a fine forum for the political trivia buff and provides good fodder for Twitter.

Where else can you find out that vandals and arsonists are costing Housing Tasmania $5 million a year, Tourism Tasmania is spending $2 million on a website, 2 per cent of the suspensions from government schools were for sexual incidents and exactly no dead birds stuffed with drugs were thrown over the perimeter fences of Risdon Prison last year?

Hayes Prison Farm is no more sold than it was a year ago, although there's a lovely patch of bush up the back that might be worth looking after.

Oh, and there were 2.8 fewer spin doctors in the Government Media Unit last year, $699,208 less spent on travel and one less ministerial car, while compensation claims by educators numbered 501 and cost $9.28 million.

At their best, Budget estimates hearings offer an unprecedented opportunity to see the inner workings of government.

Into each hearing each morning trudges a platoon of senior public servants, each clutching a lever arch folder filled with data on the minutia of every section of every department.

What wondrous secrets must lie within those bulging folders for the person who asks just the right question the interesting tidbits governments keep from those they govern.

Premier Lara Giddings had a phalanx of about 30 minders and helpers who filled Parliament's Long Room and while the vast majority were never required they were diverted from their daily duties nonetheless.

As a spectacle, Estimates hearings attracts a limited public following – though there are moments of humour and conflict.

Like when Premier Lara Giddings patiently explained that detailing how the Government works out its likely GST share isn't in the public interest or when yet another minister tried to turn a question on an inquisitor, starting a reply with "Here we go again … ".

There is little love lost between Education Minister Nick McKim or his counterpart Michael Ferguson, nor between Opposition Treasury spokesman Peter Gutwein and the Premier. Even normally softly spoken Attorney-General Brian Wightman and Liberal Matthew Groom managed some sparks.

Ms Giddings' feigned indignation to Opposition questioning is coming along well, and even rubbing off on Greens leader Nick McKim – though he could possibly try harder to suppress his broad smile when deflecting Mr Ferguson's inquiries with political jabs of his own.

Health Minister Michelle O'Byrne displayed a hitherto unknown skill for reading out figures at a breakneck pace that unfortunately defied any attempt by reporters to write them down.

But with a power-sharing parliament, some of the sting is taken out of proceedings and the Liberals are left to do all the heavy lifting the Greens once shared.

Sourced from The Mercury

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Categories
Politics Random Ramblings

Tasmanian Politics & State Budget 2011

With the Tasmanian state budget being passed into the public arena this week there's a lot of unhappy people as a result of spending cuts to essential services. The following links are sourced from http://www.budget.tas.gov.au/ (.pdf format)

So after some reading, I have calmed down from my initial reaction to the media reports of this budget. However this doesn't mean that I agree with its content! I suppose its because I look at some items in the firing line from the perspective of one who has used services that will be directly affected. Also there is the opinion of many that everyone below government has to cut spending yet the politicians won't be. My main concern is the cuts to health, the Royal Hobart Hospital is (and has been for many years) running on a budget that in its self has led to its run down condition (by previous governments) that comparing services available in Hobart to interstate hospitals simply make us look like a joke! Tasmanian Police are also in line to have jobs cut both as uniformed officers and public servants. Meanwhile state politicians continue to be driven in luxury chauffeur driven cars at tax payers expense. The Police "Cold Case" task force has been disbanded, this alone affects my family with an unsolved murder that will now, may not be resolved as a result. Meanwhile politicians will receive a 2% pay increase.

My major issue with government (all levels) is the total lack of accountability. Tasmania has had a rather turbulent political arena over the last few years with this started with the resignation of Jim Bacon. The Labor leadership was then handed to Paul Lennon, who in turn resigned in May 2008. Then David Bartlett became the next puppet politician/premier as a hung election in 2010 was decided by the Tasmanian Governor. David Bartlett in turn resigned in early 2011 to then hand over to Lara Giddings. Not to mention the cabinet reshuffles!

So the current situation has many ministers on the move it has left its self open to a total lack of accountability especially when large sums of money are involved. Sadly if we the public conducted ourselves in this manner then we would be in serious trouble!

There's mush more I wanted to say here but after delaying for a few days I've realised that some of my thoughts were without substance.

Categories
Politics Random Ramblings

Tasmanian Politics & State Budget 2011

With the Tasmanian state budget being passed into the public arena this week there's a lot of unhappy people as a result of spending cuts to essential services. The following links are sourced from http://www.budget.tas.gov.au/ (.pdf format)

So after some reading, I have calmed down from my initial reaction to the media reports of this budget. However this doesn't mean that I agree with its content! I suppose its because I look at some items in the firing line from the perspective of one who has used services that will be directly affected. Also there is the opinion of many that everyone below government has to cut spending yet the politicians won't be. My main concern is the cuts to health, the Royal Hobart Hospital is (and has been for many years) running on a budget that in its self has led to its run down condition (by previous governments) that comparing services available in Hobart to interstate hospitals simply make us look like a joke! Tasmanian Police are also in line to have jobs cut both as uniformed officers and public servants. Meanwhile state politicians continue to be driven in luxury chauffeur driven cars at tax payers expense. The Police "Cold Case" task force has been disbanded, this alone affects my family with an unsolved murder that will now, may not be resolved as a result. Meanwhile politicians will receive a 2% pay increase.

My major issue with government (all levels) is the total lack of accountability. Tasmania has had a rather turbulent political arena over the last few years with this started with the resignation of Jim Bacon. The Labor leadership was then handed to Paul Lennon, who in turn resigned in May 2008. Then David Bartlett became the next puppet politician/premier as a hung election in 2010 was decided by the Tasmanian Governor. David Bartlett in turn resigned in early 2011 to then hand over to Lara Giddings. Not to mention the cabinet reshuffles!

So the current situation has many ministers on the move it has left its self open to a total lack of accountability especially when large sums of money are involved. Sadly if we the public conducted ourselves in this manner then we would be in serious trouble!

There's mush more I wanted to say here but after delaying for a few days I've realised that some of my thoughts were without substance.