15 February 2013
Opposition leader Tony Abbott has no public service policy but slash and burn, the Minister for Public Service, Gary Gray, said today.
“Today he said there were 20,000 too many people working in the Commonwealth public sector,” Mr Gray said.
“Last week he said he would send public sector workers north, away from the cities and towns across Australia in which they operate. This is despite the fact that nearly 60 percent of the nation’s public servants are already employed outside of Canberra, as they should be, to deliver efficient and effective services to the Australian population.”
Mr Gray said on four separate occasions Mr Abbott had incorrectly claimed that the Australian Public Service had grown by 20,000 places. In fact, the Australian Public Service had grown by around 13,000 places from June 2007 to June 2012 (155,424 – 168,580).
“And then this week we also had Barnaby Joyce signal his intent to force the Department of Regional Australia to relocate to Tasmania.
“The Opposition’s simplistic approach to the delivery of public services, from slashing jobs and services, to the ‘thought bubble’ of arbitrarily relocating substantial parts of the Australian Public Service all over the place is bad policy with dire consequences.
“The Australian Public Service is one of the best in the world. It is a service whose size is fit for purpose – to deliver sound policy advice to the government and quality services to Australian people from Bundaberg to Bunbury.
“In 2012 the OECD’s ‘Value for Money’ report showed that the size of general government employment (including States and Territories) as very low in Australia compared to other countries and is an example for the other countries.
“It is one of the best in the world because Australian public servants are located where they can deliver effective and efficient services.”
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