The sacking yesterday of three public department heads signals that the Abbott Government fully intends to politicise the Public Service. In that regards they follow in John Howard’s dreaded footsteps.
Those sacked include Don Russell from the Department of Innovation and Blair Comley (pictured) from the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism (RET).
Here’s where I think their sackings were politically motivated.
When the Gillard Government disbanded the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency in March, the climate change functions were absorbed into the Department of Innovation and the energy efficiency functions into RET. Is it a coincidence that both these department heads have now been sacked?
I have only met Don Russell a couple of times but I’ve had the pleasure to hear Blair Comley speak on a number of occasions. His commitment to addressing climate change was one of his great drivers and he possessed a passion that also drove others. His devotion is unmatched by anybody I have ever met.
Further, his knowledge of international and local initiatives on energy efficiency techniques alone made him an asset to the government.
His other great passion was Indigenous affairs and he fought tirelessly in his portfolio to address the social and economic disadvantages of Aboriginal Australians.
Is it any wonder Tony Abbott wanted to sack him?