There are jobs at Centrelink, apparently

Have a look at the Public Service job vacancies for Canberra. In all there are only 13, with most of them being an invitation to put your name on a temporary register. As you may be aware, the Government has frozen employment in the Public Service as it begins its massive reduction in staff numbers. Before the election the numbers of jobs advertised each week ran into the hundreds.

But if you look closely on the link provided there is one job being advertised. The Department of Human Services is advertising for those seeking irregular or intermittent employment, with the closing date 19/12/2013. The job was first posted 20/11/2013.

I followed it up. They are Centrelink jobs.

Why is Centrelink the only department after staff? Is the Government expecting an increase in the number of people requiring their services? Is the Government, more to the point, expecting a jump in the number of unemployed people?

It appears that way. It is also of their own making.

Centrelink

It’s not just in Canberra that’ll see jobs go

Picking on public servants is good politics, apparently. I would speculate that Tony Abbott’s promise to get rid of 20,000 public service jobs is nothing more than another underhanded way to win a few redneck votes. But he does say the jobs will go through natural attrition. The fact is – the jobs will be gone. That’s 20,000 jobs that won’t be filled from the ranks of the unemployed.

When Howard won office in 1996 he murdered the Public Service in Canberra. The effects were devastating for our capital city which subsequently went into a mini recession.

People might think that the axe will be falling on Canberra again, and it will. But here’s the scary bit: it won’t be confined to Canberra. From the CPSU website we learn that Townsville and Newcastle face the same uncertainty. In Townsville:

One in five Commonwealth public sector jobs and $87 million in wages could disappear from Townsville under a Coalition government, an analysis by the Community and Public Sector Union shows.

The CPSU analysis found 406 of the 2,015 or 21% of Commonwealth public sector jobs were at risk in Centrelink, Defence and Tax.

The CPSU based its calculations on the following:
– Tony Abbott’s policy of cutting at least 12,000 public sector jobs nationally by imposing a hiring freeze which would equate to a loss of 185 jobs in Townsville.
– Broad cuts to public spending needed to fund the Coalition’s election commitments would take another 69 jobs out of the economy.
– And a Commission of Audit to enable the outsourcing/offshoring of public sector work such as payroll, administration and IT which would see a further 152 jobs go.
– By taking the estimated salary for an APS employee of $76,821, the CPSU projects Townsville stands to lose $87 million cumulatively over three years.

CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said: “We have already seen what a Liberal government is doing to public services and jobs in Queensland; the last thing that Townsville needs is more cuts under a Coalition government.”

“Remember Campbell Newman promised Queenslanders they had nothing to fear from him when it came to cuts in public sector jobs and services. And then he unleashed savage cuts. “Tony Abbott says he will cut at least 12,000 jobs but those are the ones that we know about. He doesn’t want to talk about the rest because he knows that a vote for the Coalition is a vote for job cuts.”

“The community is going to be hit hard on a number of levels. If one in five jobs go that means there will be hundreds of families living in Townsville with mortgages, kids and commitments who won’t be getting a regular pay cheque.”

“The drop in staffing levels is also going to hit services which will come under increasing pressure to meet the demands of the community,” Ms Flood said.

While in Newcastle:

Nearly one in four Commonwealth public sector jobs and $132 million in wages could disappear from Newcastle and the Hunter region under a Coalition government, an analysis by the Community and Public Sector Union shows.

The full scale of the cuts across the Hunter are laid bare in a report by the CPSU which based its calculations on Coalition policies such as the imposition of hiring freezes, and the launch of a wide-ranging review into the provision of public services.The CPSU analysis found 609 of the 2,551 or almost 24% of Commonwealth public sector jobs were at risk in Centrelink, Defence and Tax, spread across the city, the Hunter Valley and Lake Macquarie.

The CPSU based its calculations on the following:

  • Tony Abbott’s policy of cutting at least 12,000 public sector jobs nationally by imposing a hiring freeze which would equate to a loss of 217 jobs in the Hunter.
  • A Commission of Audit to enable the outsourcing/offshoring of public sector work such as payroll, administration and IT which would see a further 392 jobs go.
  • By taking the estimated salary for an APS employee of $76,821, the CPSU projects the Hunter stands to lose $132 million cumulatively over three years.

CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood said: “The people of Newcastle and the Hunter need to know the facts before they go to the polls. A vote for the Coalition is a vote for job cuts.”

“The community is going to be hit on a number of levels. Over 600 jobs are to go, almost one in four Commonwealth public servants could be out of a job; that’s hundreds of families living in the Hunter with mortgages, kids and commitments who won’t be getting a regular pay cheque. By our calculations the region stands to lose $132 million in wages over three years.”

“The drop in staffing levels is also going to hit services which will come under increasing pressure to meet the demands of the community.”

The CPSU’s report follows a similar one launched in June by the Public Service Association of NSW which estimated that under NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell 1600 state public sector jobs will be lost.

Ms Flood said: “Given the depth of cuts under the O’Farrell government the last thing Newcastle needs is more cuts under Abbott.”

Nice, isn’t it? I’m sure those two regions would welcome massive job cuts. And what might Tony Abbott have in store for your back yard?

Public service cuts

Labor will be annihilated, but . . .

Everybody in the media is telling us that Labor will be annihilated in the September election. Over the last couple of days it has turned into a media frenzy. Everyone wants to be on the bandwagon of doom.

Whether you’re watching the ABC, SBS or one of the commercial channels, or reading a Murdoch of Fairfax rag, you would have noticed someone gleefully informing us that Labor will be annihilated.

Over the weekend I also started to hear that talk on the streets of Canberra, however, it wasn’t just a single statement. Unlike the mainstream media, they added a few ‘buts’. Here are some examples:

Labor will be annihilated, but just look at the idiots who will replace them.

Labor will be annihilated, but can you imagine that man Abbott as our Prime Minister?

Labor will be annihilated, but we have nothing positive to look forward to after the election.

Labor will be annihilated, but so will jobs after the election.

Unlike the media, sensible folk can look beyond September 14 and have a vision of what might be in store for us under a Coalition Government. Yes, there are a few ‘buts’.

Do you have any you want to add?

2013 election

Julia’s job must be that easy even Abbott thinks he could do it

There’s only one place that Abbott wants to sleep at night and that’s The Lodge, Canberra. He won’t have to do anything to run the country once he’s there. Long sleep-ins will be his due reward.

Throw away the alarm clock. It won’t be needed.

Personally, I reckon it’d be best for the country if he did stay in bed. It’ll provide him with his only sanction.

Once you take up residence in The Lodge a tough world awaits you each morning. And the toughest job in the world would have to be the one where you are tasked with leading this country with a minority government. And one where you want to lead this country into the 21st century with groundbreaking social and economic changes. And doing so amid a hostile media, public and political environment.

They all conspire to make your job tougher yet they unwittingly toughen you up. They’ve toughened Julia Gillard up but not the man who is her opposite.

Conversely, he has grown weaker. It’s been a soft ride for him. He simply lacks what it takes to walk out of The Lodge each morning and run a progressive country.

There will be tasks on the job description that will leave him stupefied. I have picked a few out.

Support strategic direction

Applied to government, strategic thinking is the picture or profile that will determine the direction, nature and composition of their party. Primarily, strategic thinking produces a vision, a profile of what they want to achieve, which then helps them make the choices or decisions that fit within the parameters of this profile.

The party needs to collaborate on a shared purpose and strategic direction. Such areas include the broad strategies and key activities in their programs and policies. This involves the setting of priorities, establishing outcomes, developing action strategies and assigning timelines against each strategy.

Mr Abbott would need to apply a strategic approach. For instance, if an issue needs addressing then he needs to take responsibility for reconciling or correcting the issue, which means examining the issue and covering the nature of it, the dimension of it, the current approaches to it and the most suitable future action to resolve it.

How do you rate Mr Abbott on this?

How does he compare with Julia Gillard?

Communicate with influence

Two basic principles are required to confidently enter into conversation, liaison or negotiation: knowing what you are going to say and delivering the message appropriately; and by listening clearly to what is being said by the other party. Knowing the audience is also important. Any failure to communicate is not entirely the fault of the audience, and on such occasions the audience’s needs may not have been taken into consideration.

Learning to consult, listen, and interpret other people’s needs would be essential skills. This is particularly so during negotiation. During negotiation Mr Abbott would need to examine the situation from the other parties’ view in order to find common ground and build on emerging relationships. He would also need to recognise that negotiation or liaison is always best achieved if both parties are working to an agreed agenda. During the negotiation or liaison Mr Abbott would need to endeavour to adhere to a fairly rigid set of tried and tested processes that adopt those beliefs. These processes are to: examine the situation from the other parties’ view in order to find common ground, build on emerging relationships, detail any changes necessary and in a non-threatening manner describe the likely results if these changes do not take place.

How do you rate Mr Abbott on this?

How does he compare with Julia Gillard?

Develop productive working relationships

The Prime Minister has to recognise that the Australian community is one with varying and diverse cross needs and that effective working relationships are dependent on valuing these differences and diversities. If Mr Abbott were Prime Minister he won’t be able to simply polish up his skills in this area by building on working relationships he has with the mining billionaires, the media or the Catholic Church.

The Australian community is far more diverse. It includes unions, minority groups, government agencies, welfare groups, Indigenous Australians, Muslims, multi-culturalist societies, poor people, homeless people, atheists and the Proletariat.

And you’d also need to maintain effective working relationship with foreign powers.

How do you rate Mr Abbott on this?

How does he compare with Julia Gillard?

If Tony Abbott thinks Julia Gillards job is easy then he’s in for a shock. The three basic skills I have introduced are three that he demonstrates with breathtaking incompetence.

If he makes it to The Lodge he may as well stay in bed all day. Stupefied, of course.

Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott: head to head

Apart from the obvious differences such as Julia Gillard being a lady and Tony Abbott being a mere male, how do they otherwise compare?

I have given this question much consideration and have come up with what I think to be a fairly accurate list.

What do you think?

Julia Gillard: Cool headed.

Tony Abbott: Hot headed. In danger of bursting a blood vessel.

Julia Gillard: Composed.

Tony Abbott: Decomposed.

Julia Gillard: Tackles tough questions.

Tony Abbott: Ducks and weaves or nods head to within two seconds of it flying off.

Julia Gillard: Dresses elegantly.

Tony Abbott: Dresses scantily, exposing as much skin as possible.

Julia Gillard: Has a sense of humour, laughs a lot.

Tony Abbott: Has a sense of outrage, regularly seen snarling.

Julia Gillard: Runs the country, no task too big.

Tony Abbott: Runs away, it’s all too hard.

Julia Gillard: Kisses President Obama. Understands that ‘he’s da man’.

Tony Abbott: Kicks President Obama. Obama doesn’t realise that Abbott’s ‘da man’.

Julia Gillard: Has the keys to The Lodge.

Tony Abbott: Hasn’t got the keys to The Lodge. A real sore point.

Julia Gillard: Wants to help poor people. Nothing in it for her.

Tony Abbott: Wants to help rich people. Mutual back scratching.

Julia Gillard: Recognises we’ve been through the GFC.

Tony Abbott: Denies it ever happened.

Julia Gillard: Lives in the 21st century.

Tony Abbott: Stuck somewhere in a time warp between 1850 and 1950.

Julia Gillard: Gets called a liar even though she isn’t.

Tony Abbott: Doesn’t get called a liar even though he is.

Julia Gillard: Has the guts to go it alone on QandA. Answers questions.

Tony Abbott: Doesn’t have the guts to go it alone on QandA (unless of course he could just sit there snarling and say nothing).

Julia Gillard: Looks comfortable and performs admirably on the world stage.

Tony Abbott: Looks and acts like a complete idiot on the world stage. Is a full-time idiot.

Julia Gillard: Thinks before she speaks. Has the capacity to construct logical thought.

Tony Abbott: Doesn’t think – just speaks. Has perfected the brain fart.

Julia Gillard: Delivers policies.

Tony Abbott: Delivers slogans. Limits them to three words.

Julia Gillard: Hasn’t told the Queen we need an election. Hasn’t told anybody.

Tony Abbott: Has told the Queen we need an election. Has told everybody.

Julia Gillard: Is an atheist.

Tony Abbott: Speaks to God daily. Good mates. God knows that Tony’s ‘da man’.

Julia Gillard: Hasn’t been abducted by aliens.

Tony Abbott: Clearly has. Possibly subjected to anal probes.

Julia Gillard: Mature.

Tony Abbott: Immature. Needs to grow up. He can’t. Must be due to that time warp thingy.

Julia Gillard: Full of confidence.

Tony Abbott: Full of ****.

Julia Gillard: Sensible enough to know that the sky can’t really fall down.

Tony Abbott: Expects it to fall at any moment. Looks for cracks after each Labor policy.

Julia Gillard: Has a map with Whyalla on it.

Tony Abbott: He hasn’t. He wiped it off.

Julia Gillard: YES.

Tony Abbott: NO.

(Photo courtesy of the Courier Mail)

And thanks to Mobius for this one:

https://i0.wp.com/i169.photobucket.com/albums/u216/ecko93/ForForums/Politics/Abbott_brain-fart-01.png

Canberra Connect

Whenever there’s very little happening around the country – that we haven’t already talked about – we can always rely on Canberra to provide us with something to sizzle over. Today I turn to Canberra to see what happening.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is in the news and despite the scheme expected to benefit 400,00 Australians, the Liberal states are more interested in what’s in it for them ahead of what’s in it for the people who actually need it. Now who in their wildest dreams would have thought the Liberal State Premiers would want to play politics on such an important issue? Their political tackiness and the cost of such has been recognised:

Australian Medical Association (AMA) president Steve Hambleton said his body wanted the state governments that have not signed on to the NDIS to overcome their opposition and put the interests of people with a disability ahead of ‘political squabbling’.

That’s a fairly big ask. It’s asking the Liberals to act against their political grain. Good luck.

Labor leadership speculation again boiled to the surface this week and for the record it was for once not media driven, with Federal Government Chief Whip Joel Fitzgibbon providing the drive. Mr Fitzgibbon said that:

. . . if leaders stayed unpopular for long enough, they would inevitably stop leading the party.

And naturally the media had to chime in with this bit:

Speculation has mounted about Ms Gillard’s time as leader as the federal Labor Party’s standing in opinion polls remain in electoral wipeout territory.

Perhaps they missed that Mr Fitzgibbon actually said leaders, not Prime Ministers. Honestly, someone could suggest that the Collingwood captain is unpopular and the media could be relied upon to turn it into a Julia Gillard story.

In money news, Reserve Bank governor Glenn Stevens says Australian governments are enjoying their lowest borrowing rates in more than a century and there are now suggestions that the Government should consider taking this as an opportunity to go into deficit to fund infrastructure projects. As wise as that idea might seem, the current Government is committed to returning a surplus which in my humble opinion is only driven by the need to keep the Liberal monkey off its back.

Opportunity lost, unfortunately, with Economist Chris Richardson from Deloitte Access Economics saying that with the government borrowing money at rates barely above the inflation rate, in real terms it was was getting its money interest free.

What a pity that everything is so poll driven.

A jet lagged Tony Abbott, in the meantime, has made a big hit in China with his talk on tougher investment guidelines. Here’s the reaction:

Some in the Chinese system have laughed off Mr Abbott’s tougher investment guidelines as the empty talk of an opposition leader.

”I never take seriously what politicians say,” said Lu Bo, the deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce’s World Economy and Trade Research Department.

The empty talk of an opposition leader! Goodness, our Chinese cousins are very perceptive?

Parliament House Canberra, Australia

Parliament House Canberra, Australia (Photo credit: Wikipedia)