Of Mandarins & Minions.

A twiddle: of no import.

Many of us enjoy the TV series ‘Yes Minister’ and the old adage ‘many a true word spoken in jest’ adds to the so close to the truth stories, the series has become a classic. But I wonder – if we took the humour away and stripped the series back to reality, would we find some semblance of order?

Lets face it, the government is in disarray and incapable of managing the country, you could at a small stretch, say we are in a crisis. While the politicians implode someone has to make sure that the wheels keep turning, for this we must rely on the senior bureaucrats, the Mandarins. Those who have sat behind the ministerial thrones for decades; seen it all, heard it all, know where the skeletons are buried, who shagged who, who paid and how much it cost. These are clever folk, make no mistake about it, genetically modified through generations to keep the place working, no matter what the idiot politicians get up to.

We don’t have what I would call a Statesman within a bulls roar of Canberra. Hardly even a leader of any stripe and barely anyone with more than two self serving neurons aspiring to be the person who led Australia out of rapidly approaching third world status. Considering the cost to the nation alone, perhaps it’s time some of the ‘heavy duty’ Sir Humphrey types weighed in and banged some silly heads together. They could do it; do it in a heart beat, for the general good. Just put a foot down, with a heavy hand and return some semblance of sanity to ‘governance’. The reality is these folk run the joint anyway, albeit from behind the scenes, but someone, somewhere, somehow has to regain control of the management of this suffering nation. We cannot any longer rely on the elected government or the opposition, they’re a rabble with no interest but self interest, at the cost of the destruction of a once great nation and a life style that was the envy of the world.

Come the hour, cometh the man, (yes, yes or woman). Uhm – now - would be a good time.

Toot – toot.

No wonder Parliament is dysfunctional.

Quite a fascinating article highlighting how the design and layout of Parlousment House, that labyrinth of pus, contributes to the disconnection, silo’s, and inefficient running of our country;


What I find interesting is it’s location, Capital Hill. Now America has a similar location, Capitol Hill, where they too base their Government. What’s the significance? Research the design and layout of the buildings at both locations, they align with the name and purpose of Capitol Hill Rome. Even though the USA and Australian locations are spelled differently, the name Capitol Hill is deeply ingrained in the worship of Gods and diety’s, some not so nice. The buildings in both countries are steeped in religious tradition evident in both of the architectures shape and design, as well as the practises that both governments participate in.


I’ve posted this link before, but Kerry Packers assessment of the Australian governments incompetence with money and taxes is superb. He also mentions the tens of thousands of new rules and laws added yearly, without repealing the old ones, one of the core issues affecting our aviation industry and GA. Packer was a smart businessman unlike today’s muppets like Pyne, Morrison and Mc’Do’naught. The incompetence of successive guv’mints is astounding and pathetic. What a bunch of disconnected self serving narcissists.

Packer the legend;

Long live the ‘yellow vests’. Viva Le aviation revolution. Tick tock


So wile Can’tberra shuts down (again) and the remaining Pollywafflers (who haven’t yet quit or been sidelined for some sort of sexual mischief) and our Aviation industry continues to collapse under the weight of Government mismanagement and incompetence, the Australian Government continues to focus on.......bullshit.......yes, while businesses collapse, Pensioners die from heat stress because they can’t afford their air conditioning electricity bills, the Australian Government will keep the embassy in Tel Aviv for now, but join Russia, the Czech Republic and Panama in acknowledging "West Jerusalem" as the Israeli capital, and open a trade office there.

That’s about all that the fool Scomo has been able to deliver. I guess it’s more than his 2IC and Chief Muppet Mc’Do’nothing, but that is the sort of irrelevant shit YOUR taxpayer dollars are paying these tools to do. But don’t worry, Australians are asleep and too busy reading about two Sheila’s doing the cricket commentary at The Big Bash and being enthralled at the boning of half the Channel Nine Today Show hosts!

This nation has lost its way.....


The Minister for white elephants, Anthony Albanese, has split from his missus.
Apparently, unlike other Pollywafflers of late, there is no third party involved. So it would seem that Albo has kept his worm firmly tucked away in his giant yellow stained apple catchers.

I guess the former Mrs Albanese could no longer stand him spitting on her when he speaks? Or was it the flabby white pimply arse that caused the breakdown? Or his combover? Don’t worry Albo, now you can throw those hands up in the air whenever the urge kicks in and nobody will be around to nag you to stop being an idiot.

From the Simply Marvellous Horse Pooh;


“Safe breakdown of nuptials for all”

CAsA 2018 Anal Report

I went through the CAsA 2018 annual (anal) report on the weekend (I know, I don’t have a life!) and it truly made for some nauseating reading. The usual guff, glossy photos and self populated scorecards designed to bury the reader in spin, waffle, folly, piffle and pony Pooh.

But what was interesting is how the sneaky sneaky bureaucrats no longer break down the executive tier salaries by title and value. They have bundled them all under one total of $3.5m per annum. Not a bad earner for 5 incompetent ninnies and some Board trough dwellers. And don’t forget, any remuneration quoted is for salaries only and does not include their generous 15.75% superannuation, business class travel, daily away allowances and all the other trimmings. No wonder the wages bill is so effing high and it comes out of the very pockets of those working in the industry they are systemically murdering. Ironic ain’t it?

Viva Le Revolution

From me;

“But what was interesting is how the sneaky sneaky bureaucrats no longer break down the executive tier salaries by title and value. They have bundled them all under one total of $3.5m per annum. Not a bad earner for 5 incompetent ninnies and some Board trough dwellers”.

A little birdy told me tha numerous CAsA Executives already have their business class airfares paid for by the taxpayer and that their are many Ollie jollies planned for the next few months. 2019 is shaping up to be ‘the year of the trough!

From me;

“But what was interesting is how the sneaky sneaky bureaucrats no longer break down the executive tier salaries by title and value. They have bundled them all under one total of $3.5m per annum. Not a bad earner for 5 incompetent ninnies and some Board trough dwellers”.

A little birdy told me that numerous CAsA Executives already have their business class airfares paid for by the taxpayer and that there are many Ollie jollies planned and locked in for the next few months. 2019 is shaping up to be ‘the year of the trough! In fact, here is Aleck and Wingnut heading off as we speak;


From the Mandarin
APS Review sets out four priorities for change
By David Donaldson and Stephen Easton • 19/03/2019

The Australian Public Service Review has published four new “priorities” for change ahead of its main findings later this year. Common pay and moving to a professional stream model are some of their ideas.

The report, released Tuesday morning, includes a broad range of interesting suggestions for reform under four priority headings.

Those priorities are: a stronger “culture, governance and leadership model”, more operational flexibility, continued investment in talent and capability, and stronger internal and external partnerships.

Proposed changes include common pay and conditions across the APS, professionalisation of roles through a move to a “professions model” with senior staff appointed to head up each professional stream, and a “stable spine” of common digital platforms and policy frameworks across the service.

How secretaries are chosen would change slightly, with a codified process to inform the prime minister’s choice of department heads, including published criteria, as well as clear criteria for evaluating performance.

The panel suggest annual external recruitment at EL and SES levels, modelled on the approach to graduates, to reduce barriers to entry from outside the APS, as well as making it easier for staff — and potential leaders in particular — to try out working in other sectors.

The APS should develop “an inspiring purpose and vision that unifies the public service”, backed up by a secretaries board with a mandate to push cross-portfolio outcomes. Departments and large agencies would be subject to regular, independent capability reviews, which would be publicly released.

The APS’s own sense of “primacy” can sometimes stand in the way of relationships with the public and ministers, the report notes. Improving mutual understanding of the roles and needs of the APS, ministers and ministerial offices, and opening up more ministerial staff positions to public servants, could improve public administration.

They also recommend formal recognition of “the distinct and important role” of ministerial advisors, including clarity of role — both in relation to ministers and public servants — and accountability.

There would also be a “revamped” APSC, empowered to fully deliver on its responsibilities, including through sustainable resourcing and strengthened in-house capability. The responsibilities of the APS Commissioner would be clarified in legislation, as ‘head of people’, including a reinforced role in appointment and performance management of Senior Executive Service officers, and responsibility for professions and for leading a strengthened pro-integrity regime. Measures would be put in place to ensure confidence in the appointment process for the commissioner, such as requiring parliamentary consultation.

“Our approach, our optimism, and our findings are reflected in one aspiration: a trusted APS, united in serving all Australians,” write the review panel.

“This aspiration forms the organising principle for the priorities for change set out in this report.”

Each of the report’s four priority areas — which build on the five big ideas review chair David Thodey set out in November — includes further initiatives.

To help strengthen the culture, governance and leadership model of the APS, the review panel recommend:

Common purpose and vision that unites and inspires the APS
Secretaries board driving outcomes across government and APS performance
A defined ‘head of service’ and ‘head of people’
Clarity and confidence in the appointment and expectations of secretaries
Genuine transparency and accountability for delivering outcomes for Australians
To build a flexible APS operating model:

Dynamic ways of working and structures to empower individuals and teams — making collaboration the norm
Strategic allocation of funds and resources to outcomes and essential investment
Networked enabling systems and common processes across the service
When it comes to investing in capability and talent development:

Professionalised functions across the service to deepen expertise
Empowered managers accountable for developing people and teams
Strategic recruitment, development and mobility to build the workforce of the future
21st century delivery, regulation and policy capabilities
Policy advice that integrates social, economic, security and international perspectives
And for developing stronger internal and external relationships:

Seamless services and local solutions designed and delivered with states, territories and other partners
An open APS, accountable for sharing information and engaging widely
Strategic, service-wide approaches to procurement to deliver better value and outcomes for Australians
Ministers supported through easier access to APS expertise and insights and formal recognition of distinct role of ministerial advisors.
The challenge of implementation
The reviewers are very concerned about how any shifts will be implemented and made sustainable.

“Globally, there are more examples of failed public sector transformations than successes,” says the report.

“And there is inevitably some cynicism about the possibility of change, or about having heard it all before. Simplistic solutions will not suffice. Nor should we just turn to the private sector for the answers.”

Much of what they suggest “can be readily implemented within existing legislative and policy frameworks”, they argue.

The report points to six key requirements for successful reform:

Senior leadership cohort who own transformation
Clear prioritisation of reforms, focusing on the most important things first
A transformation leader with the influence to drive and coordinate delivery
Deep engagement across the service in developing and implementing change with service-wide investment in capability building
Funding, resources and support to drive transformation
Meaningful metrics for short and long term success of transformation
Seeking feedback
The review panel is seeking further input from public servants to ensure their ideas are on the mark.

The panel is already considering upwards of 700 submissions, 270 suggestions on the review’s digital platform, 2900 survey responses, and the insights from 37 roundtables and workshops involving more than 550 members of the public and the APS. They’ve also completed 200 one-on-one meetings with parliamentarians, community and business leaders and others who work closely with the APS, as well as meetings with current and former public sector leaders.

But they want to keep testing their ideas.

“This report presents our current view — both what we think and what we’re still exploring,” they write.

“We were not asked to publish our interim findings, but we believe it is only through testing our thinking, openly and iteratively, that we will come to the best answers.”

So they are asking you the following questions:

How can we strengthen each proposal?
What are we missing?
How do we ensure lasting change?

The Mandarin;

”APS Review sets out four priorities for change”

All talk no substance. Big discussions, lots of submissions, proposals, dialogue and other pointless activities. The only change the APS will accept is to earn more money for doing less work. Might as well smack their staff with a lace hanky and demand more production and then give them what they want anyway, that’s what always happens. After all, the bucket is always full and the taxpayers will always be milked to the maximum to pay for these useless maggots.

APS = useless dross.

Save the dosh get rid of Senate Estimates??  Rolleyes

Google reference:

Quote:Senate estimates hearings, also known as estimates committees or simply 'estimates', allow senators to scrutinise (closely examine) how executive government is spending taxpayers' money. Senators focus on how government has spent this money and on the government's future spending plans.

[/url]Senate Estimates | Learning | Parliamentary Education Office ...

I note the following article from the Mandarin:

Quote:Which agencies got a break from Senate estimates hearings?
By Stephen Easton  11/04/2019

[Image: Penny-Wong-estimates.jpg]
With the beginning of caretaker period comes the end of Senate estimates, and non-government politicians were soon crying foul over their missed opportunities to quiz public servants.

Labor and the Greens and their supporters have led the charge in accusing the government of avoiding accountability, but the hearings could have continued if the opposition really wanted them to.

Some are strongly suggesting it, and others are outright accusing the Prime Minister of waiting just long enough for his government to give federal environmental approval to the controversial Adani coal mine — which was reportedly demanded by members of Queensland’s combined Liberal-National Party branch — then calling the election before senators could grill the relevant public servants in the CSIRO and the Department of the Environment and Energy about this.

However, another aggrieved senator who now finds his time in the spotlight cut down, Duncan Spender of the Liberal Democrats, has attacked the major parties for opposing his earlier motion for the hearings to continue even if caretaker period began in the middle of them.

The Senate could have voted to do this, as the Parliamentary Library recently observed, but Labor members may have judged their time was better spent on the campaign trail than in the committee rooms. Or maybe they just didn’t think this week’s hearings would even begin.
“It’s a bit rich for Labor to be complaining now when they had the chance to support my motion and ensure estimates would continue,” said Spender, who got his seat as a replacement for David Lleyonhelm and may have decided the hearings were his best shot at attracting votes.

Quote:[Image: hGjVc5gD_normal.jpg]
Senator Jenny McAllister


We also won’t have the chance to ask the Industry Dept about their secret #climate modelling, which both Environment and Treasury officials have confirmed is underway.  #auspol @Mark_Butler_MP #Estimates
Tony Burke


One of the consequences of calling an election on a Thursday instead of Sunday is to stop Senate Estimates hearings. In my portfolio alone this shuts down questions to the CSIRO about the Adani approval and Murray Darling hearings scheduled for Friday now won’t happen. #ausvotes

7:34 AM - Apr 11, 2019
Twitter Ads info and privacy
Before the approval happened on Tuesday, the news outlets closest to the Coalition were reporting that the timing of the election had been influenced by Queenslanders in the Coalition, with reports that Resources Minister Matt Canavan threatened to quit and Senator James McGrath threatened to publicly campaign for Environment Minister Melissa Price’s resignation, if the Adani mine was not approved before the election.

On Monday, Senator Penny Wong (pictured) tried to confirm if these reports were true, and hence the minister’s decision had been improperly influenced, but she did not get far. Labor’s Kimberley Kitching called it a “surprise week” and said senators would be “on tenterhooks” wondering if the hearings would continue. “Accountability never sleeps,” observed Senate Clerk Richard Pye.

There also seemed to be more than the usual number of absent public servants in this round of estimates, including tax commissioner Chris Jordan, auditor-general Grant Hehir and Treasury secretary Phil Gaetjens.

Quote:[Image: CJE7PDx__normal.jpg]
Eryk Bagshaw


Treasury Secretary Phil Gaetjens, Scott Morrison's former chief of staff, is interstate and will not give evidence at what could be his last Senate #estimates hearing. Labor is furious. "The basics are that you turn up," says Jenny McAllister. #auspol

9:20 AM - Apr 10, 2019
Twitter Ads info and privacy
There certainly would have been questions raised about DEE recommending the minister approve the Adani mine. One might concern why it did so several days before it received support from the CSIRO, which had previously found serious problems with the company’s plan to manage risks to groundwater, according to leaked advice reported in December.

A lot of pundits and politicians are out suggesting the government wanted to avoid accountability and there are plenty of other controversial issues besides the Adani approval that could have seen sparks fly.

So, who else missed out?

The Department of Social Services was scheduled to appear on Thursday, with the National Disability Insurance Agency appearing in the morning.

Assuming no delays, the plan was for the Department of Human Services to take the stand from 7.30pm.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade was also expecting to come back and talk about non-trade programs on Thursday, with portfolio agencies the Australian Trade and Investment Commission and the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation on the late-night bill.
Time was also allocated to the Department of Education and Training with a spot for the Australian Research Council.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Energy Regulator were also pencilled in for Thursday, followed by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.

Next was the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science followed by some of its portfolio colleagues from the Anti-Dumping CommissionOffice of the Chief Scientist, and the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation.

If the schedule was kept, it would have been CSIRO’s turn at 7.30pm followed by Innovation and Science Australia, with the National Offshore Petroleum Safety and Environmental Management Authority scheduled in for 10.30pm.

Friday was for cross-portfolio matters regarding the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, and Indigenous Affairs.

The former would have called up officials from three portfolios: Agriculture and Water Resources, which includes the MDBA, as well as Environment and Energy, and Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities.

In the latter we would have heard about the Northern Land Council, the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation and the government-owned retailer Outback Stores, with officials from the Departments of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Health at the table.[/size]
Hmm...I would argue despite the three (aviation safety) Stooges appearing at Estimates there was only one 'the Harfwit' that received anywhere near proper scrutiny... Dodgy 

Senator O'Sofullofit in his last hoorah saw to it that CASA & the ATSB got a streamlined in and out with not too much skin lost with the sole serious questioner being Senator Sic'em'Rex, with bugger all inquisition from the rest of the committee... Angry   

CHAIR: Thank you, Mr Carmody. It's always a pleasure. I see you had quite a team with you. We do appreciate your preparation and attendance. We wish you all safe travel back to your intended destination.

Mr Carmody : Thank you, Chair. Thank you very much for your support.

CHAIR: Now we need ATSB to walk briskly to the table. Welcome. You've had a pretty good run in front of this committee in the time I've been chair, you know. No-one's really given heavy stick. They stand up pretty well.

Senator STERLE: Oh, they copped a bit about eight years ago.

CHAIR: Did they?

Senator STERLE: Absolutely they did—not under Mr Hood's leadership.

Mr Hood : Thank you, Senator.

CHAIR: Money changing hands here!

Senator STERLE: All to do with a missing aeroplane.

I also find it interesting that Barry O'Sofullofit was very quick to knock off the Aviation & Airports division of the department especially in light of the fact that we are expecting (within the next year at least) the release of the ATSB investigation report into 'The approval processes for the Bulla Road Precinct Retail Outlet Centre'. Of passing coincidence that investigation was apparently updated today... Huh


On 21 February 2017, a building that is part of the Essendon Airport Bulla Road Precinct retail centre was struck by a Beechcraft King Air B200 (VH-ZCR). The ATSB’s preliminary report for this accident was published in March 2017. This preliminary report stated that the approval process for this building would be a matter for further investigation.

The building was part of the Bulla Road Precinct Retail Outlet Centre development, which was proposed by the lessee of Essendon Airport in 2003 and approved by the Federal Government in 2004.

Due to the specialist nature of the approval process and airspace issues attached to the retail centre development, and not to delay the final report into the accident from February 2017, the ATSB has decided to investigate this matter separately.

The investigation will examine the building approval process from an aviation safety perspective, including any airspace issues associated with the development, to determine the transport safety impact of the development on aviation operations at Essendon Airport.

A final report will be released at the conclusion of the investigation. Should a critical safety issue be identified during the course of the investigation, relevant parties will be immediately notified so that appropriate safety action can be taken.

General details

Date: 21 February 2017 Investigation status: Active
Investigation level: Complex - click for an explanation of investigation levels
Location   (show map): Essendon Airport, Bulla Road Precinct Retail Outlet Centre

Investigation phase:

Final report: Approval
State: Victoria
Report status: Pending
Anticipated completion: 2nd Quarter 2019

Last update 16 April 2019

[Image: 081e573df50c8543586b7295ae966b14]

AFAP come out firing on YMEN runway 08/26 width reduction

Hmm...no comment??  Shy

MTF...P2  Cool

Did the Guardian do BJ a favour?? 

Yesterday on the social media bun fight surrounding the election farce, I noted that left wing publication the Guardian, in it's continued campaign to discredit Barnaby Joyce, has come out with this article: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-ne...tment-boss  

Fortunately the Mandarin has covered off with a more neutral/apolitical version of this story... Wink  

Quote:Joyce sacked Ag secretary ‘to remind him where the authority starts from’
By Stephen Easton • 30/04/2019[img=750x0]https://www.themandarin.com.au/content/uploads/2015/03/171517518.jpg[/img]
Video has emerged of ex-minister Barnaby Joyce explaining why he sacked former Department of Agriculture and Water Resources secretary Paul Grimes, as the auditor-general confirms he will look at the department’s water purchasing.

The official explanation was that both minister and secretary agreed that “a relationship of strong mutual confidence” between them was unrealistic, but according to the new video, Joyce wanted to send a clear message to the rest of the department. After he fired Grimes, he was much happier with how the remaining officials conducted themselves.

The newly announced audit into DAWR’s water buy-backs was already listed as “potential”, and the while the decision to lock it in is Hehir’s alone, it will satisfy two requests from parliament. One was from a group of five senators and two members of the lower house just on a year ago, and another last Tuesday from the Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, David Littleproud.

The first request to the Australian National Audit Office followed The Australia Institute’s March 2018 report, That’s not how you haggle, which argued the Commonwealth had paid far too much for water entitlements. It came from a group of South Australian non-government parliamentarians spanning the ideological spectrum, plus Shadow Minister for Environment and Water Tony Burke.

Littleproud’s intervention came amid the more recent controversy about a $79 million buy-back of rights to capture floodwater, which saw Burke demand confidential papers from the department and promise a judicial inquiry if Labor wins the May election when the acting secretary refused.

This week, then-minister Barnaby Joyce told The Project reporter Hamish Macdonald he did some accountancy work for the previous owners of the two farms before they were purchased by Eastern Australia Agriculture, which later sold the water entitlements to the Commonwealth for a very tidy profit. The ultimate ownership of EAA is mostly obscured behind a secretive entity with a similar name based in the Cayman Islands, both of which were set up with the involvement of Energy Minister Angus Taylor before he entered parliament.

Macdonald has also obtained footage of Joyce discussing the sacking of Grimes, who later became Victoria’s public service commissioner.

“Sometimes I think we’re in government, sometimes I think [the Labor Party] are in government, but it’s not actually the case; the bureaucrats are in government every time,” Joyce said.

“And I found out one of the only ways I could deal with them when I was the Ag minister was I invited the head of the department up, brought him into my office and sacked him – just to remind him where the authority starts from.

“And then I got a lot more sense out of the rest of them; they were great.”

Ref: https://twitter.com/i/status/1122806576471891968

Joyce and others could well argue this is a legitimate way for a minister to act, if they feel the department is not respecting their authority gained through the ballot box. But it is also a clear example of why a lot of people, like former Westpac boss David Morgan, think the Australian Public Service Review should recommend more job security for secretaries, to ensure they are able to provide frank and fearless advice to government.

The reviewers are leaning towards proposing a slightly more transparent system of secretary appointments and terminations, with published criteria for their selection and evaluating their performance.

In his reply to Littleproud, the auditor-general details his information-gathering powers and notes his office began scoping work on the water audit in February this year, which involved initial conversations with departmental staff.

“In short, the performance audit will look at the design of the current policy for water buy-backs, and whether its implementation has been effective,” Hehir told the minister. “At this stage, I do not anticipate that the performance audit will cover in detail the period from 2008.”

Officially, that means the auditors will look at whether DAWR “had appropriate program design, planning and guidance in place to support strategic water procurements; executed the program consistent with approved policy, planning and guidance; and achieved value for money.”

Hmm...love him or hate him at least BJ recognised the true governance responsibilities of being a Crown Minister and was quite prepared to challenge the unfettered power of the Can'tberra bureaucracy. Kind of makes you despair and wonder about the timing of his political demise just as he an Albo agreed to challenge the overwhelming, industry strangulating, big R regulating power of CASA by a serious amendment to section 9A of the Civil Aviation ActDodgy 

Ref: Dick Smith Wagga Aviation Oration.

Quote:[Image: DS4.jpg] 
Former Deputy Prime Minister
Barnaby Joyce
In December 2017 there was some good news.
Barnaby Joyce – clearly a Bob Hawke in many ways –
was appointed the Minister. What a difference.
I had a breakfast meeting with Mr Joyce and pointed out that the Civil Aviation
Act didn’t mention that cost had to be considered. He instantly said, “That is
ridiculous, you always have to look at cost.”
It was a fantastic breakthrough. He asked me, “Dick, if you were a dictator what
would you do to get the industry going again – especially aviation in the bush.”
I said, “The first thing I would do is fix the Act so costs can be considered, and I
believe we can get the Shadow Minister, Anthony Albanese, to agree with this.”

MTF...P2  Cool

M&M at the IPAA -  Shy

The following excellent article from Stevie E off the Mandarin perhaps gives the clearest insight to the brilliance of M&M and his Machiavellian view on how best to deal with the minority dissenters (IOS) within the Aussie flock of sheeple -  Big Grin 

Quote:Mike Mrdak: public servants must ditch the business jargon, stop being scared of citizens
By Stephen Easton  08/05/2019[Image: mrdak-vid-cap.jpg]

Government agencies need to be more open, honest and direct with the public, come to terms with social media and realise that working with people is a core part of their work, according to Department of Communications and the Arts secretary Mike Mrdak.

He said public servants need to pluck up the courage to be upfront and accept that their rational, evidence-based advice will come against gut feelings and self-interest as a matter of course, in a candid speech peppered with reflections on risk-averse public relations strategies.

Using plain English helps. The clarity of language used by agencies and the integrity of their consultation processes both go towards their credibility and ultimately, successful policy.

“And one of the things that I’ve constantly found in my career [is] that often it’s the language that kills us, in communications,” Mrdak told the Institute of Public Administration Australia last week.

He said the “business-words” public servants use were not well understood by people outside the bureaucracy, including people and groups in the wider community — and ministers. For Mrdak, “looking at things holistically” is an overused phrase that isn’t helping.

[Image: Manthorpe-230x300.jpg]
Michael Manthorpe. Image: RLDI.

“What on Earth does that mean? … Isn’t that what every common-sense person would do?

“But yet we use words like that [and] when ministers and the community hear that — ‘we’re going to look at this holistically’ — they think either we’re just rubbish at what we do, or we don’t care.

“Similarly, words like ‘stakeholder’ — I’ve never met Mr and Mrs Stakeholder.” - Luv it  Big Grin

Former APS secretary Gordon de Brouwer also developed an aversion to the term.

“Talking about people in that generic-concept way really kills us, because we’re not seen to be actually relating to the audience we’re trying to talk to,” said Mrdak.

“And the other word that I think we use badly is ‘consult’… We keep saying we’ll consult, but what do we really mean by it?”

Commonwealth Ombudsman Michael Manthorpe, on hosting duties, said “the sense that people have been somehow left out of the design and communication about policy and service delivery” was very often a feature of complaints to his office, and the importance of being clear and sincere was underscored by several other speakers.

A need for honesty, and confidence

Community engagement absolutely must become a core part of APS work, said the DCA secretary, and that requires more courage. He has seen public servants become much more confident communicators over his career, but thinks they are still too afraid to open up space for people to say what they really think.

Risk aversion can also feed into a reluctance to use plain, clear language, and to be open and upfront about the purpose of consultation.

“We need to be clear about whether we’re genuinely seeking views on options, or whether we’re seeking a reaction to a settled, preferred position,” Mrdak said. “And we’ve got to be honest about that to the people we deal with.”

Other public servants underscored the importance of honesty as well in a panel discussion that followed. Pauline Sullivan, a first assistant secretary at DCA, said each consultation would either increase or decrease public trust in government, and unsuccessful ones would undermine policy outcomes.

[Image: pauline-230x300.jpg]
Pauline Sullivan. Image: RLDI.

Don’t “over-engineer” a consultation process, Sullivan advised; instead, make it easy for people to be involved, expect some difficult conversations and don’t be afraid to admit what you don’t know.

Instead of running yet another consultation about the telecommunications Universal Service Obligation, she said DCA decided to acknowledge what everyone was thinking: the conversation had gone on for years.

“We said to everyone, ‘We’re here, we’ll get out and talk to you, but don’t feel the need to put in a public submission, because we probably feel there’s nothing new to add.’ And that actually went down really well with stakeholders.”

Mrdak said key people inside government often questioned the sincerity of its requests for public views as well. “Ministers often say to us, ‘Are you just running a process and then talking to me because you’ve already got a settled position?’”

He thinks departments should never begin consultation with a blank page, they should always develop a range of viable policy options first, but if their intention is really just to explain and try to “sell the answers” they have already devised, that should be clear at the start. As always, things get tricky when the risk aversion flows from the minister.

Mrdak pointed to a 2016 APS guidance note on consultation: it says being “genuine” brings the “real-world impact” of policy options into focus, leads to better outcomes, and reduces opposition from adversely affected people.

“Firstly it really captures something about the APS which we often misrepresent, and don’t quite fully fathom ourselves. We’re uniquely in the people-business. In fact, we are a profession like few others, [in] that we are totally dependent on our personal relationships.

“If you think about it, we have to convince another person in almost every step we take, everything we do. We have to be able to influence and argue the case with our colleagues, with ministers, the parliament, legislators, the community, about every policy step, every program and regulatory action. And so we have to be able to deal with people.”

A significant amount of research, Mrdak added incidentally, showed a lot of senior public servants were introverts.

Get out of the bunker

The traditional approach has been to bunker down and “minimise adverse reaction” by relying mainly on one-way communication and avoiding genuine consultation, said Mrdak.

“[It] was about not telling people too much, because they might be not happy with where we’re going, or we don’t think they’d understand. That’s just not sustainable.”

It was once seen as a good thing if nobody took up the invitation to comment on a government announcement in a newspaper, he recalled. Public servants worried that if the notice was too big, it might attract excessive attention.

The prevailing wisdom in government and the aviation industry was once that detailed information about flight paths and aircraft noise must be kept secret. The fear was that if it was easy to see when and where planes would fly overhead, and how loud they were, a lot more people would take notice of them and start complaining.

[Image: Mrdak-230x300.jpg]
Mike Mrdak. Image: RLDI.

Since 2008, Airservices Australia has taken the opposite approach, giving out all the information. Through WebTrak, anyone can watch planes land and take off from the main airports in real-time, and see how loud they are. Mrdak credited environmental noise expert David Southgate, who retired from the APS in 2012, as a driving force behind the 180-degree turn toward full transparency, which has since been adopted overseas.

“And it was remarkable what a difference that made to the community engagement in the area of aircraft noise,” the secretary said. Being able to see exactly what is happening did not cause pandemonium, as feared; it actually calmed people down a bit because they were given the facts.

Now, community expectations are higher and major changes in information and communications technology mean the head-in-the-sand approach is obviously and increasingly untenable.

Mrdak said public servants were out of their “comfort zone” on online platforms and that government agencies generally needed more “specialised skills and advice” in modern approaches to consultation and community engagement.

He thinks agencies should use the most popular platforms and communications channels, and recognise that people were expressing their views publicly on policy ideas, even if they weren’t making formal submissions.

A risk-averse approach that seeks to minimise interactions with the public is neither acceptable nor sustainable, Mrdak observed, pointing out most people now mainly read the news via social media platforms like Facebook.

“While we have to be in that space, we also have to be finding ways to have robust responses and exchanges to counter something which is an error, or a misrepresentation, and that’s really hard for us because that means we’ve got to be in that space regularly, and we’ve got to push back,” he added.

Dealing with subjectivity

Senior public servants just “aren’t very comfortable with talking to the broader community” at any level of government, in Mrdak’s view, although later speakers with experience at state and federal level pointed out the APS was the most removed from the everyday lives of citizens.

Natalie Howson, head of the ACT Education Directorate, said working in the territory government had given her more perspective on public engagement. She once thought Centrelink was closely connected to the community when she worked there, but finds the ACT government is like being “in the mosh pit” by comparison.

Pauline Sullivan, who has experience in the Victorian and New South Wales governments, noted that state public servants are more likely to be users of the services they administer. She said “the lived experience absolutely matters” and understanding it often required in-depth conversations with people to get a “granular understanding” of life from their perspective.

Sullivan said deep and sincere engagement could make it clear if a policy proposal was going to work, or have unintended consequences. “Get out of the office, talk to people, be curious,” she urged.

Mrdak said public servants had to get over their anxiety and work on accepting and responding to subjective opinions.

“We spend a lot of time taking subjectivity out of our work. We spend a lot of time talking about the facts, making sure we’ve got the evidence, making sure we’ve worked out the practical steps, and then we’re genuinely shocked, as a profession, that people come back with subjective views on things.

“And we don’t quite know how to deal with this. And if you think about it, we’re professionals whose very fabric is analysis, science, facts, objective process and judgement, and so as professionals… we feel very uneasy about gut-feeling, subjective responses.”

Mrdak thinks public servants are “too scared about hearing what people really feel and think” about their well-researched proposals, and how they sound unfair or onerous to particular people and groups.

He pointed out that a system to channel those competing interests and widely divergent views is “the nature of a working, healthy democracy” so public servants need to react with more equanimity when their carefully prepared proposals are thrown back in their faces. Too often, said the DCA secretary, the walls go up instead.

“We shut down, we take risk-averse options, we make sure we never ask them again for their views, we limit the information we provide, we do all of the human reactions we do, because we start to form a view that these people are irrational. In fact, they’re not.

“They’re reflecting their community view and their gut feeling. And in the worst cases, we throw our hands up and say to ministers, ‘Look, the community can’t possibly understand this, they’re irrational about this but you’ve got to show political courage and just take the right decision.’

“And then we’re genuinely surprised when ministers say back to us, ‘That’s terrific. ‘I’ve got a choice between your rational argument, or a community that’s really upset.’

“We shouldn’t be placing ministers in that position. We’ve got to have done the work earlier to have understood all that, and we’ve got to have taken account of some of those subjective values-issues quite early in our planning for engagement.” - Solid Gold..perhaps the IOS did make M&M uncomfortable in his time as the Mandarin oversighting aviation... Huh   

Sullivan said public servants should expect hard conversations where it fees like their “personal integrity” is under attack, and being overly defensive could be counter-productive, although abuse should not be tolerated. Handling tense situations requires planning and preparing staff to deal with them and the support of their managers.

If public servants don’t face their fears, they will only ever talk to like-minded people, those who “talk the same language” and the experts and interest groups that make up the “specialist policy community” that orbits their particular area of government, according to Mrdak, who sees this happening for several reasons.

Sometimes, agencies need to tap external expertise because they don’t have the resources or the technical understanding to deal with new policy challenges. The usual suspects — certain academics, advocacy groups, peak bodies and lobbyists — are also the easiest to deal with because they actively make it their business to understand the public service and how to provide relatively useful or at least well-informed input. But often, that’s not enough.

A full video of the speech and panel discussion is on the IPAA ACT Division website.

Hmmm...a veritable smorgasbord of quotes in that lot -  Wink  

MTF...P2  Tongue

ScoMo message to Mandarins - real intent or just rhetoric??  Shy

By Stevie E, via the Mandarin: 

Quote:Re-elected Prime Minister’s public message to department heads
By Stephen Easton  23/05/2019[Image: Scott-Morrison-presser.jpg]

Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media during a press conference. (AAP Image/Lukas Coch)

Don’t get in our way.

That’s the message Prime Minister Scott Morrison gave federal secretaries in front of the media at Parliament House on Thursday.

Morrison said he respected the role of the public service but there would be “very clear targets” for its performance on implementing policy quickly and not creating “blockages” that frustrate investors.

“Congestion busting doesn’t just need to happen on our roads and around the country,” said the PM.

“I want to see some congestion busting in bureaucracy, ensuring that we get things done.”

He also seemed to suggest service delivery was at least as important, if not a bigger priority than frank and fearless advice.

“How good is the public service,” joked Deputy PM Michael McCormack. Here’s what they had to say in full.

PM Scott Morrison:

Quote:On Saturday the Australian people have given us a very specific task and that is to continue to be government of this great nation.

I deeply respect, as does Michael [McCormack], the work of the public service in delivering on the agenda of a government, on delivering on the policies of the government.

In every portfolio that I’ve served in, and worked with the public service, that is always the relationship that I’ve had — to set out clearly where we were going and to have the very strong expectation that would be delivered, and that has been my experience.

And as Michael and I finalise our ministry and those who you’ll be working to, there are three key areas where we’ll be seeking some very clear direction.

The first of those is obviously that we need to ensure that our economy remains strong to support the budget, and the financial management that enables us to do all the things that we intend to do across all the various portfolio areas: health, education, pharmaceutical benefits scheme, mental health in particular for young people, and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Secondly the world is an increasingly uncertain place, and I’ve had many discussions with people in this room about the uncertainties that presents, not just in the economic sphere but in the strategic sphere as well.

And I think it’s very important that we continue to focus on the ways that we can use our influence and our relationships, and build on those relationships, in the Indo-Pacific region, and with our friends and partners around the world, to continue to be a voice of reason and common sense that is focused on the prosperity and the peacefulness in our region, for the people of our region.

And the third area, and this is most important I think for everyone sitting around this table, of course the public service gives us fearless and frank advice, but the thing that we depend on and that you’re professionally responsible for is the delivery of those services.

And whether it’s in the National Disability Insurance Scheme or whether it’s in hospitals and infrastructure delivery where Michael is so involved, concluding arrangements and ensuring that the funding that is provided to the states and territories and the services that we run through Centrelink — this all needs to run seamlessly and efficiently.

A big part of the way that I intend to direct over the next three years is there’ll be very clear targets about the performance levels that we’ll expect from the delivery of the public service, that Australians should expect to see things turned around quickly, that investors that are looking to invest in Australia, the blockages that often frustrate them, they will be dealt with.

Congestion busting doesn’t just need to happen on our roads and around the country, congestion busting needs to happen in the bureaucracy, and I want to see some congestion busting in bureaucracy, ensuring that we get things done.
And so when your ministers are appointed and you sit down with them, you can expect them to have very clear views about the direction that the government will be taking.

I will certainly be doing that as Prime Minister, but before we go into that phase I wanted to send a very clear message that I understand the role that the public service plays in delivering on the government’s plans and the government’s agenda.
And so with that, I thank you for the work that all of your departments will be doing in the years ahead and it will be a very busy time, I can assure you, and those who have worked most closely with me know how busy that can get.
Deputy PM Michael McCormack:[/size]

Quote:Look, the Australian public placed their faith and trust in us on Saturday and delivered an election result that we are obviously very gratified about. We are placing our faith and trust in you over the next three years again to perform what you do in a timely manner, in the professional manner that we’ve always come to expect.
That bollocks at the end is just so typical of soft cock McDo'Naught -  Angry
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MTF...P2  Tongue

The Post – HERE – was the main subject of the BRB indaba; it got serious – no darts and moderate libation – speaks volumes. Without hesitation, 100% agreement that, in theory, the TAAAF proposal is a brilliant solution. After that there was much discussion, good argument from a fairly evenly divided crew.

Two teams – to keep it short I’ll call ‘em them Warriors and the Worriers. All happy to step up and push like Billy-O to get this proposal past the snakes and up the ladders; but you can probably guess the pro and con debate.

Boyd got a lot of attention. One side reckon he’s seen enough of the resident evil in CASA to honestly want the changes rang. T’other mob reckoned he had been converted to the dark side and was simply putting up the proposal so it could be delayed and obfuscated and buried. 50/50 (near enough) split on that. On the plus side it must be said that all were prepared to give Boyd the benefit of the doubt and would need but a little encouragement to become ‘believers’.

One thing not properly understood is why CASA Legal need a boost? The bald statement made in the media could do with a little more ‘expansion’. There must be a reason for the call – but it puzzles many. “Please explain” and more information requested and required.

The ‘other’ Alphabet groups – outside of the TAAAF sphere got a mention. Some have the same ‘credibility’ problem – but the TAAAF proposal is sound and has merit. It’s time for unity; everyone associated with aviation – everyone – (not to mention the nation) will benefit should the proposed changes come to fruition.

TAAAF have enough clout and credibility to ween the next minister off the CASA tit and separate him from flawed advice. With the whole support of industry –who knows; perhaps there is a light at the end of a long dark tunnel. That’s it; handing over.

NOT going to happen!

There is a fairly well supported ‘rumour’ floating about which attempts to pave the way for the inevitable Carmody departure ( hallelujah) from the top job in CASA; but also tests the waters to see what response industry has to the idea that ‘Crawford’ – being heavily ‘groomed’ by the Department mandarins can actually take over – seamlessly; as the DoI etc 'man'.  

See – HERE – as the games opening gambits are played. OR Here:-

CASA acting chief Graeme Crawford hits back over reform claims

CASA chief Graeme Crawford said he could not fix the broader economic and social changes that have hit general aviation.

The Civil Aviation Safety Authority has defended its actions amid mounting criticism that overzealous regulation is killing Australia’s general ­aviation sector, rejecting claims it fails to consider the effect of costs on businesses when it sets the rules.

As The Australian revealed that Deputy Prime Minister ­Michael McCormack had halted a reform plan aimed at cutting costs, CASA acting chief executive Graeme Crawford told operators the regulator wanted solutions that were practical while also addressing safety risks.

Industry experts, including aviation veteran Dick Smith, have claimed that general aviation in Australia — which includes charter and private operations, flight training, maintenance and emergency medical services — is in crisis because of onerous and costly red tape.

But Mr Crawford said CASA could not fix the broader economic and social changes that have hit general aviation.

“Implicit in this debate is the suggestion by some people that CASA does not support a sustainable and viable general aviation sector,’’ he said in a briefing note.

“I would like to assure everyone this is simply not true. There is no CASA agenda against general aviation and we regard the sector as a vital component of the national aviation community.

“Many of CASA’s staff are participants in general aviation, or started their careers in the sector, and have a practical understanding of the issues and challenges the sector faces.”

The Australian reported yesterday that Mr McCormack had killed off a plan — endorsed by Barnaby Joyce in his final days in cabinet in February — to remove a key part of the Civil Aviation Act that requires CASA to ­“regard safety as the most important consideration”.

The changes, backed by opposition transport spokesman ­Anthony Albanese, instead would have required CASA to ­balance the “highest level of safety in air navigation” with the need for “an efficient and sustainable Australian aviation industry”.

Mr Smith, a former CASA chairman, said Mr Joyce was the only Coalition transport minister in the past 20 years to agree to ­reforms that would cut the regulatory burden on the industry without putting lives at risk.

He accused the others, including former deputy prime minister John Anderson, of being ­hostage to CASA and other ­bureaucrats who had introduced “gold-­plated” regulations with no consideration for the industry’s crippling costs.

Mr Anderson yesterday accused Mr Smith of ignoring his own failings.

“Mr Smith might reflect a little on the fact that both Labor and the Coalition gave him the chance to reform CASA as chairman,” he said. “Labor sacked him, and when I was minister he lost the confidence of his own board.

“I bent over backwards to try to deliver an efficient aviation sector. I have to say that Mr Smith made this harder, not easier.

Now that the DoI etc. has actually taken ‘T’ for transport back into it’s clammy grasp, they actually believe that they can ‘select’ a CASA CEO who suits ‘em. News flashit AIN’T gonna happen. End of. They know why; and, they know exactly who will tell ‘em to bugger off if they try to work Crawford into the top job.

We have all seen this subtle, almost Machiavellian type of operation before; spotted it early – when Carmody was champing at the bit and parachuted in -  for example. Why; well it seems Skidmore was a do-er’ and wanted to get CASA into the real world. Looking back, although nothing we could do would change it; the unions and the Iron Ring and the Department decided he had to go. Feel bad now about bagging him – but he did wear the world’s worst ties.

A fair warning – in advance – gratis. Crawford in so unacceptable, in so many ways that the Do-do will really hit the windmill if the department even try to anoint Crawford. Consider one thing only – the repeated refusal to hire Mike Smith (ex 2IC CASA) was based on ‘certain’ parameters – of which Smith qualified in 9 out of ten. Crawford is batting at 1 hoping for 2. The mathematics just don’t stack up – do they' and, I can't see Qantas cheering on the sidelines.

Forget about it, if old mate Murky (we miss him) was running show (properly) this would never have been ‘in the wind’ and it would never happen. There, my 'civic' duty done. Before we raise Hell.

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Sandy comment to - Via the Oz:   Wink

Quote:PM’s bid to curb union power, fire up business



12:00AM JUNE 24, 2019

[Image: 0c83eda3eb22ba4bb526c5e738a569e7?width=650]

Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Scott Morrison will launch a ­renewed offensive on union militancy as an economic imperative while calling on Australian workers to help refuel the economy by spending their tax cuts of up to $1080 amid central bank warnings of slowing growth.

In his first domestic speech since the election, the Prime Minister will today intensify pressure on Labor leader Anthony Albanese ahead of a shadow cabinet meeting expected to thrash out Labor’s position on whether to back the $158 billion tax package.

It comes as former union boss and co-architect of the modern economy Bill Kelty rejected Labor’s tax agenda and backed the Coalition’s move to lower the top rates of personal income tax while calling on both sides to tackle further reform, including broadening the tax base.

“I support much, much lower personal income tax rates and marginal rates across the board, including the top. A top marginal rate of 50 per cent is just crazy,” he told The Australian.

Further calls from within Labor circles to accept the government’s mandate came yesterday from another former union boss and Labor cabinet minister, Martin Ferguson, who said the issue had been debated for a year and had now been decided by voters.

Addressing the WA business chamber today, Mr Morrison will reveal he asked his new ­Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter to conduct a fresh review of the system to examine barriers to economic gains.

The Prime Minister has also ­issued a second challenge to Labor to also pass stalled workplace reforms dealing with union corruption and industrial militancy which Mr Morrison has said he would make a priority when parliament returns.

With the Reserve Bank warning fiscal stimulus is needed on top of monetary policy, Mr Morrison has also flagged a second wave of deregulation to accelerate investment and fuel jobs growth. “Our job post-election is now very clear — to get Australians off the economic sidelines and on the field again,” Mr Morrison will say according a draft of his first domestic address since the election.

“First, how we will get things moving by lowering taxes, sharpening the incentives to work and invest, and get infrastructure projects under way.

“Secondly, provoking the ‘animal spirits’ in our economy by ­removing regulatory and bureaucratic barriers to businesses investing and creating more jobs.

“And thirdly, boosting the economy’s long-term growth ­potential by unlocking greater economic dynamism and productivity by lifting our skills capabilities and driving uptake of new digital technologies to promote innovation and competition in our financial system.”

Labor Treasury spokesman Jim Chalmers yesterday softened his language ahead of today’s shadow cabinet meeting, claiming there would be more “internal consultation” before a decision was made. But he said with parliament not due to return until next week, there was “no rush”.

The Australian, however, has been told by several senior Labor MPs that they were expecting a position would be set today following intensifying pressure from backbench MPs who claim they were being left with the task of ­explaining to constituents why Labor was rejecting tax cuts.

Mr Morrison will say in his speech: “Labor’s high-taxing ­agenda has now been rejected at two successive elections. The fact Labor are having to be dragged kicking and screaming, putting up one excuse and ruse after another, shows they simply don’t understand that when you find yourself in a hole, you should stop digging.

“Our proposed tax relief doesn’t just have a strong political mandate. It has a compelling policy rationale.”

Mr Morrison will say investment crucial to growth also needs to be protected “from the impact of militant unions”.

The union/Labor dynamic of today, in the wake of the Setka scandal, was a “very far cry from the balanced relationship of the Hawke-Crean-Kelty alliance of the past,” Mr Morrison says.

“When we’re back in parliament next week, another of our priorities is to introduce laws to give greater powers to deal with registered organisations and officials who regularly break the law, prohibit officials who are not fit and proper persons from holding office, and stop the rorting of worker entitlement funds.”

Mr Kelty, who was the co-­architect of the Hawke-Keating government’s 1980s economic ­accord as ACTU secretary, told The Australian that neither side of politics was tackling real tax reform but supported the government’s agenda of driving down income tax rates.

“We have to look back at the Hawke-Keating tax reforms and even the Howard reforms. We need a broader base of taxation,” he said. “There has to be a tax system for the future and draw a line under the two systems. You can either have much, much lower personal income taxes or the concessions — capital gains tax, negative gearing. The government’s plan is not tax reform … it advantages some groups and disadvantages others. Labor’s plan before the election was not real tax reform either.

“Both parties are taking the right steps … I think there needs to be proper consideration of this (tax package by Labor) and we need to actually reform the tax system completely.”

Mr Ferguson, a former ACTU president, called on his own party to move out of the way of the ­Coalition’s tax plans.

The government wants the tax package passed by July 4 to deliver the maximum benefits of $1080 under its first stage.

Now the chair of Tourism ­Accommodation Australia, Mr Ferguson said more than one million workers in the tourism and hospitality sectors would receive immediate tax relief.

“For Australia’s accommodation and tourism businesses to secure growth from increased domestic spending, it is critical that Australians are able to keep more of their own money,” he said.

“Passing the whole of the government’s tax cuts will help everyone — from the businesses who rely on people feeling confident to spend more, right through to the hundreds of thousands workers in the hotel industry who will receive immediate income tax relief.

“We have had a long and comprehensive national debate about the proposed income tax cuts, including a federal election where the government was returned to office with an increased majority. It is now time for the parliament to pass the necessary legislation.”

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, speaking from Berlin where he is in negotiations over a EU free-trade agreement, continued his attack on Labor’s refusal to so far support the bill.

“It is very important for Jim Chalmers to understand that we won’t split the bill giving effect to our plan,” he said.
“Our first priority is tax cuts for low-income earners, but Australia needs our entire plan ­legislated.”
Sandy in reply:


“Secondly, provoking the ‘animal spirits’ in our economy by ­removing regulatory and bureaucratic barriers to businesses investing and creating more jobs.“

This will cut no ice with the few thousands left in the General Aviation (GA) industry which has been devastated by years of Parliamentary neglect while the independent corporate regulator has run amuck with the worst, most expensive and unworkable rules rewrite, still not finished after 32 years. 

The National Party has had the Ministerial portfolio throughout the many years of Coalition Government but those ministers abrogated their responsibilities and allowed the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to feather it’s own nest without regard to the reasonable aspirations of aviation minded Australians. Thus the loss of hundreds of flying schools and maintenance businesses and the importing of airline pilots. CASA has imposed swinging operational fees for all sorts of unnecessary permissions and whole miserable bureaucratic paraphernalia is supported by Parliament. 

Parliament having rubber stamped the wholesale migration of what used to be (appropriately) civil aviation law into the criminal code with strict liability and huge penalties for even the slightest and most innocuous infringements, many of which supposed criminal acts don’t ever rate a mention in the most mature and successful GA industry, that of the USA where increasingly Australians are heading for their flying training. 

Incumbent since the demise of Barnaby Joyce, Minister for Transport Michael MacCormack talks but does nothing. ScoMo and the Libs have no way to force reform for fear of upsetting their socialist partner, the Nationals. 

MTF...P2  Tongue

[Image: EAPx4XeU0AEncDu?format=jpg&name=small]

(06-24-2019, 10:59 PM)Peetwo Wrote:  Sandy comment to - Via the Oz:   Wink



“Secondly, provoking the ‘animal spirits’ in our economy by ­removing regulatory and bureaucratic barriers to businesses investing and creating more jobs.“

This will cut no ice with the few thousands left in the General Aviation (GA) industry which has been devastated by years of Parliamentary neglect while the independent corporate regulator has run amuck with the worst, most expensive and unworkable rules rewrite, still not finished after 32 years. 

The National Party has had the Ministerial portfolio throughout the many years of Coalition Government but those ministers abrogated their responsibilities and allowed the Civil Aviation Safety Authority (CASA) to feather it’s own nest without regard to the reasonable aspirations of aviation minded Australians. Thus the loss of hundreds of flying schools and maintenance businesses and the importing of airline pilots. CASA has imposed swinging operational fees for all sorts of unnecessary permissions and whole miserable bureaucratic paraphernalia is supported by Parliament. 

Parliament having rubber stamped the wholesale migration of what used to be (appropriately) civil aviation law into the criminal code with strict liability and huge penalties for even the slightest and most innocuous infringements, many of which supposed criminal acts don’t ever rate a mention in the most mature and successful GA industry, that of the USA where increasingly Australians are heading for their flying training. 

Incumbent since the demise of Barnaby Joyce, Minister for Transport Michael MacCormack talks but does nothing. ScoMo and the Libs have no way to force reform for fear of upsetting their socialist partner, the Nationals. 

Laura tingle does a footnote to Sandy's comment... Wink

LT via ABC News:

Quote:Scott Morrison has the public service and accountability in his sights, but what's behind the rhetoric?
By Laura Tingle

Posted about 4 hours ago

[Image: 11351742-3x2-700x467.jpg]
PHOTO: Will Scott Morrison's push for greater accountability include ministers as well? (ABC News: Luke Stephenson)

Five days after the May election, cameras were invited into the Cabinet Room at Parliament House to document a meeting of newly re-elected Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack with the heads of their departments.

"A big part of the way I intend to direct over the next three years," the Prime Minister said, "is there will be very clear targets about performance levels we expect from the delivery of the public service: that Australians should expect to see things turned around quickly; that investors that are looking to invest in Australia, the blockages that often frustrate them, they will be dealt with.

"I want to see some congestion-busting in the bureaucracy, ensuring that we get things done. So when your ministers are appointed and you sit down with them, you can expect them to have very clear views about the direction that the Government will be taking."

There was also talk, among the rhetoric about congestion busting and a new way of delivering services to the public, of making ministers and public servants more accountable.

Someone who won't be staying around to oversee those changes — whatever they actually mean in practice — is Australia's most senior bureaucrat, Martin Parkinson.

 Scott Morrison appoints former chief of staff to head department (ABC News)

Hard yakka in the PM&C

The secretary of the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet will leave his job on August 30, a few months before his fixed term contract is due to expire.

Drafted back to Canberra in 2015 by Malcolm Turnbull when Tony Abbott was toppled, Dr Parkinson never saw the PM&C job as a long-term proposition, whoever was prime minister, or whoever won the election.
The job he had really loved was as secretary to the Treasury, the job he held when Mr Abbott had become prime minister in 2013.

In punishment for his association with Labor's climate change policy, Dr Parkinson (along with a number of department chiefs) was told his services would no longer be required by the incoming prime minister, though in Dr Parkinson's case, he would stay on in the job for more than a year overseeing Australia's preparations for the G20 meeting in Brisbane.

There was no doubt some satisfaction, when Mr Turnbull called him up, in being able to come back and finish his public service career on a better note.

But the PM&C job is hard yakka for anyone: rather than making and implementing policy as you might do in Treasury, the head of the Prime Minister's Department is most often involved in cleaning up the daily political road kill.

You do, of course, have the ear of the prime minister, and an over-arching view of what the public service is doing.

So there is probably no-one with a better idea of what the Prime Minister has in mind behind the congestion-busting rhetoric.

 Martin Parkinson retires from public service (7.30)

Can't avoid the A-word

Dr Parkinson saw going earlier rather than later a sensible move, given he didn't want to hang about for another full parliamentary term. But he is a keen supporter of the Prime Minister's message.

Asked in an interview for 7.30 this week what the Prime Minister meant when he spoke of making bureaucrats more accountable, Dr Parkinson told me:

Quote:"I think what he means is that unless there are clear lines of accountability, as in who is responsible for doing what, no-one is accountable, and sometimes accountability gets blurred.

"He has got a very clear focus on wanting to achieve the delivery of a whole range of his priorities through this term and he wants clearly measurable and reportable metrics.

"That will create a focus for his ministers on what they need to deliver and in turn that will create a focus for secretaries and departments on what they've got to deliver.

"So I personally think it's a very good initiative."

This might sound just a little bit obvious. But it seems the lines of accountability have got a bit lost in recent times in the public service.

More important, though, is the question of whether they have become more lost than the ones involving ministerial accountability and responsibility.

Asked whether he believed the Prime Minister's ambition was also to make ministers more accountable in future, Dr Parkinson said:

Quote:"Oh I think so. If you look at Prime Minister Morrison, I think he is attempting to run a cabinet government that is much more akin to that of Bob Hawke and John Howard, and if you recall they both had a very clear focus on what is the role of the minister."

It seems almost an old-fashioned notion these days, but the role of a minister used to be to be accountable for what happened in his portfolio. If there was a stuff-up, he or she was accountable to the parliament, and responsible for it to voters.

Ministers would sometimes actually resign over things that had gone wrong in their portfolio. (Yes, quaint, isn't it?)

Ministers felt an obligation to actually answer questions about their portfolios in the parliament, rather than just subject us to a load of political drivel and avoid the answer.

Equally, since Question Time started to be televised in the 1990s, oppositions have ramped up the political embellishments on their questions to ministers in the hope that these would get on the nightly news, which they rarely did.

A change is coming to QT

If the Prime Minister is trying to change the dynamics of accountability of the public service, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese is also trying to change the dynamics of Question Time.

Gone are the long-winded political statements dressed as questions and mostly directed at the Prime Minister. This week, it was Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor in Labor's sights, with short, very specific questions seeking information.

First, the Opposition went after the Government's assertions about emissions reduction. But it spent much of the week probing the Minister's connection to a company called Jam Land.

Labor claims Mr Taylor breached ministerial standards by failing to properly declare his indirect part-ownership in the company, which is being investigated for alleged illegal land clearing after 30 hectares of critically endangered grasslands were allegedly poisoned.

It wants to know if Mr Taylor disclosed his stake in Jam Land during a meeting with Environment Department officials in 2017 into rules protecting grasslands at the same time the investigations into land clearing were underway.

[Image: 10247600-3x2-700x467.jpg]

 Labor claims Mr Taylor breached ministerial standards. (ABC News: Jake Evans)

Mr Taylor repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and accused the Opposition of mounting a "grubby smear campaign".

Labor's Terri Butler observed that "the Minister now oversees the department that is investigating alleged poisoning on land that he part-owns".

As lines of accountability and responsibility go, this would seem very blurred. Just as well the Prime Minister is on the case.

Laura Tingle is 7.30's chief political correspondent.

MTF...P2  Tongue

Great to hear, even just a recognition, from anyone connected to government about reform of Question Time (QT). Alice Workman in the Oz touched on the subject a few days ago which prompted the following:-

“Younger Australians might be surprised to know that the term ‘Question Time’ was once a true description of time set aside for honourable House business. It was not a time for time wasting jibes, theatre or entertainment. ‘Dorothy Dixers,’ or otherwise pre-arranged, spurious or frivolous statements posing as questions were tolerated on occasion, but most questions were genuine and particular. Questions were often incisive and shone light on particular failings of government Departments as they impacted individuals, and were directed to the Ministers involved from any backbencher. In other words Representatives actually lived up to their job description irrespective of Party affiliation, sometimes embarrassingly to the Minister and Government of the day. Parliamentarians may wonder why there’s little respect for governments these days and then ask themselves if they conduct House business honestly in a workman like manner. Thank you Alice.

Doc Gates on free speech and the 4th Estate -  Rolleyes

The following is a submission from Doc Gates to yet another self-serving politically bi-partisaned, tick-a-box parliamentary inquiry (see HERE & HERE for submissions), which IMO totally nails it when it comes to the consistent erosion of the Australian democratic processes... Wink 
Quote:Inquiry into the impact of the exercise of law enforcement

and intelligence powers on the freedom of the press

Terms of Reference: b,c,d

1. I write this submission as an Australian citizen deeply concerned about the growth and
implementation of ‘security’ legislation which is supposed to be looking after ‘the public
interest’1 when clearly it is not2. Rather, it is being used to induce a ‘chilling effect’3 on the
Fourth Estate and those willing to come forward to disclose wrongdoing such as
whistleblowers. The recent oppressive, coincidental Australian Federal Police raids on the
ABC4 and a journalist5 from a private sector media organisation, the suppression order on
Witness K and Bernard Collaery6 preventing public disclosure of a non-security matter
regarding public interests, private companies, and embarrassing government involvement
which should be in the public view7, and the Richard Boyle ATO case8 are but a few examples
of the intimidatory effect of exercise of the current security legislation regime.

2. There has been a short time for public submission on the impact of the exercise of law
enforcement and intelligence powers on freedom of the press, and for a report on what is a
very complex issue involving inter alia many pieces of pertinent legislation, The Fourth Estate,
government departments, public and private organisations, and legal cases, some of them in
the public view and others hidden from public view by proscriptive legislation and government
decision making. In my view there is not sufficient time given to address this critical issue
thoroughly, to give it the attention it deserves. It might easily be concluded that this Inquiry
is nothing more than a sop to the public to give impression of doing something while in reality
nothing will be done except tightening the grip of a security agenda for political control by an
incumbent government.

3. I note that nowhere in the Terms of Reference is mention made of matters relating to
whistleblowers who play a crucial role in bringing matters to public attention frequently via
the press because safeguarding/reporting mechanisms enshrined in
legislation9/regulation/policy/mechanisms to deal with government ‘misbehaviour’ have
failed or are weak or too proscriptive, and the agencies themselves charged with public
oversight and investigation have also failed [for reasons not elaborated here]. Frequently,
whistleblowers are the ‘canaries-in-the-mine’ which tell us that the current system is not

4. Whistleblowers and the Fourth Estate play a critical role in a healthy democracy and their
capacity to function must be protected and not impaired by inappropriate law, political or
administrative process10. Any inquiry must also include consideration of the role of the
whistleblower-press nexus and current inadequate protections for whistleblowers
notwithstanding recent changes to corporate whistleblower protections11.

1 https://www.alrc.gov.au/publications/8-b...c-interest
2 https://mumbrella.com.au/four-laws-that-...essfreedom-
3 https://definitions.uslegal.com/c/chilling-effect/
4 https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-07-15/a...m/11309810
5 https://www.sbs.com.au/news/world-media-...ournalists
6 http://ilareporter.org.au/2018/08/the-pr...ndregional-
7 McGrath, K. (2017). Crossing the line. Australia’s secret history in the Timor Sea. Redback.
8 https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-06-03/a...romstress/
9 Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (PID Act).

5. The current Inquiry into the impact of the exercise of law enforcement and intelligence
powers on the freedom of the press should be referred to a Royal Commission for
investigation and report because the current Committee has a ‘conflict of interest’
notwithstanding its remit under Part 4 section 29 (1)(b)(ia) of the Intelligence Services Act
2001 to review any matter in relation to ASIO, ASIS, AGO, DIO, ASD or ONA referred to the
Committee by the Attorney-General…”.

The conflict of interest relates to the fact that the membership of the Committee consists only
of representatives of the Coalition government and the Labor Party. Schedule 1 Part 3
Administration Section 14 (5) of the Intelligence Services Act 2001 states that “In nominating
the members [of the Committee], the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Government in the
Senate must have regard [emphasis mine] to the desirability of ensuring that the composition
of the Committee reflects the representation of recognised political parties.” In my view the
Prime Minister and Leader of the Government in the Senate have failed to appoint a
‘representative’ Committee. As it presently stands the Committee is made up of members of
an incumbent government and Opposition, both responsible for the current oppressive
legislation; they have a vested interest in the legislation. From a public perspective this is
equivalent to asking the fox and his mates to review rules regarding henhouse security, which
begs the question whose interests are being served and does it include the public interest?

The public perspective is critical to trust in government12. As it presently stands it looks as if
political self-interest is central to this Inquiry: The government was forced to put in place
some form of mechanism to diffuse the public clamour about the coincidental AFP raids
described earlier, and so chose a mechanism which could be controlled easily through
majority membership on the Inquiry Committee defined by legislation13, and minority ‘metoo’
Labor who could easily be ‘wedged’ politically because of prior legislative history and risk
of being defined as ‘soft on security’ should they oppose the majority. Nowhere is there
representation from other officially- recognised political parties. In effect the current Inquiry
is a populist offering for a closed political system with the major political parties the
beneficiaries. While the government admitted that they ‘got the balance wrong’ between the
press and security in their Terms of Reference for the Inquiry (it’s always good to have a public
mea culpa to take the sting out of the adverse publicity) it made a choice here to stack the
Committee in their favour when it could have chosen more wisely to deal with the public
perception and to engage in a genuine investigation. The mea culpa is a distraction. There is
nothing in the current Inquiry which gives comfort to the notion of a genuine process with the
Public Interest being served. This is a bipartisan inquiry of necessity to save political skin and
normalise the ascendancy of fear and control as an essential part of the incumbent
government’s view of democracy, a place it does not deserve.

10 Martin, B. (15 July, 2019). Government betrays much needed whistleblowers. The Australian.
11 https://asic.gov.au/about-asic/news-cent...rcorporate-
12 Smith, K. (2018). Ken Smith: how to restore public trust in government. The Mandarin,
13 Committee on Intelligence Part 4 section 28(3) “A majority of the Committee’s members must be
Government members”.

6. Transparency and accountability and trust at all levels of government, and appropriate law
and contingent regulation protecting The Public Interest, are essential to a robust, healthy

7. The Fourth Estate plays a critical role in a healthy democracy and its capacity to function must
be protected and not impaired by inappropriate law, political or administrative process
notwithstanding the fact that the ‘human nature’ also colours the actions and purposes and
performance of the Fourth Estate. Like the rest of all human endeavour it is not perfect.

8. Legislation, policy and administrative processes are also not perfect and may be devised
and/or captured for purposes other than the public interest and to the detriment of society,
and that includes institutional safeguards. In all institutions, including government, there is
always a tension between human nature as it ought to be and human nature as it so often is14.
It requires ongoing review and amendment and adjustment. Such is the case with the matters
being considered in the current Inquiry.

9. Legislation, policy and administrative processes would be better informed by critical reference
to empirical evidence from the Sciences including the Behaviour Sciences which deal with the
vagaries of the ‘human condition’ which can be complex and unpredictable15. Indeed,
outgoing Prime Minister’s departmental secretary Martin Parkinson encouraged his staff to
“… be resolutely committed to advocating for truly evidence-based policy”16.

However, there is no evidence that the current Inquiry will examine how human nature, or
the human condition informs the current debate over Freedom of the Press and Law
Enforcement and with the recent changes in the bureaucracy there is no guarantee that any
attention will be given to evidence-based policy whatsoever17. In my view only a Royal
Commission and concomitant Amicus Curiae on human behaviour as it relates to mechanisms
for protecting the public interest beyond legal prescription is critical to an effective and robust
public interest outcome.

In view of the increasing politicisation of the bureaucracy, the Amicus Curiae should include
review of current opaque senior public servant appointment processes and contractual
arrangements to assure the public that there is a genuine arms-length appointments process
and that the senior public service is arms-length and independent in its provision of advice
and action to the political arm of government. The AFP raids on the Press and responses to
public criticism by both the AFP and their political masters and that it was somehow an
independent process, was unconvincing and requires further scrutiny at both an informal and
contractual level. Such scrutiny must be through the lens of the Behavioural Sciences which
bring some discipline to understanding and mechanism.

14 Trigg, R. (2005). Morality Matters. Blackwell, Carlton,
15 Gates, G.R. & Cooksey, R.W. (1996). Karpin and Hilmer: classic cases of ‘It seemed like a good idea at the
time’. Journal Small Enterprise Research, Vol. 4.
16 Grattan, M. (25 July, 2019). Grattan on Friday: Morrison finds some cats defy herding. The Conversation.
17 https://

Concluding Remarks

The current Inquiry into the exercise of law enforcement and intelligence powers on freedom
of the press is not independent with the majority of Committee members coming from the
incumbent government, and Labor party representation making up the rest. Both parties
have vested political interests in the current matter. Because of this conflict of interest and
complexity of the issues involved, the matter should be referred to an independent Royal
Commission for further investigation with the findings of that Commission to be informed by
an Amicus Curiae into the human factors which are at play in such a complex environment.
Democracy is dependent on a Free Press and protection of those who speak truth to power
such as whistleblowers. This critical issue deserves better attention than the standard
‘Hallmark’ short Inquiry with a short reporting time frame run by politicians with a clear
conflict of interest and political agenda.

Associate Professor G. Richard Gates, MSc., PhD

Former Director, MBA and Professional Practice Development Programs at an Australian
University (retired).

25 July 2019

MTF...P2  Tongue

Sham, Shambles and Schtum.

A twiddle; of no import at all.

Reading through Doc. Gates very good, logical submission, one is left to wonder why government and their agency’s are so concerned about the tax paying citizens getting the truth about this and that; or at least the media’s version of that truth. Mind you, the ‘way’ the media handle a story often leaves an even greater credibility gap than the ‘official’ version; I’ve never read one media report into an air accident that was not the biggest load of tosh.

But, government must have its secrets; these may range from the latest military science to the bonking of a secretary by a minister. Some of these secrets must, and should be made public. For others, which directly affect national wellbeing etc. there is a case supporting a shroud of secrecy. However, there is not an open system in which the public may be represented; i.e. privy to and part of the decision making process regarding what may or may not be scrutinised. The Hoi Polloi must rely on the mandarins to make those decisions, which is fair enough – provided said mandarins are working in the best interests of the nation.

There is no democratic process which allows Joe Public to have a say in who actually runs the country; non whatsoever. We may have a limited power to select a government but there is no public control over who runs the nation – absolutely non. Yet there resides the true seat of real power; isolated, independent and beyond the reach of any man. History consistently proves this lesson, but for proof positive, just watch any Estimates video; or, examine the results of any ‘inquiry’. Sound and fury from the Pollys, signifying por nada. Sneering responses from mandarins as they treat inquiry with contempt, obfuscation and no discernible positive result. Such is life.. in a democracy.  

Occasionally, there is an escape of truth, someone with a conscience dares to speak out – immediately declared a ‘whistle-blower’ alongside a name change to Robinson Crusoe; for they stand alone – every time. You will never witness, for example, a whole department backing up a colleague on a matter of principal or public interest. Never, not ever throughout history has this happened; words like sedition, anarchy, treason and ‘state secret’ are used. The unfortunate ‘whistle blower’ now a pariah. Such is life.. in a democracy.

Without drawing too long a bow, you could parallel the system to any of the criminal organisations; ‘snitches get stitches’ or worse. The code of silence rules supreme, even seen as a badge of honour; a thing to be proud of, a thing on which a reputation may be built, even legend in some cases. At least the underworld is honest about their rules of engagement; there’s not too much bullshit floating about when it comes to keeping Schtum. No prissy confidentiality agreements in that world.

Apart from the elegance of the departmental system, I see very little difference between the local car stealing racket and the parliamentary system. Whistle Blowers need to consider their options. Or; as Grand Papa used say – engage brain before opening gob.

Toot – toot.

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