The Tasmanian Greens have tabled in Parliament a formal call for a hold to be put on the flagged cuts to 821 full time equivalent (FTE) positions to provide for an independent review of the public sector, its capacity, and identification of key community services required, to be undertaken.
“The admission by successive government ministers when asked that they cannot guarantee the protection of frontline services within their respective departments is a major breach of faith with the Tasmanian people, and exposes how dangerous this slash and burn campaign by the Treasurer is,” Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson Kim Booth MP said.
“The Premier and the Treasurer have failed to do their groundwork regarding how these cuts will impact on the public sectors’ capacity to comply with their regulatory requirements, or to consult with the community over which services should be prioritised.”
“The Greens are calling for an independent and comprehensive review of the state’s public sector, the services provided and efficiency potentials to be undertaken, before there is any move by the government to start to axe their identified 821 FTE jobs.”
“Failure to ensure our public sector workforce has the capacity to comply with regulated requirements raises serious liability issues for workers and the government.”
“Inability to comply with legal obligations have serious consequences for workers in fields such as child protection where there are specific timeframes by which action must occur, as well as in sectors which deal with the vulnerable, in mental health and emergency services, to mention a few.”
“Given successive ministers failed to guarantee frontline services would not be impacted, further demonstrates why it is imperative that a proper comprehensive and independent review of the public sector is conducted immediately, to ensure that neither the community nor public sector workers are put at risk.”
“The proposed independent audit would be required to report back to Parliament by the end of the financial year. In the interim, the public sector unions’ proposal for a wage freeze, would still provide the necessary savings required under the State Budget 2014-15.”
“This is the responsible way to identify appropriate efficiencies and streamlining, foster innovation, and in a manner that involves both the public sector and the community in identifying the services they consider core and necessary.”
“It does not make sense to slash and burn before undertaking a comprehensive audit of current services, identifying the services the community needs and expects, and whether that correlates with public sector priorities and capacity.”
“There is no excuse for the arrogant and irresponsible approach by the Hodgman government for rejecting both the opportunity for good-faith negotiations with public sector unions, and the request for a root and branch review of the public sector and the services the community relies upon,” Mr Booth said.
Greens’ Proposed independent review of the public sector would require:
That prior any of the identified 821 FTE positions being culled, the Hodgman government immediately commissions an independent and comprehensive review of the Tasmanian State Service, and its delivery of services to the Tasmanian community;
This independent review is to include, but is not limited to,
A comprehensive audit of all regulatory requirements with which the public sector must comply;
Services required on behalf of the state government and tis agencies to fulfil their respective function, duties and responsibilities;
Services identified by the community as core services required;
Efficiency within the public sector;
A cost-benefit evaluation of alternative efficiency proposals, and impact upon capacity to deliver identified core community services;
Any other matters incidental;
And that this independent Review is to report to Parliament by the 30th of June 2015.