It’s heartbreaking that the Prime Minister, in response to my question in Parliament today, refused to rule out further job cuts in Hobart as a result of his so-called public service efficiency dividend.
And it was infuriating to hear the PM try and suggest the Government is growing CSIRO when it is suffering a substantial net loss of jobs this year, even before the Budget efficiency drive is factored in.
This makes a mockery of the Government’s 2014 planning to shift public service jobs from Canberra to places like Hobart.
Tasmania is already getting a raw deal in this Budget with continuing chronic underfunding of health and education and virtually no stimulus spending. A further round of public service job cuts will just make a bad situation worse and have a disproportionate impact in Hobart where the economy is smaller than Canberra and where the effect of job losses will be greater.
The federal public service is a big employer in Hobart through agencies such as the Department of Human Services and the Australian Taxation Office, all of which will have to shed jobs on account of these cuts.
Not only will these job cuts hurt the people involved and the local economy, they will also mean a poorer level of service for the public. For example, wait times at Centrelink remain far too long and cutting staff is not the way to fix the problem.