Public service independence under threat

There are growing concerns the independence of the public service is being compromised under the Palaszczuk-Gordon Government, with the reinstatement of an old Labor policy encouraging unionism.

A document titled “Queensland Government Commitment to Union Encouragement” covertly posted online last week by the Premier’s Department, instructs senior public servants to “actively cooperate” in union activity.

It even decries “passive acceptance” of membership recruitment, instead requiring agencies to “take a positive, supportive role” in the drive for union membership.

Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg questioned the government’s motives behind the directive and called on the Premier to explain why she failed to mention the policy before being elected.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk needs to level with Queenslanders on this one, particularly the public servants whose independence is being diminished by this document,” Mr Springborg said.

“I don’t think Queenslanders voted to allow union bosses to have access to the personal details of every new government employee and they certainly didn’t vote for union encouragement to be at the top of the Palaszczuk-Gordon Government’s agenda.

“In almost 100 days since the election, we’ve seen more evidence that the Palaszczuk-Government is working for union bosses, not Queenslanders.

“We’re yet to see the job creation, the debt reduction and integrity that Annastacia Palaszczuk promised at the election and it’s simply not good enough.”

Mr Springborg said it was no secret that Labor was supported by the union movement, but that didn’t mean it was appropriate for their political affiliation to spill into the independent public service.

“The independence of the Queensland public service must be upheld,” he said.

“There was no media or fanfare around the release of this policy like we’ve seen with the other ‘get-squares’ this Labor Government has rolled out against the former LNP Government.

“The Palaszczuk-Gordon Government wanted this directive to fly under the radar, which raises even more questions about the transparency and accountability of the Premier and her Labor team.

“Queenslanders deserve better than a sneaky Labor Government beholden to union bosses.”

 

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