Monday 13 September 2010

Gillard's new line-up gives loads of promies, and many questions

When Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced her new Ministry that she said would deliver "a stronger, sustainable economy and better services for all Australians", you couldn't help think back just a few weeks ago, when a series of decisions under bother her, and former leader Kevin Rudd, failed miserably in that claim.

"The Ministry includes experienced members of her Labor team remaining in Cabinet positions to continue their outstanding work in the most senior portfolios," Gillard said "They will also work closely with the Independents and the Greens to deliver stable and effective government for all Australians for the next three years no matter where they live."

Wayne Swan will remain as Deputy PM and Treasurer to "bring the budget back into surplus by 2013."

"There are several new Ministers and Parliamentary Secretaries to bring would bring fresh ideas into the fold, creating a dynamic mix of enthusiasm, expertise and experience," Julia Gillard said. "The addition of new faces in the ministry reflects the depth of talent in the Parliamentary Labor Party and demonstrates that the Gillard Government can deliver stable and effective government for the next three years."

She says that the new Ministry will have a focus on "openness and transparency and on finding common ground both within the Parliament and in the community to improve our nation’s future."

Peter Garrett, who heading the disastrous home insulation scheme, that claimed four lives, gets what can only be called as a promotion. He's now overseeing the schools building programme. May his God help him.


Thaddeus said...

Garrett should have been demoted. He isn't any politician and he most certainly isn't a Minister.
It's a pity that Oakeshott could not be talked into a Ministerial portfolio.

Michael Hodgkins said...

Just a note to inform you of your obligation to report truth not conjecture and innuendo….
The four deaths associated with the failed insulation scheme are before the Work Place Health and Safety investigators then will have to go before the coroner for a judgement and recommendations. To blame a minister of the government for possible abuse and short-cuts to WPHS legislation associated with the installation of ‘pink bats’ by unscrupulous contractors is farcical. The original ‘bill’ called for the installation contracts to be taken up by large established businesses. The Liberal/Nationals amended the ‘bill’ to favour, and incorporate small (mostly new) operators to take advantage of the Government offer. So if any political blame need be appointed then the blame must lie with the opposition for instigating a regime where some unscrupulous operators played the system in a largely self-regulated scheme. Further it has not yet been proved beyond doubt that the problem lay with the installation and not with the original builder or electrical contractor or other.
As a couple of comparisons, if a person was unfortunately killed in a car accident while not wearing a seat belt (even though there is legislation which does not allow this practice), we do not suddenly blame the Transport Minister and ask for their resignation.
A friend of mine recently had a Government sponsored Solar Power System installed on their roof. The installation required attaching the Solar panels to the roof. During the installation the screws (bolts?) actually destroyed the wood panelling on the raked ceiling as they protruded into the room. Do they then blame the Government for destroying their ceiling? It was under a Government Scheme that this problem occurred, and following along on your simplistic thinking then the Government is responsible! I think not!
The media and the Opposition have a lot to answer for. The families of these unfortunate people who tragically lost their lives will have little or no closure until the courts have concluded their investigations, so for goodness sake give them room to grieve and try to remember that unless otherwise proven, these unfortunate deaths were what we used to call ACCIDENTS.
So in conclusion, I wish the courts would ban this type of trial by media at least till after it has been dealt with by the various judicial systems. May your God help you!
Michael (Mick) Hodgkins

Lillian at Yorkeys said...

Mick me old mate - four people are tragically dead. You can blame both Labor and in terms of the info you provided above, Liberal, for those deaths.
However, the legislation was proposed & passed, one would assume, by both the Reps & Senate, so you can then blame all the pollies in Canberra.
But, the sheme was administered by civil servant boffins in Canberra under the aegis of P. Garrett, who really should have remained a singer, as we now know.

I have always wondered why, re the insulation scheme, the whole affair became so complex. Surely it would have been simple to
a) Identify all service (insulation) providers who were licensed to install via the licensing bodies of the relevant State Government (eg. QBSA in Qld)
b) Ask them if they were interested in being a registered installer for the scheme
c) If so, give them all a provider number.
d) Potential customers would then contact the crew with the list of registered installers, & link them up with a couple, who could give quotes. Customer then chooses.
e) Installer comes & instals, without killing anyone, customer signs off on job, while remaining alive, & installer then asks Govt to reimburse them for the job.

Whether or not the Libs included a clause about being able to use the Dodgy Bros or similar, it was still up to the Labor crew, Garrett, & civil service bureaucrats to administer the scheme properly, so no deaths or dangerous situations occurred.

Alison Alloway said...

Lillian, you are correct. As a former long standing public servant, the whole scheme was very poorly administered. If I had been administering the scheme, I would have insisted at the very start that no home owner would be eligible unless they had firstly had their roofs checked for pest and termite infestation and secondly an electrical inspection with certificate. Incidentally, I had both undertaken as I was thinking of taking advantage of the home insulation program. However after the electrician said to me, "Your roof space is just too small...don't do it." I checked with another electrician who told me the same thing. "Put whirlygigs in your roof and paint the roof with anti-glare paint" he suggested.
I would also have insisted on a review period, a complaints procedure and quality assurance measures being incorporated into the scheme. Yes, sometimes we do need the red tape and bureaucracy!!

Lillian at Yorkeys said...

Thanks Alison for your comments - as I said above, I couldn't see why the scheme - or the BER scheme, for that matter - turned into such shemozzles, & dealthy ones at that, in the insulation context.
I agree that 'red tape' & bureaucracy need to implement assurance & quality controls, but to my despair, we see in Australia (& not only Australia) many situations where red tape does not produce positive outcomes, but rather, makes the process much more lengthy & costly, and in effect does not have the required outcomes in terms of effectiveness, quality control & safety - as with the insulation scheme.
I am sure there are good, honest & effective public servants out there, but it seems to me that we are presently suffering Death By Bureaucracy - where highly paid civil servants institute all sorts of rules & regulations, almost to keep themselves in a job. Unfortunately, many of the younger ones have come straight from uni with a degree, & have no knowledge of common sense, which then translates into unrealistic rules & regulations.
And further than that - we pay their wages for making our lives much more expensive & complicated.

Alison Alloway said...

Lillian, I couldn't agree with you more!! Immediately before I resigned from my last Department, I was at a meeting when a newcomer to the Department said....
"We have over 500 screens (on the PC) to use and over 30 software systems, that I can find so far...the amount of coding required to fill in these screens runs to tens of thousands individual can people possibly remember them all?"
Well, people couldn't, yet still the demands kept on coming from the IT section. New software programs being developed, trialled etc. On top of this was arriving screen after screen of emails with new instructions. We were literally deluged with them.
No-one was certain of anything; the stress levels were unimagineable.
Yes,a lot of the staff have "university degrees." Imagine if you would, a woman with an arts degree whose main body of academic work was studying the homosexual habits of Papua NewGuinea Highlanders in charge of a brand new Government program?
Do I need to say that the program failed because the woman didn't understand the charter of the program?