This morning I caught the end of a press conference where two ministers of the crown were in full melt-down. David Bradbury and Craig Emerson were falling over themselves to condemn the Liberal Party’s North Australia thought bubble. Unfortunately I can’t find a transcript.
As best I can work out from Bradbury and Emerson’s comments the North Australia proposal means that millions of low-wage migrants will be coming to Australia to take the jobs of western Sydney-siders who don’t currently live in northern Australia and who don’t want to live there anyway. I also gather the federal public service – who all seem to live in the western suburbs of Sydney – are all going to get sacked. But their jobs will be moved to northern Australia. It was that incoherent.
They kept emphasising that jobs would be relocated across the continent and people given Hobson’s choice; take a job in north Australia or lose your job.
I had the mental image of the defence force rounding up Sydney-siders and relocating them to the north. What rubbish. Both Bradbury and Emerson should be ashamed of themselves.
But what of the idea of decentralising government services? I recall that the previous Victorian Labor government did that. This is how The Age reported the move.
THE Transport Accident Commission is set to pay millions of dollars to entice its workers to move to Geelong, following a widely resisted State Government decision to relocate the company’s Melbourne headquarters.
TAC Minister John Lenders announced the week before Christmas that the commission, which has about 650 staff, would be moved to Geelong by 2009.
The move was branded a vote-buying exercise and angered TAC workers, many of whom said it would not be feasible for them to relocate. But The Age believes that in a deal to be put to workers tomorrow, employees who agree to the move will be offered $30,000 towards a new home. Stamp duty and legal fees will be paid, together with expenses such as school books and uniforms for families with children.
About half of the Transport Accident Commission’s 700 employees quit their positions as a result of the State Government’s controversial decision to relocate the TAC head office from the Melbourne CBD to Geelong.
But the organisation says the office relocation – the biggest ever undertaken by a Victorian government organisation – has been a success, with 161 employees buying homes in the Barwon area, and another 32 people looking to buy, now that the new Brougham Street office is open.