The things you learn reading the Human Rights Commission annual report

The report for 2013 is here.

On page 150 we get to see the staffing profile – 143 employees (of whom only 38 are male) – and the salary rank those individuals earn. More than half of the Commission are on salaries above $72,900. That is well above the median income for Australia. Over 90 per cent of the Human Rights Commission employees earns above the median wage.

AHRC staff profile 2013

I imagine Tim Wilson will be one of the statutory office holders. How much they are paid is reported on page 101 of the report.

AHRC staff senior salary 2013

So the top nine employees are the SES Band levels and the Statutory Office holders. Between them they earn $2.3 million (basic salary) out of a total salary and wages budget of $12.3 million. So 6.3 per cent of the employees take out 18.65 per cent of the total salary budget.

What else can we say about the salary and conditions of this organisation? Employee Benefits (salary + super + on costs and the like) came to $16,384,000. The federal government pumped in $17,979,000. So 91 per cent of all government expenditure earmarked for the AHRC is spent of salaries and wages and super (plus odds and ends). Another $6.9 million came from the sales of services and operating a sub-lease (Really?). So I reckon they have some $8.5 million to provide whatever it is that the AHRC actually does.

I don’t want to comment on the value of that $8.5 million (except to suggest that it is probably less than $8.5 million) but even in an accounting sense we the taxpayer are paying some $16 million in salaries to get $8.5 million of human rights programs.

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276 Responses to The things you learn reading the Human Rights Commission annual report

  1. C.L.

    143 employees (of whom only 38 are male)

    So it’s a sheltered workshop for leftist birds.

    What a surprise.

  2. jumpnmcar

    And don’t produce a damned thing.
    Axe it.

  3. Gab

    even in an accounting sense we the taxpayer are paying some $16 million in salaries to get $8.5 million of human rights programs.

    Sounds similar to Labor’s NDIS in that the admin will reap most of the benefits not the actual target clients.

  4. Rabz

    Sinc – they employ a lot of ‘lawyers’.

    To wage lawfare on the rest of an unwitting populace.

    I’m going to get them, to paraphrase Sonny Barger.

    Shut. It. Down.

    Fire. Them. All.

  5. Rabz

    we the taxpayer are paying some $16 million in salaries to get $8.5 million of human rights programs.

    Well, well, well, this is the nub of it, innit, Good Sir?

    The New Nomenklatura do know how to feather their own nests. That and destroying our society, it seems.

  6. C.L.

    No worries.

    The Liberal Party is fine with blowing $16 million employing Labor/Greens apparatchiks to do nothing – save wage war on Australian everyman – all day, year in/year out.

  7. Des Deskperson

    ‘So it’s a sheltered workshop for leftist birds.’

    I remember one particular HRC woman that I had to deal with a few years back. She was supporting the ‘right’ of a female employee in a public service regional office to bully and threaten her colleagues because that employee allegedly had a mental disability and to discipline her would have been discriminatory.

    This woman wore one of those grey lodden coats that were fashionable in the seventies, festooned with leftist political badges. Although it would have been unhelpful in progressing the case, it would have been within my rights to charge her with a breach of those elements of the APS Values and Code of Conduct that relate to displays of political partisanship in the workplace.

  8. Rabz

    Although it would have been unhelpful in progressing the case, it would have been within my rights to charge her with a breach of those elements of the APS Values and Code of Conduct that relate to displays of political partisanship in the workplace.

    FFS, Des, you’re such an idealist.

  9. Ant

    Sounds like a big fat year round junket for Lefties to park their lazy hides in nice air conditioned offices and badger the schlepps who stray out of the PC reservation.

  10. Rafe

    In addition to being an obscene waste of money it is probably like foreign aid to the Third World which does more harm than good for the ordinary people (as distinct from the privileged and corrupt few who get the money for their own use).

  11. Token

    How many women are employed in that place? I remember the crusade 20 or so years ago to get women to do more maths & sciences. What a great success that campaign was…

  12. Johno

    Only 38 out of 143 employees are male.

    That is a disgrace.

    Tim Wilson’s first priority must be to address this chronic gender imbalance.

    How on earth can the luvvies tolerate such a gross injustice under their noses. The Sex Discrimination Commissioner should be sacked immediately for gross negligence.

    George Brandis must act.

  13. jonah

    It highlights also how the exponential growth in govt is a result of legislators ingratiating themselves with “wimmin”. If it follows that big govt is inimical to freedom and thus dangerous, one must conclude that feminism itself is a totalitarian ideology. And that’s before discussing quaint little creations such as “family courts” and “intervention orders”, child stealing, arbitrary arrest, forced confessions and all the rest of the handiwork of the Fascist State.
    stephenbaskerville.net

  14. Ronaldo

    Thank you for this Sinc – your analysis may help to explain why the ‘Equal Opportunities’ was dropped from the name of this pointless organisation.

  15. Leigh Lowe

    Only 38 out of 143 employees are male.

    Yeah but, to be fair, I’ll bet a good proportion of the females would pass for blokes in the right light.

  16. H B Bear

    Yeah but, to be fair, I’ll bet a good proportion of the females would pass for blokes in the right light.

    And vice versa.

  17. Andrew of Randwick

    I know this analysis is simplistic – but it could be a base for further investigation.
    Assuming a pretty standard span of control of 7: you get 2 Bosses, 14 Managers, 98 workers = 114 total.
    So why does the salary pyramid not even come close to these ratios?
    Seems like there is a lot of 1 to 1 reporting, or too many managers not leveraging cheaper worker bees.

  18. 2dogs

    It must really suck to be that one APS 1 drudge in the HRC.

    I imagine all higher positions can be quite easily disposed of, leaving any actual work to the APS 1 peon. Probably do it quicker, too, without superiors micromanaging.

  19. Simon the skeptic

    $16.5 million for a $8.5 worth of product.

    Not a bad return for a quasi government organisation.

    All those employees would be on special tax breaks seeing as they are non profit too I bet

  20. A Lurker

    I had a look at that chart and I’m seeing way too many Queen Bees and only a handful of workers. Very top heavy for a workplace.

    Going by direct experience of working in a (State) Government office, I suspect the APS 1 and 3’s do the majority of the hard yakka in the office, whilst the higher ups get the big money for not that much effort.

    Personally the whole thing should be shut down, but if it were to remain I’d be reducing the number of most of those APS 6 and above bands to just a small handful, and instead employing more worker bees at the lower pay grades of APS 1, 2 & 3. Would save the Government rather a lot of money if they did that.

    If I were the Government, I’d be looking into previous appointments that seem to be too politically motivated (ie, jobs for Labor lawyers) and they’d be the first on the cutting room floor.

  21. Robert O.

    It probably should be shut down with a lot of other agencies, but if one were to do this there would be an enormous increase in unemployment of people who could do not do anything productive anyhow!

  22. I am the Walrus, koo koo k'choo

    Yes, Robert O.

    It’s just an expensive make-work scheme for otherwise unemployable holier-than-thou anti-enlightenment hippies.

    Shut it down, give its functions to a five-person unit in the Attorney-General’s department, and put the savings to work reducing the public debt, paying for equipment for the defence forces, etc.

  23. Rafe

    I would like to know precisely what all those people do, like an activity record in quarter hour segments for a typical day at the office.

    We did that for a week in our Drug Treatment Team in the state Dept of Health at a time when there was no money to actually develop services and almost 90% of time was Ministerial correspondence and briefs putting out fires, then when some money came through after the Drug Summit we got to spend 90% of time developing services.

  24. Mike of Marion

    What are the car and travel allowance lines?

  25. Des Deskperson

    ‘I would like to know precisely what all those people do, like an activity record in quarter hour segments for a typical day at the office.’

    Based on my knowledge of a similar complaints oriented stat authority, I suggest that the EL employees would be mainly complaint case workers, with the EL2s tackling the more, err, complex ones. Unlike Exec level staff in most line agencies, these people would have no financial, corporate or staff managing responsibilities and it would be interesting to know what targets, if any, they have to meet in terms of timeliness and effectiveness of complaint resolution.

    I suggest that the main work of the APS 6 staff is to support the Execs by organising case work, scheduling meetings and maintaining records, a doddle compared to the work of, say, an APS6 in a Centrelink office.

  26. too many chiefs & not enough Indians. sack the lot

  27. Econocrat

    The HRC’s Portfolio Budget Statement is here: http://www.ag.gov.au/Publications/Budgets/Budget2013-14/Documents/PBS%202013-14%20AHRC.PDF

    I think the easiest way to teach such parasites upon the public purse about how to find a 1 per cent saving across their $30 million + budget to fund Mr Wilson’s position is to first impose a 50 per cent unilateral cut, then let them negotiate backwards.

  28. And further to the articles in yesterday’s papers, surely the salaries of every single person there, represents money that could have been spent on some actual program or other? Which had to be cut, or forgotten, to pay them instead. Not just Tim’s.
    I’m more worried about the high proportion of morons than that of women..

  29. Econocrat

    Someone should ask the HRC (maybe at Estimates) to state the total budget, and number of staff, managed by each ‘Executive’, and the legislation administered, and delegations held by, each said ‘Executive’.

    I suspect the answers would be:
    a. none;
    b. none;
    c. none; and
    d. none.

  30. Tintarella di Luna

    Petticoat Rule or what?

  31. Tintarella di Luna

    143 employees 38 of whom are male, so many males and no men and 105 females and no women. No wonder the place is a grievance committee

  32. Tintarella di Luna

    And further to the articles in yesterday’s papers, surely the salaries of every single person there, represents money that could have been spent on some actual program or other?

    The history of the AHRC is interesting and includes the fact that its first Commissioner was gaoled for 2 years for falsely swearing a statutory declaration.

    In the 27 years its been running little children are being neglected, murdered, abused, exploited and variously fvcked up notwithstanding the kilos of legislation enacted to protect and care for them, that’s just one of the helpless group of citizens whose lives have not improved a jot since the HRC was established and of course there are many others in our society who are still on the margins and forgotten.

  33. Bruce of Gwandalan

    Forget the gender imbalance the charts say it all.
    A large ammount paid out.
    Nothing produced.
    Do away with the HRC and allocate the money saved to an area where it will produce something constructive.

  34. ChrisPer

    Dont forget that even assuming these people do what they purport to, the functions of the high paid ones are not managerial but ‘something else’, more like arbitrators. So manager/staff ratios probably should be skewed the way they are or even more so.

    This collection of PC Commissars awarded the National Coalition for Gun Control their Community Human Rights Award. However, evidence is that the noise their activists made in the media taught Martin Bryant how to do the massacre and what rewards would follow in media significance.

    http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=14495&page=0

  35. entropy

    I suggest that the main work of the APS 6 staff is to support the Execs by organising case work, scheduling meetings and maintaining records, a doddle compared to the work of, say, an APS6 in a Centrelink office.

    It would be a Doddle compared with mainstream policy areas too. But it is a mistake as many of you are doing to look at it in a hierarchical framework. I suspect that another part of APS 6 role would be to chase work for the HRC. As Des says most of the ELs would be lawyers and would only have a team for specific cases. There would be a few administrative ELs.
    That the CEO is only SES band 2, equivalent to an ED is lower than I expected. I imagined (unhappily) the job would be rated the equivalent of a departmental secretary/ director general. Interestingly though, the rate of pay for that SES 2 is not ED level pay, but would be about what a deputy director general in a large State department, or maybe a DG in a small department, would be paid.

  36. Luke

    Government of all levels are full of such examples of being female dominated. Yet you still from women (particularly those at the top when they speak at conference) about how hard done by women are.

    I remember sitting through one when Bligh was Premier and this female part-time DDG was claiming how females were naturally better at being managers and were discriminated against and had to deal with the glass ceiling. This at a time in QLD when the Premier, Governor, President of the appeals court, head of the DPP etc etc were all women!

  37. JohnA

    Leigh Lowe #1122062, posted on December 23, 2013 at 11:24 pm

    Only 38 out of 143 employees are male.

    Yeah but, to be fair, I’ll bet a good proportion of the females would pass for blokes in the right light.

    To paraphrase Mr Gilbert’s “Trial By Jury”, could they “very well pass for 43 in the dusk with the light behind (them)”?

    This is no mere wardrobe malfunction or nipslip, this is a most obscenely broad exposure of the public teat.

    Something must be done about it.

  38. struth

    These are the pure hypocrites we deal with.
    The dumb bastards that want to “occupy” everywhere and fight against the one percent should look carefully at Australia. Our public servants are the one percent here.
    As with all the public service when it comes to these social engineering departments, just the same as the aboriginal departments etc, these defenders of the down trodden are doing nothing more than feather their own nest while actually taking money off poorer people to do it.
    The PS employed in these departments, be it interfering with families, aboriginal activism, and the human rights commission, they are typically left wing in their hypocracy and deceit.
    We now are looking at the HRC, however all government departments are now safely in the hands of left wing public servants paying themselves a fortune. One, only one right wing guy gets put into one of these departments and they scream the house down. Now with Abbott carrying on the way he is, I think it’s quite safe to say, Australia is F….ked.

  39. Shut. It. Down.

    Fire. Them. All.

    Thank you.

    As you were.

  40. What Rabz said…

    It’s not like they’ll stop giving their advice.

  41. jupes

    And let’s not forget that most state governments duplicate the HRC’s ‘services’.

  42. Signs Kevin Rudd, Peter Garrett may be called before insulation inquiry as counsel …. Show us who received the hundreds of millions in bat loot with fake invoices , it must be recorded in the bank payments and you need ID to open accounts even fake accounts . now where have we heard of slush accounts before ???? Krudd worked for known offshore tax haven experts KPMG in 95 ……. Go hard mate, your in gov now …

  43. Bear Necessities

    Theres a lot of money in:

    Protecting the Worka.
    Protecting the human rights of the oppressed.

    I’ve got to find someone to protect so I can get in on the action.

  44. simon Says

    I always thought these people proclaimed that they have an “option for the poor”. They should show “solidarity” with the vast numbers of Australians struggling on more average wages by cutting their over inflated salaries to a ceiling of $150k max.

    As if!

    (NBN Co’s recently exposed>$200k+ salaries is a case in point. Note that at the same time they have exported Australian mapping etc jobs to india .)

    The Liberals won’t close the Commission down no matter how much we hope they will. I worry that Brandis et al won’t back Wilson when things get tough as we all know they will: to throw him in without a Plan and major back up would be immoral, so i can only hope they have thought it through. But the Liberals appointment of Snott Destroyer and Camonbert show a failure to understand the Left and its deep control of the bureaucracy and other organs of influence that control the Statist world we live in. So i have the view that this is a bit of tokenism and that time will show the Libs don’t have the understanding or stomach for the fight.

  45. JB5

    Not sure if this is even possible, but if I were Tim I’d say “cut my salary by $50,000 and put that towards whatever program”. The catch is, all the other staff – every one of them – have to take a similar pro rata cut to their salary. Put up or shut up….

    Obviously I’d prefer they scrap the entire thing of course.

  46. Boambee John

    1121985, Gab:

    “Sounds similar to Labor’s NDIS in that the admin will reap most of the benefits not the actual target clients.”

    The greatest beneficiaries of ALL social welfare programs are their administrators.

    When Tim Wilson starts at the HRC (or preferably before he starts), he should make three things clear:

    First, he is willing to debate all issues based on evidence, but not on assertion;

    Second, he will NOT be bullied into accepting ideas that are not supported by evidence, and lack merit; and

    Third, he will NOT accept a hostile work environment, particularly in a human rights organisation.

    38 male employees (27%): This sounds like a job for the Sex Discrimination Commissioner, the HRC needs an affirmative action program!

  47. R.B.

    [This comment is OT. I have moved it to an appropriate thread. Sinc]

  48. Des Deskperson

    Interesting to note that according to Australian Public Service Commission data, there were only three ongoing Indigenous employees in the HRC at 30 June 2013 and only 3 with a disability.

    That’s less than 3% for both categories, slightly better, perhaps, than the overall APS representation of these groups but still pretty poor for an organisation that supposed to be there for the poor and the marginalised, particularly when one of its key foci is disability rights.

  49. Glenis Batten

    The “quotas” seem rather out of whack to me. No wonder they don’t want a mere male i.e. Tim, coming in to spoil their daily hate sessions against Conservative thinkers.

    I don’t wish them a Merry Christmas.

  50. Brett_McS

    All government departments approach the point where they produce nothing but benefits for the employees (Mises, Bureaucracy). So people end up paying twice: once through taxes, and again if they actually want the service that the department ostensibly supplies.

    Although I’m all stocked up on human rights at the moment, thanks.

  51. Techno

    Wow. A diverse selection of truly independent thinkers here.

    The HRC isn’t an aid program, it isn’t buying boxes of food to hand out. Pretty much everything it does is either legal or information-programs. So basically salaries, printing and IT, with some external legal bills.

    I think you’ll find that most of the AFP’s budget is salary as well – does that mean we’re not getting real law enforcement from that money? That only the uniforms and bullets and cars count?

    The problem with the Wilson appointment isn’t that the HRC hasn’t got money – it’s that the money is already accounted for. They can’t just sack people to free up the cash – or rather they CAN, but it costs them (astonishing) time and money to do it, and this late in the budget cycle they’re not going to ever claw that up-front back again. Most departments and statutory bodies don’t have contingency funds just sitting around in boxes waiting for a minister to change his mind. It doesn’t work that way – they have to say what they’re going to do with the money before they get it, and then they’re committed.

    The only way the commission can find the half-million-and-the-rest that it’ll cost to actually house and pay and fly this guy around is to not cover external spending that it had intended to, but hadn’t signed up for yet, and that means programs have to go. Brandis knows that, but apparently nobody in the conservative press does.

    It’s truly depressing how little clue our nation’s wittering classes have about how government actually works. You’d think they’d get embarrassed after the first few times and just stop, but nope.

    The government doesn’t need a new commissioner to achieve its “free speech” agenda – all it needs to do is repeal 18c and make Andrew Bolt happy. That’s the extent of its “free speech” commitment (yep, sedition is staying folks, because the IPA doesn’t care about it. Nor defamation. “What?” I hear you say, “do you mean to say there’s more to free speech than that one court case?!?! We was DUPED!”).

    What this appointment says to me is that they’re not actually going to repeal 18c at all, and this is a crumb to feed the eventually-to-be-disappointed supporters. Wait and see 😉

  52. jupes

    I think you’ll find that most of the AFP’s budget is salary as well

    I think you’ll find you are wrong.

    It’s truly depressing how little clue our nation’s wittering classes have about how government actually works.

    Really? You’re depressed? Well I’m not trying to upset you further, but you’ll find most people here know exactly how the government actually works. It’s just that they don’t like it.

  53. Steady on. Not all lawyers are leftist parasites. Some are catfish.

  54. johanna

    Techno, I (and lots of other Cats, including fellow members of the Canberra Collective) know exactly how government works.

    When Labor appointed Tim Somethingorother as a Commissioner in the middle of a budget cycle, did they weep and wail and say they had to cut programs for “the children”? Nup, they cheered and found the money.

    That kind of flannel doesn’t work around here, pal.

  55. Brett_McS

    “The problem with the Wilson appointment isn’t that the HRC hasn’t got money”

    Yeh, sure. They’d welcome this new appointee with open arms if only the money were there!

    This appointment is probably a step toward abolishment of the commission – and it won’t be so much Tim Wilson himself doing the damage, it will be the other commissioners’ own (continued,) public, hysterical reaction to him that will undermine them. It can then be dismantled with no political cost.

  56. Sinclair Davidson

    Techno – so they’re having to cut staff and programs? Fantastic. Government is smaller already.

  57. Des Deskperson

    ‘So basically salaries, printing and IT, with some external legal bills. ‘

    Err, note quite; My experience with the HRC was that it always seemed to have plenty of money to splash about sending its people hither and thither to investigate grievances as well as generally promoting itself, so I checked the Financial statements in the Annual Report and there it was on page 88; $1.418 million for official travel in FY 2012-13, or about $1,200 per ongoing employee per annum!! It’s up by about $300,000 from FY 2011-12.

    Seems to be a lot of fat there, particularly in these days of teleconferencing and skype.

  58. Des Deskperson

    Johanna (4,22 pm) has nailed it!! Well said!!

  59. sabrina

    If these commissioners have any conscience, they will do their work for free. It seems they do part time work at multiples of full-time salary.
    HRC is a gravy train, it has been milked before with all political appointees, and nothing will change going forward it seems. Easy money attracts crooked paper shufflers of all persuasions. Brandis should abolish the HRC.

  60. Techno

    “When Labor appointed Tim Somethingorother as a Commissioner in the middle of a budget cycle, did they weep and wail and say they had to cut programs for “the children”? Nup, they cheered and found the money.”

    And so too will the Liberals. Quietly, I suspect.

    If, by your awkwardly phrased suggestion, you mean that the HRC “found the money” then no, it didn’t. Either the position existed already, the government allocated the funds for the position, or programs were cut. There aren’t any other possibilities – departments don’t have slushfunds, and they can’t print money.

  61. Techno

    “Johanna (4,22 pm) has nailed it!! Well said!!”

    So you seem to think. And somebody here tried to claim you guys understand how budgets work. Boom – tish.

  62. Techno

    “I think you’ll find you are wrong.”

    And you would be wrong. The AFP annual report is online. In 2013, their projected expenses total 1.36 billion, of which 827 million are employee benefits.

    http://www.afp.gov.au/media-centre/publications/~/media/afp/pdf/a/afp-annual-report-2012-2013.ashx

    Any other predictions?

  63. Techno

    “$1.418 million for official travel in FY 2012-13, or about $1,200 per ongoing employee per annum!!”

    A pretty small fraction, in other words. Believe it or not, not everything happens in Sydney. They’ve got a whole country to work for, and some of it is too far to walk.

  64. Techno

    “If these commissioners have any conscience, they will do their work for free”

    Why?

  65. Techno

    “Techno – so they’re having to cut staff and programs?”

    You didn’t read what I wrote, did you? Programs yes, staff no. Do you really think that’s an ideal outcome?

  66. Techno

    “This appointment is probably a step toward abolishment of the commission”

    Uh-huh. That’ll totally happen.

  67. johanna

    Techno – this site deserves a better class of troll.

    As Des mentioned, there is a massive travel budget which could be trimmed, for a start. You are either ignorant or deliberately ignoring the way that public sector budgets are constructed, if you imagine that “human rights” will go downhill because a new Commissioner has been appointed without an automatic increase in funding.

    Where were you when Tim Somethingorother was appointed without additional funding? How many human rights did that cost?

  68. Gab

    “This appointment is probably a step toward abolishment of the commission”

    One can only live in hope.

  69. Sinclair Davidson

    I did read what you wrote. I have other sources who talk about staff cuts.

  70. wreckage

    Techno, if you’ve only worked in government or big business bureaucracy, then you have no idea how budgets work. Nor how work gets done, nor how actual outcomes are achieved.

    Legal aid and education could be done by a room full of retrained bottom rung government employees with adequate IT support. Moreover, the wages spent employing impressive people to be impressive in order to shore up prestige could be used to hire MORE face-to-face bottom tier government employees with adequate IT support. The 2.6 million dollars that currently goes to establishing and maintaining prestige would buy an awful lot of call-center hours to actually engage with and help the individuals this circus is intended to help.

    It may be necessary to hire a human rights specialist from the law fraternity and a paralegal or three. If there is a backlog of actual legal processing, it could be farmed out to other legal firms, or additional modular additions of lawyer + support staff added. If there is a backlog of phone inquiries, more call-center staff could be added.

    This assumes that having an additional bureaucracy beyond existing State and Federal legal, immigration, and human services departments is in any way useful or optimal; WHICH considering Australia’s decline in terms of individual rights, including that of immigrants, since 2007, seems “heroic”. By which I mean insupportable.

  71. wreckage

    How much better would our human rights record be if this 20+ million dollars annually had been spent on timely processing of the claims of actual asylum-seekers?

    Opportunity cost, old son. You can’t lecture people on budgets and money if you don’t understand opportunity cost; it’s an absolute bedrock concept.

  72. Techno

    “I have other sources who talk about staff cuts”

    Good for you. Yes, there has been a freeze on non-ongoing positions, so a lot of people have gone walking right about now. The real redundancies haven’t started yet, mostly because nobody’s given the order and partly because there’s no budget for it. The non-ongoings tend to be lower-level positions, 3’s and 4’s, so it’s not really saving much money. It is hitting services though, because those are usually the people who answer the phones.

    But none of that has anything to do with the Wilson appointment. They’re not going to pay his keep by getting rid of a few temps.

  73. Techno

    “How much better would our human rights record be if this 20+ million dollars annually had been spent on timely processing of the claims of actual asylum-seekers?”

    In the scheme of our offshore processing industry, 20 million is small change.

  74. wreckage

    It is hitting services though, because those are usually the people who answer the phones.

    Precisely my point.

  75. Techno

    “As Des mentioned, there is a massive travel budget which could be trimmed, for a start.”

    I estimate that Tim’s actual cost to the HRC will be well over 1/2 a million annually, by the time he’s paid, housed, given a phone and a couple of computers, probably a car, an EA and probably a car.

    Based on Des’ numbers that’s going to be approaching half the HRC’s total travel budget.

    “You are either ignorant or deliberately ignoring the way that public sector budgets are constructed, if you imagine that “human rights” will go downhill because a new Commissioner has been appointed without an automatic increase in funding”

    Do you know what a “non sequitur” is?

    “Where were you when Tim Somethingorother was appointed without additional funding? How many human rights did that cost?”

    Do me a favor – you go and prove that (a) the position did not already exist, and (b) no further budget was allocated to find him. Or do I have to do everything?

  76. Gab

    What positive contributions has the AHRC made to Australian society?

    Did the AHRC ever stand up and condemn gillard’s Malaysian people trafficking deal?

    What great catastrophe do they predict would befall us if the AHRC was shutdown?

    Whatever did we do before the AHRC came along in 1986?!

  77. Gab

    I estimate that Tim’s actual cost to the HRC will be well over 1/2 a million annually,

    You’d be wrong then. His complete package is $322,000. Less than what Triggs “earns”.

  78. Techno

    “Precisely my point”

    Sorry, I couldn’t quite figure out what your point was. As far as I could see you were basically saying that you could run government better than the government could. Fair enough, I guess we’ll just have to take your word for it.

  79. wreckage

    Ball park figures for processing the claims an undocumented but helpful refugee? Presumably speeding the processing, or doing more in parallel, would offset the costs of holding the person in detention, and as such provide the bet relative return on the dollar.

    I would expect to be able to process documented and helpful refugees for roughly the cost of bribing the officials of their home nation into confirming their ID; which should be fairly cheap once relationships are established.

  80. wreckage

    Do you have an actual refutation, or are you genuinely saying that highly-paid bureaucrats are inevitably the most efficient way of achieving goals? Because pretty much every analysis ever done disagrees with you on that.

  81. Techno

    “What positive contributions has the AHRC made to Australian society?”

    The HRC has responsibilities defined under a number of federal laws. They’re all on the web site, so feel free to go and find out what it is that they do. If the government wants to change those laws, then the HRC would not need to exist. They didn’t just vote themselves into existence.

    “Did the AHRC ever stand up and condemn gillard’s Malaysian people trafficking deal?”

    Yes. https://www.humanrights.gov.au/inquiry-australia-s-agreement-malaysia-relation-asylum-seekers

    “What great catastrophe do they predict would befall us if the AHRC was shutdown?”

    Who knows?

    “Whatever did we do before the AHRC came along in 1986?!”

    We threw gay people into rivers, beat up aborigines, that sort of thing.

  82. wreckage

    “Whatever did we do before the AHRC came along in 1986?!”

    We threw gay people into rivers, beat up aborigines, that sort of thing.

    Yes, but then the HRC ended violent crime!

  83. Techno

    “Do you have an actual refutation, or are you genuinely saying that highly-paid bureaucrats are inevitably the most efficient way of achieving goals? Because pretty much every analysis ever done disagrees with you on that”

    How on earth is that even slightly relevant to the question of whether the HRC can just “find the money” to employ a political drop-in?

    But no, I don’t say that at all. But would you suggest that the same applies in the private sector? Just let entry-level staff manage the financial and legal affairs of, let’s say, coles-myer? The reality is that some tasks actually require knowledge, qualifications and experience (ok, some of them just require mates in high places, I agree), and if you want to fill those positions you need to pay enough that people will bother to apply.

  84. wreckage

    If the government wants to change those laws, then the HRC would not need to exist. They didn’t just vote themselves into existence.

    How is that germane to anything? Are you in fact arguing that if they HRC were abolished via the appropriate changes to law, you’d have no argument with that? Because the idea that a bureaucracy exists at the pleasure of the parliament seems to be self-evident and of zero consequence to any argument as to whether said bureaucracy is in any way worthwhile.

    Are you trolling or just incapable of clear thought?

  85. Techno

    “roughly the cost of bribing the officials of their home nation into confirming their ID”

    I expect that would be pretty cheap, if you don’t care about accuracy. So assuming that you DO care about accuracy and you want to avoid, let’s say, sending some Bahai back to Iran, how do you know that the official isn’t lying?

    The world is very simple, isn’t it?

  86. Techno

    “Are you in fact arguing that if they HRC were abolished via the appropriate changes to law, you’d have no argument with that?”

    That’s a decision for the government.

    “Because the idea that a bureaucracy exists at the pleasure of the parliament seems to be self-evident and of zero consequence to any argument as to whether said bureaucracy is in any way worthwhile”

    It was a response to the question “What positive contributions has the AHRC made to Australian society?”. Their job is to administer legislation, that’s it. It’s up to parliament to decide what that means for australia.

  87. wreckage

    Just let entry-level staff manage the financial and legal affairs of, let’s say, coles-myer?

    They do. The vast majority of transactions are carried out by them.

  88. Techno

    “You’d be wrong then. His complete package is $322,000. Less than what Triggs “earns”.”

    Oh dear. Yes, that’s right – and he has to build his own office, pay for his staff out of his own pocket, bring and support a PC and laptop of his own, supply a phone, pay for his own travel nationally, bring his own car…

  89. Techno

    “They do. The vast majority of transactions are carried out by them.”

    Transactions, yes. Designing the transaction systems, no.

  90. wreckage

    So you switch between value questions and questions of fact as necessary in order to avoid actually stating a clear position on anything or replying to any serious disputation. Losing on facts? Implied value judgement. Losing on values? Dry and ultimately irrelevant statements of fact; usually facts that were not under dispute.

    It’s a neat trick. Does it work on the people you normally argue with? You need smarter friends.

  91. Gab

    Yes. https://www.humanrights.gov.au/inquiry-australia-s-agreement-malaysia-relation-asylum-seekers

    Hilarious. The AHRC has “serious concerns” about gillard’s Malaysain human trafficking deal. Big Deal! They did nothing it except have a concern. However, they were “highly critical” of Howard’s Pacifc Solution.

    In other words, they were ineffectual in both cases, just that they made a lot of noise in the latter case.

    .

    We threw gay people into rivers, beat up aborigines, that sort of thing.

    Well you may have done that but I didn’t and certainly no one I know did that sort of thing. So you’re telling me the AHRC stopped “that sort of thing? happening? You mean, there were never any laws against murder and grievous assault before 1986? Wow.

  92. wreckage

    Transactions systems are well understood. The company executives do not set or formulate them. They fill the role of strategic guidance, which in this case is filled by the legislation.

  93. .

    “Whatever did we do before the AHRC came along in 1986?!”

    We threw gay people into rivers, beat up aborigines, that sort of thing.

    What a lunatic.

    Sydney’s rash of gay bashings and murders accelerated right after this, and young Aboriginal men and women beat the crap out of each other in uncontrolled environments for fun…it’s called “Walgett fights” on you tube.

    Oh…but the Human Rights Commission stopped all of that!

    Idiot.

  94. Gab

    Oh dear. Yes, that’s right – and he has to build his own office, pay for his staff out of his own pocket, bring and support a PC and laptop of his own, supply a phone, pay for his own travel nationally, bring his own car…

    Well I see your point given none of the other commissioners have any of these
    “benefits”. You’ve been very busy here today waging your war against one little conservative.

    I hope Brandis appoints Bolt next. Can’t wait to see the gnashing of teeth and twitter meltdown by your mob.

  95. The problem with the Wilson appointment isn’t that the HRC hasn’t got money – it’s that the money is already accounted for. They can’t just sack people to free up the cash – or rather they CAN, but it costs them (astonishing) time and money to do it, and this late in the budget cycle they’re not going to ever claw that up-front back again.

    Because after all, it’s ‘clawing back’ their money, isn’t it. The money that’s rightfully theirs. Promised them and everything.

    Or is it our money they’re clawing back? Oh, that’s right. It’s actually ours. Well, it was, until it got taken out of our pay packets.

    Most departments and statutory bodies don’t have contingency funds just sitting around in boxes waiting for a minister to change his mind. It doesn’t work that way – they have to say what they’re going to do with the money before they get it, and then they’re committed.

    Gosh, how dreadful. Of course, if there was no HRC, then this wouldn’t be a problem any more, but Techno would be out of a job. Not that Techno is influenced by this factor at all.

    The role occupied by Wilson had been vacant for some 18 months, hadn’t it? Were there no plans to fill that role at all?

    And if it had been filled by, say, the appointment of Kerry O’Brien, or Phillip Adams, or Barry Cohen, or Greg Combet, or Natasha Stott-Despoja, or another ALP luminary, would there have been the same outcry about the axing of programs to pay their salary? I seriously doubt it – at least, not at the ABC.

    We threw gay people into rivers, beat up aborigines, that sort of thing.

    Gosh, thank goodness for the HRC. Now we just allow the leftist media and other HRC Commissioners to beat up a gay man because his politics are different from ours. But don’t worry – we’ll wrap it up in financial justification so that it doesn’t look as bigoted as it actually is.

  96. wreckage

    And were they not set by the legislation, could be set by the appropriate departments, the Parliament, or the PM. In point of fact, the Commissioners offer a neat way for the Parliament to avoid responsibility for human rights; which is very likely the reason their positions were established and maintained.

  97. Techno

    “Well I see your point given none of the other commissioners have any of these “benefits”. You’ve been very busy here today waging your war against one little conservative”

    They would all have those benefits. They’re the same benefits that apply to all executive-level positions.

  98. Gab

    You’re not very good at that is, are you?

  99. Techno

    “Now we just allow the leftist media and other HRC Commissioners to beat up a gay man because his politics are different from ours. ”

    He’s a guy who has shown little past interest in human rights, and has argued that the HRC should be abolished. So yes, some people do have some concerns about his suitability for the position.

    And no, criticising a political appointment is not the same as “beating him up”. Get a grip.

  100. Techno

    “You’re not very good at that is, are you?”

    Forming sentences?

  101. Australia’s meant to have 7 Human Rights Commissioners, yes?

    According to the Act, part II, section 8:

    (1) The Commission shall consist of:

    a) a President; and

    b) a Human Rights Commissioner; and

    c) the Race Discrimination Commissioner; and

    (*) the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner; and

    d) the Sex Discrimination Commissioner; and

    e) the Age Discrimination Commissioner; and

    (f) the Disability Discrimination Commissioner; and

    g) the National Children’s Commissioner.

    Catherine Branson’s term as Human Rights Commissioner ended in July 2012. There was a vacancy of some 18 months’ standing. Where was the funding in place for if/when someone was to be appointed? This cannot have come as a total surprise to all concerned, given that it’s a statutory requirement to have a President and 7 individual Commissioners?

  102. Techno

    “Because after all, it’s ‘clawing back’ their money, isn’t it. The money that’s rightfully theirs. Promised them and everything”

    Straw man. It’s not about clawing anything – the problem is that the money was allocated to something else, and so it has to be reallocated. They can’t just reduce salaries or sack people, so the money has to come from external expenditure – i.e. services.

    “Gosh, how dreadful. Of course, if there was no HRC, then this wouldn’t be a problem any more, but Techno would be out of a job. Not that Techno is influenced by this factor at all”

    Gosh, that’s clever. Yes, obviously I work for the HRC. Or maybe I’m an ALP staffer, or really I’m Saul Alinksy re-incarnate. Try to focus on the topic.

    “The role occupied by Wilson had been vacant for some 18 months, hadn’t it? Were there no plans to fill that role at all?”

    Apparently not, or they’d have done so. And 18 months is longer than a budget cycle – if they didn’t plan to fill the position, the money wouldn’t have been allocated up-front. Keep trying.

    “And if it had been filled by, say, the appointment of Kerry O’Brien, or Phillip Adams, or Barry Cohen, or Greg Combet, or Natasha Stott-Despoja, or another ALP luminary, would there have been the same outcry about the axing of programs to pay their salary? I seriously doubt it – at least, not at the ABC”

    I would imagine so, yes. Because unless the funds were allocated, the same problem would have occurred. And what has the ABC got to do with this? It was the commissioner who brought it up, and it was reported by Fairfax.

  103. He’s a guy who has shown little past interest in human rights, and has argued that the HRC should be abolished. So yes, some people do have some concerns about his suitability for the position.

    And no, criticising a political appointment is not the same as “beating him up”. Get a grip.

    Hmmm. I take it you haven’t seen the hate-speech freely engaged in on the special Facebook page created to hate Tim Wilson?
    And Tim Wilson has in fact shown a very well-developed interest in human rights, notably freedom of speech, which he has defended by joining and working for an organisation that receives no government funding whatsoever.
    I daresay that in the eyes of a professional federal public servant, this makes him appear completely unsuited to the role.

  104. Gab

    Good points at 7.19pm. Philippa. Leftards hate facts.

  105. Techno

    “Where was the funding in place for if/when someone was to be appointed? This cannot have come as a total surprise to all concerned, given that it’s a statutory requirement to have a President and 7 individual Commissioners”

    An interesting question. But the fact remains – if the money wasn’t there, it wasn’t there. If the ALP had decided to appoint somebody, they would have been expected to fund the position.

  106. Apparently not, or they’d have done so. And 18 months is longer than a budget cycle – if they didn’t plan to fill the position, the money wouldn’t have been allocated up-front. Keep trying.

    The Act says you need 7 Commissioners, and so someone had to be appointed to the position eventually. So then what? The Commission is left totally unprovided for in the instance of an appointment being made, when it’s a statutory requirement that this is the case?

    I would imagine so, yes.

    Imagine is what you’d have to do, because it would never happen.

    Because unless the funds were allocated, the same problem would have occurred.

    So there were no funds allocated to appoint a Human Rights Commissioner, even though there was a vacancy? Why was no appointment made by the Labor government in mid-2012? Why was the position of Human Rights Commissioner – clearly a vital one for the nation’s wellbeing, according to the outrage being expressed everywhere about Wilson’s appointment – left vacant for so long?

  107. Gab

    But the fact remains – if the money wasn’t there, it wasn’t there. If the ALP had decided to appoint somebody, they would have been expected to fund the position.

    hahahaha there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, that’s how a lefty mind works. No more money? Heck just borrow more and throw more at them and never ever expect them to budget or anything.

  108. An interesting question. But the fact remains – if the money wasn’t there, it wasn’t there. If the ALP had decided to appoint somebody, they would have been expected to fund the position.

    I think you mean ‘the Labor government’, not the ALP, don’t you.

    Or do you?

  109. Tel

    They can’t just reduce salaries or sack people…

    Ahhh! Now we get to the heart of the matter. Why can’t they reduce salaries or sack people? It’s normal everywhere else.

  110. Entropy

    The $322,000 is the who,r package, techno.
    It would not include support staff, but all those other things you mention.

  111. Techno

    “Hmmm. I take it you haven’t seen the hate-speech freely engaged in on the special Facebook page created to hate Tim Wilson?”

    You wrote: “Gosh, thank goodness for the HRC. Now we just allow the leftist media and other HRC Commissioners to beat up a gay man because his politics are different from ours”

    Now that’s called a bait and switch. Facebook is facebook – take it up with whoever’s doing it, but don’t try to equate that with the much more reasonable debate happening in the real world.

    “And Tim Wilson has in fact shown a very well-developed interest in human rights, notably freedom of speech”

    A very recent interest, too. But I don’t think he’s quite as keen on free speech as some people lazily assume. There are far more restrictions on free speech than just “the bolt law”, but they don’t ever seem to get mentioned by the IPA. Where’s the campaign against our sedition laws? Where’s the call to reform Ruddock’s defamation laws so that they’re not just a way for powerful media identities and members of parliament to crush their critics?

    “which he has defended by joining and working for an organisation that receives no government funding whatsoever”

    Yep, it’s completely beholden to wealthy businesspeople.

    “I daresay that in the eyes of a professional federal public servant, this makes him appear completely unsuited to the role”

    You’ve left out the bit where he called for the HRC to be abolished. Got something tear-jerky for that?

  112. Techno

    “The $322,000 is the who,r package, techno. It would not include support staff, but all those other things you mention”

    You really have no idea. Do you really think they’re charging him rent on the office? Making him pay for printing and stationery? Sheesh.

  113. Techno

    “Ahhh! Now we get to the heart of the matter. Why can’t they reduce salaries or sack people? It’s normal everywhere else”

    Not really, no. Australia has a concept called “unfair dismissal”. Go read about it, then come back and try again.

  114. blogstrop

    If the ALP had decided to appoint somebody, they would have been expected to fund the position.

    Just like they funded all their other feelgoods, particularly those designed to tug at the heartstrings in pre-election mode? They funded them on the never-never, just like so much of the stupid policies they “got done” over the past six years, running up the national credit card to astonishing levels!

    And all the time, the press gallery were cheering them on, with national disasters like Fran Kelly praising the 190+ bits of legislation they “got done”with no regard for the poor quality of most of them.

    Piss off, Techno, you are just another rep for the bankrupt left.

  115. Techno

    “I think you mean ‘the Labor government’, not the ALP, don’t you”

    Fair point 🙂 I was actually thinking of the time when the ALP was the government. They don’t have a lot of say about appointments when they aren’t.

  116. Techno

    “Just like they funded all their other feelgoods”

    The rest of us are talking about the process of appointing somebody to a job.

  117. Techno

    “hahahaha there you have it, ladies and gentlemen, that’s how a lefty mind works. No more money? Heck just borrow more and throw more at them and never ever expect them to budget or anything.”

    We’re talking about the operating budget of a statutory body. Try to focus.

  118. blogstrop

    Hyperactive trolling is not going to get you any kudos except from those you go away and boast to that you’ve “taken it up to” the Catallaxy crew. But that’s all you’ve got, really.

  119. Tel

    We threw gay people into rivers, beat up aborigines, that sort of thing.

    You are attempting to claim that those things were legal, until the HRC made them illegal?

  120. Gab

    Why was the position of Human Rights Commissioner – clearly a vital one for the nation’s wellbeing, according to the outrage being expressed everywhere about Wilson’s appointment – left vacant for so long?

    The ALP government decided to cut back on areas that they considered unimportant.

  121. Techno

    “So there were no funds allocated to appoint a Human Rights Commissioner, even though there was a vacancy?”

    Apparently. Otherwise the government would have simply said “knock it off, the position’s funded” and that would have been that. Instead they said “find the money somewhere else”. So if you can find something to say that there was a line item in the budget to pay for that position then that’s great, but right now all the hints point to the position being unfunded. Why? I don’t know any better than you do.

  122. Gab

    Hyperactive trolling is not going to get you any kudos except from those you go away and boast to that you’ve “taken it up to” the Catallaxy crew. But that’s all you’ve got, really.

    Give him a break, he’s suffering so and outraged !!11!!! over one conservative appointment. Fear does that to people.

  123. Now that’s called a bait and switch. Facebook is facebook – take it up with whoever’s doing it, but don’t try to equate that with the much more reasonable debate happening in the real world.

    It’s not called a bait and switch. It’s called ‘Pointing out that this man is being harassed and bullied to someone who doesn’t want to see that’.

    The Facebook abuse IS the ‘reasonable’ debate happening in the real world. It is actually quite real. Just ask anyone who’s ever been on the receiving end of it.

    The IPA has a huge remit. It intends to do no less than restructure and reshape – indeed, revolutionalise – political and economic thinking in Australia. It is looking to the future, not the past – a past I am old enough to remember in Australia, when there was rampant protectionism, stultifying unionism, failing industries, and high unemployment.

    So I’m sorry if they’ve only published a book on freedom of speech and poured a lot of money into defending it since the Bolt trial TWO YEARS ago (not precisely last week). I’m sorry this isn’t enough for you; I’m sure if you drop John Roskam a line, he’ll try to lift his game.

    Yep, it’s completely beholden to wealthy businesspeople.

    Yes, thank goodness. People who are actually producing wealth in this country and creating real jobs, not just absorbing taxpayers’ money like a sponge in pretend-jobs like the HRC.

    Honestly, do you seriously believe that the HRC makes such a difference in people’s lives – apart from the people they employ? I do appreciate that you depend on them for your fortnightly salary, but I think their ‘achievements’ have been mostly taken care of by other legislation, and legislation at State level, rather than federal.

    For example, the decriminalisation of homosexuality hasn’t exactly been prompt across Australia – it’s come in stages, State by State. I don’t think the HRC can lay claim to that one.

    You’ve left out the bit where he called for the HRC to be abolished. Got something tear-jerky for that?

    If you read this blog, you’d know that I have only two phrases, borrowed from another contributor:

    Shut. It. Down.
    Fire. Them. All.

    This includes Wilson, who I’m certain would fall on his sword with delight.

  124. Techno

    “The ALP government decided to cut back on areas that they considered unimportant”

    Well played. The reality is that they were cutting back on a LOT of areas, but nobody was reporting it because it didn’t fit the narrative.

  125. Gab

    I’ll let you have the last word, Techno, it seems very important to your ego.

  126. Techno

    “People who are actually producing wealth in this country and creating real jobs”

    How many jobs is Rupert Murdoch creating at the moment?

  127. Why was the position of Human Rights Commissioner – clearly a vital one for the nation’s wellbeing, according to the outrage being expressed everywhere about Wilson’s appointment – left vacant for so long?

    The ALP government decided to cut back on areas that they considered unimportant.

    LOL, Gab. Thank you. And a merry Christmas also!

  128. Techno

    “Give him a break, he’s suffering so and outraged !!11!!! over one conservative appointment. Fear does that to people”

    Not really. He could well end up being a good appointment. You just never know. I came on board to point out that nobody here understood how budgets work – I’ve since discovered that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

    Ok, I’m done. Over to you guys.

  129. duncanm

    How many jobs is Rupert Murdoch creating at the moment?

    about 8000 in Oz according to Wiki.

    How about you?

    (and don’t come back with ‘they’re not new jobs being created’.)

  130. The reality is that they were cutting back on a LOT of areas, but nobody was reporting it because it didn’t fit the narrative.

    Ahhh, yes, the panic-stricken freakout, round about the time when the ALP started to look sideways at Gillard and re-think that whole 2010 knifing incident.

    Which came AFTER five years of public econonmic beclowning on the part of W Swan Esq, promising surpluses and unicorns and rainbows, while opening the Treasury chute that pointed all the money into a hole marked ‘Oblivion’.

    How many jobs is Rupert Murdoch creating at the moment?

    People who work for Rupert Murdoch work for a business, which makes money. If profits fail, jobs go. That’s the way it works in the real world.

    One real job created by Rupert Murdoch in an actual business is worth more to the economy of any country in which he holds a media interest, than 50 pretend jobs created by the Australian government, and funded directly by the taxpayer, which do nothing except move paper around. Or worse, read the news in an air-conditioned studio for 30 minutes, 20 nights a month for 9 months, and then need a 3 month ‘well earned break’ on full pay.

    However, you and I will never agree on the above equation, so we can probably call it quits on this issue. You can’t answer the one question that really interests me, namely why this vital, nation-changing, influential and critically important role of Human Rights Commissioner was left vacant for 18 months, with not even a skerrick of funding allocated to filling it.

    You may go.

    (And because it’s Christmas, you may also have the last word. Ta ta.)

  131. .

    Has Techno had five disco bikkies too many?

    Off his chops.

  132. 2dogs

    I’m confident the the new commissioner has the necessary skills to help the HRC identify the savings necessary to overcome its budget issue.

  133. Oh dear, he’s fled.

    I think he slammed the door on his way out too. And there was I being all magnanimous for a change.

    The most amusing thing is that I do know how government departmental budgets work, and he’s right, but it leaves that very, very interesting question unanswered:

    Why was the position left vacant in 2012? And isn’t this gross negligence on the part of the government then in power?

    The Act does allow for vacancies and says that these don’t impede the functioning of the Commission. But it also says:

    A person is not qualified to be appointed as the Human Rights Commissioner unless the Minister is satisfied that the person has appropriate qualifications, knowledge or experience.

    The Minister is the person who has to be satisfied, and the Minister clearly is. So everyone else can, under the Act, piss off.

    Wilson can also chat to the IPA as much as he likes:

    For the purposes of the performance of its functions, the Commission may work with and consult appropriate persons, governmental organisations and non?governmental organisations.

    Having said that, on reading the Act I am not entirely happy with the extent of this Commission’s powers, and would still see it abolished.

  134. johanna

    Umm, your notion that “nobody here understands how budgets work” was shot down in flames early in the piece. As I mentioned, and people like Des demonstrated, there are a lot of people here who perfectly understand how they work.

    Is that all you’ve got?

  135. Motelier

    Bugger,
    I am too late.

    This got me with the new troll.

    Not really, no. Australia has a concept called “unfair dismissal”. Go read about it, then come back and try again.

    He seems to forget that ” unfair dismissal laws” are very easy to get around.

    Look at what Premier Newman did to Mr Anna Bligh here in Queensland.
    Or the well known and documented cases of Government high fliers being put in a room with a little furniture, a phone and an internet connection.

    Get. Rid. Of. Them. All.

  136. wreckage

    Yep, it’s completely beholden to wealthy businesspeople.

    Uh huh. ‘Cause the government isn’t beholden to businesspeople, taxpayers, lobby groups and winning the next election at all costs, and is therefore clearly unimpeachable.

  137. wreckage

    I can see the headlines now! Public Service lifer delivers snit on budgets and flees; Catallaxy left in ruins.

    He didn’t know what opportunity cost was. Borderline illiterate. Throwing out authoritative-sounding assertions like a squid jetting ink, couldn’t back a single one. Sloppiest thinker I’ve met recently. Eloquent though. Pity.

  138. Sinclair Davidson

    My sources are talking about the AHRC cutting jobs to pay Tim Wilson’s salary.

  139. JC

    He’s a guy who has shown little past interest in human rights, and has argued that the HRC should be abolished. So yes, some people do have some concerns about his suitability for the position.

    Great point. I recall you had the same misgivings when Bryce the republican was appointed to the GG position.

    Oh hang on, no you didn’t.

  140. wreckage

    But Phillipa, the IPA is funded by WEALTHY PEOPLE. (Unlike the government!) That means it’s CORRUPT. Just like solar power companies, the World Wildlife Fund, GetUp, the ALP, and Greenpeace.

    The only CLEAN money is money your lobby group extorts out of the government, because they didn’t work for it, nor did they convince anyone to voluntarily donate it, so that makes it good money and it makes them good people.

  141. Percy

    My sources are talking about the AHRC cutting jobs to pay Tim Wilson’s salary.

    Hopefully 130+ of them

  142. johanna

    Yeah, Sinclair, that is right up with the dopey strategy. We won’t cut the travel budget, or the admin support budget – what we’ll do is something very public and symbolic.

  143. JC

    One appointment does this to the left. Make them go freaking crazy and keep appointing hard nosed people and keep firing lefties.

    The libs are the government. Get used to it.

  144. My sources are talking about the AHRC cutting jobs to pay Tim Wilson’s salary.

    So when exactly did the Labor government plan to fund the HRC to appoint a Human Rights Commissioner? Ever?

    What an example of complete and utter mismanagement. The Commission can’t even make an appointment which is completely consistent with the Act, and clearly specified under it, because no one thought to ask for any money to pay that person.

  145. The only CLEAN money is money your lobby group extorts out of the government, because they didn’t work for it, nor did they convince anyone to voluntarily donate it, so that makes it good money and it makes them good people.

    Oh, I am such a goose. A Christmas goose, forsooth.

    Off to Mass shortly. Prayers for all, believe it or not – for grieving Aliice, for poor misled Steve, for all my lapsed brethren like Rabz, for you stark staring pagans out there (no presents for you!), for rich, for poor, and for in-between; for Tim Wilson, and Christians in Pakistan and Syria, and all others who suffer persecution for the cause of justice; for Sinc and his blog; for all those who are looking for the answers. Probably even for Techno, who may be out of a job before too much longer. So may we all, but I hope not.

  146. Token

    What an example of complete and utter mismanagement. The Commission can’t even make an appointment which is completely consistent with the Act…

    Sounds to me like a “save” booked by the broke & desperate Wong & Goose/Bowen. The hyper partisan Triggs would never admit as much though.

  147. Peter56

    So many years this rancid lot have been doing their thing, and still the children are brutalised on those disgusting black communities. If that’s not a human rights violation I do not know what is.

  148. wreckage

    We’re getting over 2 mill in executive remuneration, but we are now facing the horror of funding a single additional wage in our pay bracket. Clearly we will have to cut services; nothing else makes sense.

    This, people, is why government-run ANYTHING is bullshit. No businessperson (outside of giant multinationals with internal bureaucracies indistinguishable from government) would ever make that decision that way. Certainly it would not become so normalized as to be expected and unworthy of comment. Why? Natural attrition, natural selection. The most diseased and stupid animals are the first to get… recycled.

    Phillipa; I appreciate your goodwill and prayers. The same for you, for what it’s worth.

  149. wreckage

    those disgusting black communities

    Watch your phrasing. The situation is disgusting. Blacks are not.

  150. There'sonlyoneTonyAbbott

    I wouldn’t be suprised if the HRC had an empty office or two lying around, if they don’t there are no doubt couple of spare meeting rooms that could be converted to a Commissioner’s office. Indeed what happened to the old commissioner’s office and the EA and PA would have been redeployed to some sort of admin areas. As for unfair dismissal really? If a program is axed the staff are excess and there is a redundancy provision in the enterprise agreement. It takes a little time but they can be gone by June 2014.
    It would be great if Tim looked at the role of the Commission. There’s seems to be a deal of ‘make work’ to keep the HRC in funds. Programmes like school bullying and educati9n the aged might well be covered by other departments either State or Federal. Government departments are grand at coming up with projects to garner additional funds. Just say NO.

  151. Techno

    “I wouldn’t be suprised if the HRC had an empty office or two lying around, if they don’t there are no doubt couple of spare meeting rooms that could be converted to a Commissioner’s office. ”

    You’re grasping at straws to ignore the reality of what it costs to hire an executive-level public servant. It’s way more than just a salary.

    “We’re getting over 2 mill in executive remuneration, but we are now facing the horror of funding a single additional wage in our pay bracket. Clearly we will have to cut services; nothing else makes sense”

    Because the salary bill is, otherwise, not very flexible. Its not a relative thing – it’s just that in the face of a fixed budget (a concept that you all seem to be struggling with), the 1/2 mill has to come from somewhere else. Any existing contracts (including permanent employees) are expensive to break, so that means future external spending has to go, and that means services.

    “Probably even for Techno, who may be out of a job before too much longer”

    Maybe you haven’t noticed, but there’s a lot of that going around. Do any of you actually have real jobs?

    “What an example of complete and utter mismanagement. The Commission can’t even make an appointment which is completely consistent with the Act, and clearly specified under it, because no one thought to ask for any money to pay that person.”

    You keep saying you understand how government works, but there’s not much evidence of that. The commission doesn’t appoint commissioners, the minister does. The minister holds that executive power – go read the constitution.

    “My sources are talking about the AHRC cutting jobs to pay Tim Wilson’s salary.”

    Not in the short term, they aren’t. Next budget cycle maybe, but they’ll have already let the current crop of non-ongoings see the door for this year, and the next lot are probably in their seats until June. Sacking people costs the PS money, and they’ve left it too late in this budget to ever claw back the redundancies. Now – they MIGHT be talking about external contracts, but that’s a different story. Those will be the people keeping the IT systems running, and actually delivering services, which brings us back to our original problem.

    My bet is that Brandis quietly allocates all or most of the money over the Christmas media lull. Wait and see.

    “Throwing out authoritative-sounding assertions like a squid jetting ink, couldn’t back a single one”

    How’s the weather on your planet? I’m happy to back what I say. You just keep changing the subject and claiming some sort of victory.

    “But Phillipa, the IPA is funded by WEALTHY PEOPLE. (Unlike the government!) That means it’s CORRUPT”

    It’s funded by people who have little-to-no interest in human rights. Their concept of “free speech” is entirely recent, and seems to extend only to journalists at certain publishers being allowed to write what they want, and do whatever harm they like to private individuals, without being accountable. They don’t speak out when those same journalists use threats and legal action to silence their own critics. They got very upset up when Julia Gillard (allegedly) threatened The Australian and Herald Sun, because that affected a big IPA donor. But not a peep when Tony Abbott sued Random House or Cory Bernardi (allegedly) threatened Fairfax (or The Australian openly threatened an academic, or any other of the numerous examples of Murdoch’s editors and journalists threatening or suing people to shut them up).

    The IPA has no real interest in free speech for anyone other than their biggest donors. It’s depressing that they’ve convinced so many mugs otherwise. It should be harder to gull people than that. I blame the internet.

  152. Mike of Marion

    Techno, are you serious?

  153. Sinclair Davidson

    Not in the short term, they aren’t. Next budget cycle maybe, but they’ll have already let the current crop of non-ongoings see the door for this year, and the next lot are probably in their seats until June.

    Without knowing my sources, how can you know? Well?

  154. Sinclair Davidson

    My bet is that Brandis quietly allocates all or most of the money over the Christmas media lull. Wait and see.

    As long as he moves to abolish 18C who really cares?

  155. johanna

    Techno, you are playing out of your league here.

    Those of us who have knocked around in government know that the nonsense about affording his salary (for half a year) is a complete furphy. Or, it reveals financial incompetence verging on a good reason to sack a bunch of senior executives.

  156. Techno

    “As long as he moves to abolish 18C who really cares?”

    Is that really the only “human rights” issue you care about?

    “Without knowing my sources, how can you know? Well?”

    Your sources can say what they like, that doesn’t mean it’s what the HRC is actually doing.

    “Those of us who have knocked around in government know that the nonsense about affording his salary (for half a year) is a complete furphy.”

    I didn’t say they can’t afford it. Nobody has. What they’ve said is that in order to find the money it has to be taken from somewhere else. Most of their budget is taken up by HR, which is hard to vary on short notice. They could cut travel, but that’s arguably part of what they need to do their job, but even including that possibility means that the flexibility comes from travel and external spending – i.e. cutting services.

    Do you really think they just have a $500k+ contingency sitting around doing nothing, in case for another executive happens to be appointed? Why would they do that? Why would a minister sign off on that – surely he’d rather have the 1/2 mill in his own budget?

    They could spread those cuts around, but at the end of the day it means they do less of whatever it was they were supposed to do. Maybe that’s something that makes you happy, but don’t gripe about a commissioner pointing it out.

  157. johanna

    There is an expression called “pissing into the wind” that comes to mind here.

  158. Sinclair Davidson

    “Without knowing my sources, how can you know? Well?”

    Your sources can say what they like, that doesn’t mean it’s what the HRC is actually doing.

    Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk. You really have no idea. If you were smarter, you’d quickly work out who my source is. And who his source is.

    Is that really the only “human rights” issue you care about?

    Not at all. That is just the beginning.

  159. Notasoreloser

    Who cares if the HRC cuts a bullying programme? I Think all schools have bullying policies and programmes at state level. Federal duplication doing what, exactly?

  160. Techno

    “If you were smarter, you’d quickly work out who my source is. And who his source is”

    Oooh, very clandestine 😉

  161. Techno

    “There is an expression called “pissing into the wind” that comes to mind here”

    You’re hearing voices?

  162. Sinclair Davidson

    Notasoreloser has the right idea. Never mind cutting some bullshit programs and sacking a few part-timers. The entire organisation should be shut down.

  163. Techno

    “Notasoreloser has the right idea. Never mind cutting some bullshit programs and sacking a few part-timers. The entire organisation should be shut down”

    First they came for the human rights advocates, eh?

    I’m glad to see that you’ve accepted that cutting services is a necessary outcome (does this blog post still have any point?) but you still don’t seem to understand that “sacking” doesn’t quite work the way you think it does in the public sector. I wonder if your source understands that? Has he been in government long? Nod. Nod. Wink. Wink. (Was that subtle enough?)

    And if you want to see the whole organization shut down, why are you so happy to see the appointment of another seat-warmer? Isn’t that a bit … let’s call it “inconsistent”?

    “Not at all. That is just the beginning”

    Will you upload a picture of your reaction if it doesn’t happen?

  164. Sinclair Davidson

    You’re not focussing – my source’s source has been in government for some time.

    Will you upload a picture of your reaction if it doesn’t happen?

    Not to worry. 🙂

    First they came for the human rights advocates, eh?

    Glad you’ve included the word “First”. It is as good a place to start and any other. I did think the starting point would be elsewhere, but I don’t get to make those choices.

  165. Techno

    “Not to worry”

    Time will tell. I think some people are underestimating the enthusiasm of the people who lobbied for it in the first place. The irony of this whole thing is that it really has highlighted why they wanted it in the first place. I hope you’ll be disappointed.

    “I did think the starting point would be elsewhere, but I don’t get to make those choices”

    Anything that stands in the way of your employers’/mates’ business interests?

  166. Sinclair Davidson

    I think some people are underestimating the enthusiasm of the people who lobbied for it in the first place. The irony of this whole thing is that it really has highlighted why they wanted it in the first place.

    No idea what you’re getting at here.

    I hope you’ll be disappointed.

    I’m on a win-win here.

    Anything that stands in the way of your employers’/mates’ business interests?

    My employer has no business interests here.

    You have to understand; I’m not doing this for money – much to the annoyance of Mrs D – I’m doing this for fun.

  167. jupes

    And if you want to see the whole organization shut down, why are you so happy to see the appointment of another seat-warmer?

    Comedy value mainly. Watching lefty heads explode is hilarious.

  168. Sinclair Davidson

    And if you want to see the whole organization shut down, why are you so happy to see the appointment of another seat-warmer?

    In addition to Jupes’ comment – the cutting of programs and reduction in employment in the AHRC reduces the size of government.
    Win-win-win.
    If we can’t starve the beast, let’s give it indigestion.

  169. ChrisPer

    Its not so much a beast as a herd. A herd gone feral through lack of management. A herd become a pack, pace Glenn Reynolds.

    A herder or a farmer who needs to manage his herd can cull individuals that are the focus of bad behaviour through uncontrolled dominance games. S/he can ship whole cohorts of a herd to market to manage the size down. Shipping the older and more dominant cohorts can slim down the herd and give it flexibility – breed, sell or hold according to the season. You can put parts of it in very remote and small paddocks to limit the consumption of resources, or start to improve the pasture there. You can put them to work at some core business, like ploughing or pulling carts.

    Whatever, aggressive culling is plainly needed.

  170. Andy

    After applying for a fed govt position in the mid-2000’s, I remember being shocked to find that there was one question asking applicants to nominate if they were a. female, b. Aboriginal or TSI, c. disabled or d. non-English speaking background. The inference was that these were “minority” characteristics, for whom affirmative action principles would apply. So blow me down when I read a copy of the Employment and Equal Opportunity audit from (IIRC) 1997-1998, which stated that yes, even back then, *well over 50%* of the federal government workforce *was already female.*

    The hypocrisy is phenomenal; a government department with roughly 4 times the amount of females to males?

  171. Techno

    “The inference was that these were “minority” characteristics, for whom affirmative action principles would apply”

    The inference is wrong. For any non-political positions (i.e. non-SES), minority “status” is irrelevant. It’s just statistics-gathering, and you can rest assured that if you didn’t get the job it’s because somebody else submitted a better application. Why gather statistics? Because if you don’t look at who’s applying, you can’t know if there’s a selection bias. Most organizations don’t care, but the public sector has to care because it’s paid for by tax payers and therefore has to be even-handed.

    “So blow me down when I read a copy of the Employment and Equal Opportunity audit from (IIRC) 1997-1998, which stated that yes, even back then, *well over 50%* of the federal government workforce *was already female.*”

    That’s because women apply, and then they stay. The public sector pays (way) better, but offers less job security and a worse work/life balance. It also tends to materially support career-development much better than the private sector does. Women find that attractive and see it as a long-term bet, but men are more likely to get ticked off about the crummy short-term payoff (and slower prospects for future pay) and leave.

    It’s not a conspiracy, really. It’s just people making choices.

  172. Sinclair Davidson

    It’s just statistics-gathering

    Bullshit.

  173. .

    It’s just statistics-gathering, and you can rest assured that if you didn’t get the job it’s because somebody else submitted a better application.

    Yeah right…lulz, Pal.

    I know a young lady who is a nutritionist and she was doing financial analysis for Dept. of Climate Change.

    Nice gal? Yep.

    Best applicant? Strike a light you can’t seriously believe this.

    We know there is bias, thanks to the statistics.

  174. Techno

    “Bullshit”

    Wow. You’ve got me convinced with that insightful argument.

    “Best applicant? Strike a light you can’t seriously believe this”

    I would expect so, yes. It’s pretty darn hard to get away with an “inside job” these days. Whatever her official qualifications, the fact is that people do actually learn on the job. Just about everyone who gets to EL1 or higher will eventually have to learn to write project proposals, write and manage budgets, manage teams and deal with HR issues. Most public servants have never studied any sort of degree in business administration – those people tend to end up in the private sector. Like all sensible organisations, the public service recognises experience. If she’s doing financial analysis, it’s probably because she’s demonstrated that she can do financial analysis. Nobody sensible is going to appoint an underling who is going to screw up their financial data if there’s somebody better on offer.

    The more likely problem, at least at the end of the Howard years, is that there just weren’t enough good applicants. That was a very serious issue – that guy stoked demand like you wouldn’t believe. By 2007 you could get an entry-level job in the public service pretty much by just having a pulse. They simply couldn’t get enough bodies. Now … if you’d applied back THEN and not got an offer, you were probably aiming too high, or doing something badly wrong. Thinking that you’re hot stuff isn’t enough – you actually have to demonstrate it.

    “We know there is bias, thanks to the statistics”

    I suspect you’re struggling with the difference between “bias” and what doesn’t suit you personally.

  175. Sinclair Davidson

    Techno – I’m not trying to convince you of anything. People of your ilk refuse to listen or learn. I’m just calling ‘bullshit’.

  176. Techno

    “I’m not trying to convince you of anything. People of your ilk refuse to listen or learn. I’m just calling ‘bullshit’”

    Not me, no. You’re trying to convince the people around you, though. But with a bit of luck, some of them might go and check for themselves, and when they do you’ll have a few less gormless acolytes.

    On a fact-based playing field, you have no chance and you know it. Call bullshit all you like. Maybe you can make a noise like a cockatoo. People like cockatoos.

    Maybe the IPA will go after academic tenure next? What do you think? Could you earn a crust away from the trough?

  177. Sinclair Davidson

    It is not statistics gathering – that is just bullshit. I’ve heard this excuse so many times. There is only reason why the state collects racist statistics and that is for the purpose of being racist.

    Maybe the IPA will go after academic tenure next? What do you think? Could you earn a crust away from the trough?

    I’ll let you into a secret – I don’t have tenure. I earn my crust by working for an organisation that teaches international students. If international student numbers fell off I’d be as unemployed as the employees of any other organisation that cannot attract paying customers. Nice try though.

  178. JC

    The public sector pays (way) better, but offers less job security and a worse work/life balance.

    ahahahahahahahahhahahahahhahahahhahahahahahahahah

    breath
    ahhahahhahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaha

  179. Techno

    “If international student numbers fell off I’d be as unemployed as the employees of any other organisation that cannot attract paying customers”

    Yeah, right. So you reckon that you don’t rely on those same redundancy provisions that you wish away for other public servants? The ones which you exclude to presume that sacking +$500k will pay off between now and June?

    But let’s put that medium-term taxpayer-funded safety-net aside …

    Just a tiny tweak in those federally-regulated VISA regulations then, and those kids don’t get the lure of residency in return for that overseas currency, and a lot of universities go broke paying off those student-accommodation “investments”. But our overseas intake drops by quite a bit and we fall back on the skilled migration provisions. Not quite the earner though, is it?

    You’re an academic, you owe your lot to government regulation and in your darkest dreams you know it. Prove me wrong – walk away from the trough. Go work for an investment bank or an economic consultancy. I’m sure you’ll do great – let us know how it works out.

    Oh, and before you get angry … I did exactly that. I’m not a public servant. I was, but I walked away. I understand what they’re doing, but I decided to take the money instead. So come on in, professor, the water is just lovely. I hope you can compete.

  180. Techno

    “ahhahahhahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaha”

    Yes, I know. That was a thought fubar.

    The private sector really does pay a lot more then the public sector does. I know, I’ve done both. I tripled my pay in 48 hours once … just by walking three blocks.

  181. JC

    Let me guess Techno, it’s one of those jobs, possibly HR which everyone forgets about. HR or jobs of that nature are basically the equivalent of public sector jobs in private industry. No one thinks they make any contribution and if our laws weren’t what they are you could get rid of 70% of the fuckers and leave the rest as payroll clerks.

  182. wreckage

    It’s funded by people who have little-to-no interest in human rights.

    Wow. An insightful argument. So, you only reflexively dislike people you know to be evil. Deep down inside.

  183. JC

    I wasn’t laughing at that you idiot. I was laughing at the suggestion APS jobs are insecure. They’re about as insecure as a four inch steal cable. Shut up and stop the idiocy.

    …….and pound for pound public sector jobs are better compensated. Of course there’s a narrower range but that’s it.

  184. Sinclair Davidson

    Techno – I’m not angry. I’m just wondering why I should chose a different career to suit your preferences and not mine? Just doesn’t make any sense. I’m also wondering why you’re hassling me for Triggs’ poor decisions?

    I’ll let you into another secret – academics are not public servants and are not employed under PS conditions.

    Secret number 3 – most of our international students are offshore. While visa conditions are important, we have more students offshore than onshore.

    So while you’re crapping on about me being some sort of taxeater you have no idea of the terms of my employment or the business model that generates the income that pays my salary.

    In my wildest dreams I imagine the government regulates universities less and not more. I have no doubt my income will rise as a result of deregulation and the income my employer earns would rise too.

    The bottom line is this: without government revenue my employer would survive. As would hospital services and police services albeit in different formats. Without government revenue your AHRC would fold.

  185. Tel

    I was laughing at the suggestion APS jobs are insecure.

    Hey Techno has solved the very problem that was presented at the top of the page. Given that APS jobs are insecure we can conclude the AHRC will easily come up with budget for programs. I dunno why it took so long to get to such a simple answer.

  186. JC

    Without government revenue your AHRC would fold.

    Which reminds me, Flannery was boasting that his newly privatized gerbil warming commission took in around $1 million is donations. Has anyone heard from the fucker since? The only thing I’ve read is that he’s basically now transcribing crap put out by the CSIRO.

    Close down the Triggs Commission as it’s a disgusting degenerate outfit.

  187. wreckage

    Because the salary bill is, otherwise, not very flexible. Its not a relative thing – it’s just that in the face of a fixed budget (a concept that you all seem to be struggling with), the 1/2 mill has to come from somewhere else. Any existing contracts (including permanent employees) are expensive to break, so that means future external spending has to go, and that means services.

    So, again, government is inherently shitty at actually doing things.

    Do any of you actually have real jobs?

    Farmer, contractor, labourer, now student. I dare you to try to take me on in a “you don’t know what real work is” contest. Please, please try.

    I’m happy to back what I say. You just keep changing the subject and claiming some sort of victory.

    It’s funded by people who have little-to-no interest in human rights.

    In the scheme of our offshore processing industry, 20 million is small change.

    political drop-in

    Is that really the only “human rights” issue you care about?

    It’s pretty darn hard to get away with an “inside job” these days.

    Feel free to support any of these.

  188. Techno

    Wow. A pouncing swarm of minions! I have a life to live now, so I’ll talk to you all in the morning.

  189. wreckage

    Yeah, right. So you reckon that you don’t rely on those same redundancy provisions that you wish away for other public servants?

    From everyone else who has become unemployed, without “suffering” under the “worse conditions” of a government job: fuck you, you sanctimonious leech.

  190. wreckage

    Wow. A pouncing swarm of minions! I have a life to live now, so I’ll talk to you all in the morning.

    Well, you’ll swan about dispensing weirdly obtuse snark with a loathsome lack of self-awareness (see above, ref: “gormless”, you utterly charmless git), but I don’t think it counts as “talking to”. It’s more a shadow-play where you spout an endless torrent of words and then pat yourself on the back.

    But with a bit of luck, some of them might go and check for themselves, and when they do you’ll have a few less gormless acolytes.

    I’m afraid that having a smug, self-righteous soft-left arsehole, racked with some sort of all-consuming Dunning-Kruger rapture, spray snark and insinuation around the place really only confirms my opinion.

  191. Techno

    Wreckage, you’re enthusiastic. But I have an award ceremony to preside over. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

  192. .

    The bottom line is this: without government revenue my employer would survive. As would hospital services and police services albeit in different formats. Without government revenue your AHRC would fold.

    Short version: Go and get a real job.

  193. wreckage

    But I have an award ceremony to preside over.

    Right, I’m calling it. You’re a parody. A very smart parody, but a parody nonetheless. That last one was laugh-out-loud funny, and it was worth waiting for the punchline. That was gold. You totally had me.

    If you’re not a parody… well… that’s pretty funny too. I bet you think you’re a real charmer.

  194. johanna

    Techno – please remind us of how a 6 month salary of $320k pa.a (that would be $160k in pre post-normal maths) equals your $500k. I am guessing that the websites that you usually inhabit are not very strong on facts.

  195. Gab

    Far out is Techno still beating Triggs’ drum for her? How much does she “earn” for doing nothing to protect free speech?

  196. blogstrop

    Is techno still here? What a daggy neighbourhood it has become.

  197. wreckage

    Facts? No, but apparently flouncing scores huge points.

  198. Techno

    “Facts? No, but apparently flouncing scores huge points”

    Oh, probably.

    I’m a bit sorry about the direction I took that in yesterday. I regret introducing a personal angle. I’m sorry, Sinclair – I’m sure you’ll be fine when the whole tertiary sector is deregulated and the collective HECS debt is sold off to the lowest bidder 🙂

    I’m done now. This is unproductive. You guys don’t seem to be good with dissent, by the way. Merry Christmas!

  199. Sinclair Davidson

    Ideally HECS would be wound up and students required to acquire loans from the banking system at commercial rates.

  200. .

    Universities can also cut their costs a lot so the loan size would be reduced significantly.

  201. Megan

    You guys don’t seem to be good with dissent, by the way

    They’re great with dissent, IF you can actually make a coherent argument, that is. You’ve clearly missed that point, by several thousand miles.

  202. Tel

    But I have an award ceremony to preside over.

    This from the guy explaining to other people about what hard work is all about.

  203. Techno

    “Universities can also cut their costs a lot so the loan size would be reduced significantly”

    Therein lies the problem. What is the role of universities – to do research or to churn out work-units? Yes, universities could stop doing the former, but we all lose if they do.

    The “commercial” rate thing has a few problems –

    What do the banks take as collateral? What’s to stop students from declaring bankruptcy and just walking away? It’s not like the bank can just take the degree back. The tax office never forgets, though – it’s probably the most efficient possible way to collect the money. If you want more return then up the interest rate, but doesn’t make much sense to assume that a bank could do it more efficiently. Look at the problems they’re having in the US with student loans – it really is dissuading people from education AND people are getting bilked.

    We’d see the end of research. Who’s going to take on the debt for a PhD or post-grad work? They’re never going to be able to pay that loan back, ever. There is a payoff for the rest of us though, and we’d lose that.

    How about we see education as a form of economic infrastructure instead? More doctors and engineers and physicists and biologists is actually good for all of us. We don’t charge road users commercial rates because it benefits economic activity which then generates revenue to build the road in the first place.

    Is there an official school of economics which sees everything as a zero-sum game?

  204. Rafe

    What is Techo actually supporting, in a positive sense? The AHRC? Moving from the public service into the private sector? The eight ball over? Save me from scrolling 🙂

  205. Rafe

    Socialists see everything as a zero sum game but classical liberals and The Australian School of Economics do not.

  206. Techno

    “Socialists see everything as a zero sum game”

    Then I’m obviously not a socialist.

    “What is Techo actually supporting, in a positive sense?”

    Originally I was just taking issue with the on-cue howls of protest when Gillian Trigg pointed out that the realities of a fixed budget meant that Tim Wilson’s remuneration and support would have to come from uncommitted external expenditure and that this would mean the cutting of planning programs. I was annoyed that people who actually understand reality weren’t bothering to respond to some obvious bunk.

    Sinclair initially tried to suggest that this wasn’t true, then he tried to suggest that he had sources who told him this wasn’t true, and then later he seemed to give in and accept that it is true but that it was actually ok. I’m just glad that I could help to explain things. By all means get in touch if I can help with anything else.

    A lot of irrelevant stuff was posted by a lot of people in between.

  207. Rafe

    Techno, do you think there might be scope for saving the extra salary out of the budget without cutting anything that matters?

    Assuming that the Commission is actually doing some things that matter than could not be done better in other ways. What do you thing about that?

    My approach to these things like the ABC and assorted left/progressive welfare programs is to invite the people who really care about them to stump up all or at least a part of the cost instead of expecting everyone to contribute whether we like it or not.

  208. Sinclair Davidson

    Techno – now you’re trying to suggest that our position has changed. Typical lefty stunt when being flogged like an unwanted red-headed step-child.

    Sources within the AHRC – not Wilson – are talking about cutting programs and staff to pay his salary. The only person denying this is you. Our position here has been consistent – we’d like to see the entire AHRC and all its staff – including Tim Wilson – sacked. We would like to see all its “programs” scrapped. You are the only person who doesn’t seem to understand what our position entails.

  209. Sinclair Davidson

    On commercial student loans – most other countries seem to solve these problems – they are quite trivial.

  210. Rafe

    Typical lefty stunt when being flogged like an unwanted red-headed step-child.

    Score the number of prejudices and stereotypes there 🙂

  211. Tel

    We don’t charge road users commercial rates because it benefits economic activity which then generates revenue to build the road in the first place.

    Care to back that statement? The M4 toll way in Sydney made a profit, so does the M5, and so does the M7… want to explain why these are not commercial rates?

    Local roads are paid for by the developers who pass on the costs to home buyers, at commercial rates, the developers make a profit.

  212. Techno

    “flogged like an unwanted red-headed step-child”

    Wow. Nice.

  213. wreckage

    Yeah, student loans are very widespread. Even HECS is notionally a student loan. The thing is, Techno, you made one point well, then kept on throwing out red herrings, most of which were, apart from being beside the point, wrong. Then when people knocked them down you abandoned them, THEN you accused those who replied of changing the subject.

    Vigorous argument happens here. And also text based shouting matches, swearing, etc. It’s a fun place, but if you like the quiet you’ll find the Cat unpleasant. Anyway, cheers and thanks for showing up; thanks for the bits where you actually argued on-point and for your eloquence even when you weren’t.

    You really threw out some stupid barbs though. Trying to tell an economics professor he didn’t know stats from noise, a couple of civil servants they didn’t know how the bureaucracy works, and a farmhand he didn’t know what work was. They really were some of the worst and most self-defeating rhetorical flourishes I’ve seen recently, and you would have been much more convincing without them.

  214. Tintarella di Luna

    we’d like to see the entire AHRC and all its staff – including Tim Wilson – sacked.

    Eggsackery Sinc, and Tim Wilson’s position must be described as De-Commissioner of the Australian Human Rights Commission. The savings may be small but every little bit counts. Then the Australian Freedom Commission should be established with the express charter to protect the freedoms which are inherently ours because we are human beings; freedom of thought, freedom of speech, etc with Tim Wilson as first Commissioner. If it veers towards a grievance committee then slash and burn again – reform, reform, reform

  215. wreckage

    It’s a figure of speech Techno. Stop being so precious, it makes it hard to take your better points seriously.

  216. .

    Therein lies the problem. What is the role of universities – to do research or to churn out work-units? Yes, universities could stop doing the former, but we all lose if they do.

    This is the most dishonest bullshit that has ever been writ on this blog.

    Increased university efficiency would allow for better resourced teaching and research.

  217. wreckage

    Government expenditure is a zero sum game. Every dollar wasted is a dollar less for dealing with genuine, intractable welfare problems. This is a major reason why I argue for the closure of replicated or ineffective government bodies and for privatisation: the government should be spending its dollars in as focused and efficient a manner possible.

    There is absolutely no reason for the government to be supporting the lifestyle of an affluent, commercially successful, middle class arts or law graduate when Aboriginal kids are undernourished and skipping school, or autistic and other disabled kids are suffering from disadvantages that can be worked around to help them be both happy, and net producers for their community.

    However, bodies like the AHRC are legislated into existence and must be legislated back out. Meantime they can either be forced to do their intended job, or the blatant groupthink can be addressed. This works to the good of all, particularly those the AHRC is meant to help.

  218. .

    Techno
    #1125992, posted on December 28, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    “flogged like an unwanted red-headed step-child”

    Wow. Nice.

    Yes you were and it was.

    What was unpleasant was your constant bullshitting, shilling for Triggs and fat useless bludgers in unis who don’t teach or do research.

  219. wreckage

    From the POV of students, the job of universities is to equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to contribute to the community outside the university itself. And yes, this means work skills, since we all spend a great deal of our life at work; graduates, it is supposed, even get to work on something they are interested in and/or well suited to, hence the vocational education.

    Techno’s view of vocational education is introverted to the point of solipsism. Universities always considered the educated individuals they sent out to be a very major contributor to the common welfare; now evidently they only consider the grants coming in.

  220. Techno

    “Government expenditure is a zero sum game. Every dollar wasted is a dollar less for dealing with genuine, intractable welfare problems”

    I think what you meant there is that the amount of expenditure is fixed in any given time-period, and therefore has to be allocated.

    That’s not the same thing as a zero-sum game. Do you really think that education doesn’t pay for itself economically and financially (not to mention socially) several times over?

  221. Techno

    “Techno’s view of vocational education is introverted to the point of solipsism”

    How so? I thought I was the guy pointing out that there was more to our educational institutions (well, the good ones) than just churning out work-units.

  222. JC

    Do you really think that education doesn’t pay for itself economically and financially (not to mention socially) several times over?

    Pretty much, yep.

    I’d bet that if one did a cost benefit analysis of the money spent on “eduucation” to the final outcome is it would be a loss.

    Eg.. What purpose does an arts degree offer these days especially a government funded one? One of my kids goes to a private American university doing undergrad liberal arts. There are 20 hours of classes, she has to do a language, science and math. Course work is about another 20 hours. Compare that to an Australian arts degree.

    Does nursing really have to be taught as a degree?

    Stop kidding yourself techno, you fucking idiot. Morons like you pass through here every other day and think they know it all. Instead they end up realizing this is a killing field for lefties.

    And by the way, you still havent answered if you’re an HR pleb.

  223. .

    That’s not the same thing as a zero-sum game. Do you really think that education doesn’t pay for itself economically and financially (not to mention socially) several times over?

    No, because the costs are inflated way over the actual cost of educating someone.

  224. Tintarella di Luna

    That’s not the same thing as a zero-sum game. Do you really think that education doesn’t pay for itself economically and financially (not to mention socially) several times over?

    No, because the costs are inflated way over the actual cost of educating someone.

    bingo dot, you win

  225. JC

    One other thing, techno, you fucking idiot. The correct comparison is public ed vs fully privatized ed and comparable outcomes. It’s not education vs no education.

    You really are an HR schlep, right? No one coming from a profit line would be making stupid comments like yours…. that is if we’re to take your word you work in the private sector, which I don’t unless you’re able to prove it. Can you?

  226. Techno

    “And by the way, you still havent answered if you’re an HR pleb”

    I’m not an “HR pleb”, whether it be “Human Resources” or “Human Rights”. Neither applies to me. And I’m not a public servant either. I don’t really see why it’s relevant anyway.

    “I’d bet that if one did a cost benefit analysis of the money spent on “eduucation” to the final outcome is it would be a loss”

    Why just bet? It’s been done – go google it. The economic and financial payoffs are huge, and it has flow-on social effects: it means you can afford medical care, for example.

    “Eg.. What purpose does an arts degree offer these days especially a government funded one?”

    I have to admit that I’m from the engineering side myself, so I can’t personally say much about what use an arts degree is – I’ve never tried to apply one. On the other hand, arts degrees are pretty cheap to run when compared to STEM courses. I do run across a lot of quite skilled professionals WITH arts degrees, maybe they’d have got there anywhere, I don’t know. If you ask the universities, they’ll tell you that an arts graduate does actually collect a lot of knowledge and analytical/communication skills – maybe there’s something in that, I like to think that it’s probably true (I picked up some first-year arts subjects on my way through and they certainly did encourage independent thought). But it’s still small beer expenses-wise, per student.

    “Compare that to an Australian arts degree”

    I can’t, I haven’t done one.

    “Does nursing really have to be taught as a degree?”

    That’s an ideological football, as I understand it. I have a friend who is a extremely professional cardiac nurse – does minor operations, even. She essentially has an arts degree (public health) and worked her way into the technical side. I’ll leave the training of nurses to people who know how to train nurses.

    “Stop kidding yourself techno, you fucking idiot. Morons like you pass through here every other day and think they know it all. Instead they end up realizing this is a killing field for lefties”

    What is it with you guys and confusing debate with violence? Can’t you just focus on the topic?

  227. .

    She essentially has an arts degree (public health)

    We can’t focus on the topic (the HRC) when you keep on spinning utter crap like this.

  228. Techno

    “One other thing, techno, you fucking idiot”

    Nice. I’m not swearing, why are you swearing?

    “The correct comparison is public ed vs fully privatized ed and comparable outcomes. It’s not education vs no education”

    I didn’t realise we were comparing education vs no education – I was talking about the economic payback of investment in education. Pay for it how you like, but I think there’s a good case for some public funding because it generates benefits for the economy and society as a whole. But since you brought it up – show us some of these public-vs-fully-privatised education comparisons? Where is this “fully-privatised” education happening, and who’s looked at the relative outcomes?

    “You really are an HR schlep, right?”

    Nope.

    “that is if we’re to take your word you work in the private sector, which I don’t unless you’re able to prove it. Can you?”

    Not without handing over my income and tax information, and that isn’t happening. I don’t see why it matters – if you really think what I say is that stupid, then you should be able to explain why, rather than just repeatedly claiming that it’s stupid and calling me a moron.

  229. Techno

    “when you keep on spinning utter crap like this.”

    JC brought it up.

  230. tomix

    Off Topic: “Does nursing really have to be taught as a degree?”

    This may be hard to believe but….. Midwifery has been taught as a degree in Qld since c.1990 without the student being required to actually attend a birth.

    There have probably been deaths as a result, but you won’t read about it in the Sunday Mail

  231. JC

    Techno

    You made the claim you work in the private sector, boasting about how much in demand you were. No one asked nor really cared what you do. If you can’t prove it then fuck off. Personally I don’t believe you as you write and sound like a colorless APS schelp.

    Is private ed superior to public ed? Are you fucking serious that you don’t know the answer?

    I’m swearing because you’re a bigmouth dickhead and believe its the only way to treat you.

  232. JC

    What is it with you guys and confusing debate with violence? Can’t you just focus on the topic?

    Lol

    Violence? Stop lying. You really need to stop the lying.

  233. Tel

    http://stevengoddard.wordpress.com/2013/12/21/thirteen-years-of-nasa-data-tampering-in-six-seconds/

    This is the problem with government sponsored research: it serves a political master. I don’t feel I’m any better off looking at the dodgy GISS data, and I’m pretty sure the taxpayers who were forced to fund it aren’t any better off. I’d accept that some government funded research might be useful, but the efficiency is poor. Private research generally applies itself directly to a real need.

    Ed Krug explains this process of politicizing science and why it fails, all from first-hand experience.

  234. Techno

    “Is private ed superior to public ed? Are you fucking serious that you don’t know the answer?”

    No, what you wrote was:

    “The correct comparison is public ed vs fully privatized ed and comparable outcomes. It’s not education vs no education.”

    Even though were were missing the point, I decided to ask if you could come up with some comparisons of outcomes between public and “fully privatized” education. So – can you? You were very specific – “fully privatized” – and we were obviously talking about tertiary education. Whether you think private school A is better than public school X is a different topic.

    “I’m swearing because you’re a bigmouth dickhead and believe its the only way to treat you”

    I think it’s just all you’ve got.

  235. Techno

    “Violence? Stop lying. You really need to stop the lying.”

    “this is a killing field for lefties”

    “flogged like an unwanted red-headed step-child”

  236. JC

    You really are a prime leftist dickhead, Techno. Do you really believe this is a killing field in the same exact way as those killing fields run by those leftists in Cambodia? Do you really believe you are going to be flogged?

    It’s metaphorical for what happens to every leftwinger who shows up here spoiling for an argument, you brainless twerp.

    On a serious note though… and I’m being serious here.. there are quite a few examples of lefties who have shown up at the Cat, overstay and end up as psychologically damaged head cases.

  237. JC

    You really are a very stupid person, Techno.

  238. Techno

    “It’s metaphorical for what happens to every leftwinger who shows up here spoiling for an argument, you brainless twerp”

    So just a sort of safe-in-my-bedroom road rage then? Full of sound and fury?

  239. JC

    Techno’s argument about eduucation.

    Prove to me a private model for eduucation is superior to the tried, tested and successful soviet command and control model, which with the assistance of public sector teacher unions has produced the very best eduuucation system the world has ever seen.

  240. JC

    So just a sort of safe-in-my-bedroom road rage then? Full of sound and fury?

    No, of course not. It’s a real killing field with dead bodies lying everywhere and the screams of people being flogged like red headed step children.

    You fucking moron, stop derailing the thread with worthless irrelevant bullshit.

  241. Gab

    Is Techno still here? I kinda feel sorry for her having to guard this thread during Christmas and beyond. I hope Triggs is paying her well.

  242. .

    Techno is running interference for a well funded and free speech restricting “HRC”.

    You can make your own conclusions as to why.

  243. JC

    I dunno, perhaps techno is the HRC’s answer to Ethan Krupp…. aka pajama boy.

  244. Techno

    “Prove to me a private model for eduucation is superior to the tried, tested … public sector teacher unions has produced the very best eduuucation system the world has ever seen”

    No, all you have to do is explain:

    “The correct comparison is public ed vs fully privatized ed and comparable outcomes.”

    Are you saying that you can’t find any of those comparisons? Google letting you down? You’re the one who said it, not me – I didn’t say anything about the soviets.

    And why do you keep adding u’s to “education”?

  245. Tel

    Are you saying that you can’t find any of those comparisons? Google letting you down?

    No, google is working correctly.

    http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0712/homeschool-or-public-school.aspx

    There’s no doubt that research speaks very kindly of homeschooling. Not only is it cheap compared to other education options, but the results are generally better. Most parents who homeschool spend less than $600 per year compared to the $10,000 average spent per pupil by public school systems. However, parents who homeschool are still paying a portion of that $10,000 expense. Surprisingly, spending such a low amount on a child’s education produces impressive results. One study found that the average homeschooled student outperformed the average public school student by roughly 30 percentile points.

  246. JC

    Google letting you down?

    Okay lets play this game

    Top 20 universities in the world league tables.

    QS World University Rankings 2013

    Welcome to the QS World University Rankings 2013/14. Compare the world’s top universities, sort by region and subject, find the best universities in your academic field, and create your own personalized ranking based on what matters most to you.
    QS World University Rankings® iReg approved and QS Stars

    Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

    United States

    2 99.2

    Harvard University Harvard University

    United States

    3 99.0

    University of Cambridge University of Cambridge

    United Kingdom

    4 98.9

    UCL (University College London)

    United Kingdom

    5 98.8

    Imperial College London

    United Kingdom

    6 98.7

    University of Oxford University of Oxford

    United Kingdom

    7 96.8

    Stanford University Stanford University

    United States

    8 96.5

    Yale University Yale University

    United States

    9 96.2

    University of Chicago University of Chicago

    United States

    10 96.1

    California Institute of Technology (Caltech) California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

    United States

    10 96.1

    Princeton University Princeton University

    United States

    12 94.3

    ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)

    Switzerland

    13 93.8

    University of Pennsylvania

    United States

    14 93.6

    Columbia University

    United States

    15 92.5

    Cornell University

    United States

    16 92.1

    Johns Hopkins University

    United States

    17 91.3

    University of Edinburgh

    United Kingdom

    17 91.3

    University of Toronto

    Canada

    19 90.9

    Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

    Switzerland

    19 90.9

    King’s College London (KCL)

    Okay, so there 14 of the top universities which are private and run essentially as not for profit private universities. This is despite the mountain of public money thrown at public universities around the the world.

    Want to try Australian schools?

    Why the extra “u”? Just making fun of leftwingers constantly referring to eduucation and the way some of them pronounce the word like the Lying slapper for instance.

  247. Tel

    http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/aug/30/home-schooling-outstanding-results-national-tests/

    Regarding the third reason, there is new research showing that the average home-schooler who takes standardized achievement tests is doing very well. The study, commissioned by the Home School Legal Defense Association and conducted by Brian Ray, an internationally recognized scholar and president of the nonprofit National Home Education Research Institute (NHERI), is called “Progress Report 2009: Homeschool Academic Achievement and Demographics.”

    The study included almost 12,000 home-school students from all 50 states who took three well-known standardized achievements tests — the California Achievement Test, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills and the Stanford Achievement Test — for the 2007-08 academic year. The students were drawn from 15 independent testing services, making it the most comprehensive home-school academic study to date.

    The results reinforced previous home-school studies conducted over a period of 25 years.

    Five areas of academic pursuit were measured. In reading, the average home-schooler scored at the 89th percentile; language, 84th percentile; math, 84th percentile; science, 86th percentile; and social studies, 84th percentile. In the core studies (reading, language and math), the average home-schooler scored at the 88th percentile.

    The average public school student taking these standardized tests scored at the 50th percentile in each subject area.

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