Unions warn Tony Abbott on audit commission, public service job cuts

Source: CanberraTimes

As Prime Minister Tony Abbott prepares to unveil his promised commission of audit, unions have called for it to be transparent and evidence-based.

Business Council of Australia president Tony Shepherd is set to chair the five-person panel, which is expected to be approved in a Cabinet meeting Tuesday.

Former Liberal minister and former ambassador to Italy Amanda Vanstone is expected to be named as a member.

CPSU national secretary Nadine Flood said the government should make sure the commission did not pursue pre-determined outcomes.

“If history is anything to go by, these audits simply become a shopping list for razor gangs,” she said.

“To maintain trust with the community the government must ensure the process is open, transparent and evidence-based.”

Ms Flood said speculation about public sector job losses, including in the Canberra public service, was of concern to members.

“While Mr Abbott clearly has a mandate to conduct a Commission of Audit, he does not have a mandate to introduce the large scale cuts to job and services that followed similar exercises in Queensland, Victoria and other Liberal state governments,” Ms Flood said.
She called on commissioners to acknowledge the value of the public service and ensure communities don’t lose out through cuts to jobs and services.

The panel is expected to make public its first recommendations within three months.

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