Senate debates

Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Answers to Questions on Notice

Question No. 3985

3:03 pm

Photo of Rex PatrickRex Patrick (SA, Independent) Share this | Hansard source

Alright, I will withdraw. But this is a fellow who hasn't led the Public Service in a highly professional way. Sure, he's been a public servant in government for a long time but that doesn't make him a true public servant. Instead, he has been happy to act as the Prime Minister's henchman, covering up all manner of sins and corruption in the government and particularly in other ministers' offices. The secretary of PM&C is a cover-up expert. If there is some dark secret that the government needs to bury, Gaetjens is the man who has the shovel. He's been helping the PM and sending all manner of dirty secrets and sins off to the governance committee of cabinet to be buried for the next 20 years in the vaults of the National Archives. Mr Gaetjens, you are a disgrace. It is you who has undermined confidence in the Public Service. I know there are very good people in the Australian Public Service, but, as it is said, a fish rots from the head and when the head is rotten, no-one is likely to have faith in the remainder of the fish.

In closing, I note that so low is Gaetjens' estimate of his own standing he has had to try and bolster his doubtful credibility of his letter by roping in the Australian Public Service Commissioner, Peter Walcott, and has had him co-sign the letter. Mr Walcott, you should be more careful of the company you keep. Tying yourself up to a political deadbeat like Gaetjens was a foolish move that won't enhance your reputation.


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