Senate debates

Tuesday, 1 December 2020


Finance and Public Administration References Committee; Reference

3:39 pm

Photo of Anne UrquhartAnne Urquhart (Tasmania, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

At the request of Senator Ayres, I move:

That the following matter be referred to the Finance and Public Administration References Committee for inquiry and report by 31 October 2021:

The current capability of the Australian Public Service (APS) with particular reference to:

(a) the APS' digital and data capability, including co-ordination, infrastructure and workforce;

(b) whether APS transformation and modernisation projects initiated since the 2014 Budget have achieved their objectives;

(c) the APS workforce; and

(d) any other related matters.

Photo of Nick McKimNick McKim (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

I seek leave to make a short statement.

Photo of Scott RyanScott Ryan (President) Share this | | Hansard source

Leave is granted for one minute.

Photo of Nick McKimNick McKim (Tasmania, Australian Greens) Share this | | Hansard source

The Australian Greens are very concerned about trends in government that include an arbitrary cap on Public Service staffing numbers, permanent Public Service jobs replaced by contracting out through labour hire firms and privatisation by stealth through transfer of service delivery to the private sector, and so we will support this motion. But those things did not happen by accident; they are the inevitable end result of the neoliberalism that began under Labor four decades ago and has continued under the Liberals. The Greens will move today for a genuine and comprehensive inquiry into the failings of privatisation, and we understand Labor will not be supporting our inquiry. It's time for Labor to stop hiding from its shameful neoliberal record, which includes the privatisation of Qantas, the Commonwealth Bank and the final tranche of Telstra. Corporatisation and privatisation will only end when the major parties abandon neoliberalism and admit that it has not worked.

Question agreed to.