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History Repeats Itself? - email sent 13/5/17

Amy Mitchell-Whittington,
Brisbane Times

Re: Police service 'falling down around us', senior cop says, Brisbane Times, 12/5/17

Your article recorded concerns from within the Queensland Police Service about the effect of a restructure that apparently resulted in the loss of a great deal of top-level experience and intellectual capital.

A quote from your article: ‘ He [senior sergeant Phil Notaro] argued the restructure of the service had been a "dismal failure" and said it only served to save the Queensland government money. "It hasn't achieved any of the goals it set out to achieve, and we lost genuinely thousands of years of policing experience when the QPS let over 100 commissioned officers take redundancy packages," he wrote. "What were once Police Districts with a District Officer have now become merely patrol groups that are totally leaderless." ‘

This sounds like the disastrous across-the-board restructure and restaffing of Queensland’s Public Service under the Goss administration (see Towards Good Government in Queensland, 1995). Those put in charge of ‘reform’ were politically well-connected but most had almost no practical experience in government and lacked up-to-date knowledge of the issues the government had to deal with. The decisions they made about ‘senior’ staffing proved disastrous – as cronies and ‘yes men’ prospered while those prepared to provide government with realistic advice or able to implement programs competently were eliminated. One of the symptoms of the problem was widespread grass roots concern amongst ordinary public servants about the deterioration in their working environments. However there were many other consequences which are outlined in Appalling Queensland Governments (2016).

John Craig