CPDS Home Contact Professionalism: Chronological Summary

6 November 2000

Copy of letter to Members of the Legislative Assembly

Queensland's Public Service and Alleged AWU Practices for Filling Positions

About a month ago I sent you a copy of a letter addressed to the Director General of the Premier's Department (dated 6 October 2000). My letter highlighted public allegations which imply that a grubby, self-serving manipulative culture has pervaded the ALP's AWU faction in relation to filling important positions. In view of this, and of the re-staffing of the state Public Service in the early 1990s under the control of AWU dominated ministerial offices, I again asked (amongst other things) why his Department had refused to allow merit to be considered in a grievance about a particular senior appointment.

I should like to tell you how the Premier's Department now justifies its disregard for merit. Unfortunately I can not do so, as I do not appear to have received a response to my letter.

However I can point out reports that help to explain the grubby, self-serving manipulation of our Public Service which was passed off as its 'reform' (1). And you might remember that, while current allegations are still to be tested by the Shepherdson inquiry, concerns about practices for maintaining power within the AWU itself were raised in a prior inquiry (2).

You may also note also that senior (national) political figures are reportedly concerned about the damage that politicisation has wreaked on national and state Public Services - and may seek to restore 'an independent public service in which senior bureaucrats can give honest advice without fearing the sack' (Oakes L., 'Carnell knowledge', The Bulletin, 17/10/00).

Our state Public Service desperately needs to be renewed on a professional basis. To allow this to be proven, I ask that you contact either the Premier or his Department and demand that a meaningful response (rather than yet another high-handed brush-off) be given to the issues I have raised. A simple and straightforward response can not be expected to be given willingly - for reasons outlined in the enclosed letter dated 18 October 2000.

[Signed John Craig]

1. Public allegations suggesting concern about the impact on the Public Service::

2. Prior inquiry: Fifth Report of Commission Appointed to Inquire into the Activities of Particular Queensland Unions - Australian Workers Union of Employees - July 1991.