Category Archives: Public service
Now the State election has been called – see https://ethicalconsultingservices.wordpress.com/2017/10/29/queensland-state-election-basics/ – the Government moves into what is called “Caretaker Mode”.
Caretaker Mode is all about both maintaining public sector impartiality, and ensuring no decisions or commitments are made which will bind a new, possibly unwilling Government, post-election.
Many public servants interpret this incredibly widely – far more so than is intended or appropriate, and this can be a real nuisance for anyone trying to do business with the State Government.
Official guidelines for the conventions which apply during the caretaker period are set out in the Cabinet Handbook, section 9, here https://www.premiers.qld.gov.au/publications/categories/policies-and-codes/handbooks/cabinet-handbook/caretaker-conventions.aspx.
- Caretaker conventions are merely conventions and not binding at law – but are nearly always adhered to;
- Caretaker period starts the moment the election is called and lasts until either te result is clear or a new Government appointed;
- Things to avoid during the caretaker period: appointments of significance, implementing new policies, entering into major contracts or undertakings;
- Normal Departmental operations are to continue, but with care to ensure there’s no presumption about who will win the election;
- Departments should not at Ministerial request develop new policy initiatives;
- Opposition access to public servants is through requests to the Minister and any such discussions are confidential, but public servants may not discuss the merits of policy options with the Opposition and should keep no official notes;
- Departments prepare two sets of briefing documents for the incoming Government: one for a returned Government, and the other for a new Government;
- All Cabinet documents are readied for destruction;
- All Bills in Parliament lapse and must start again from scratch after the election, and any Acts not yet proclaimed by the Governor must await the intentions of the incoming Government. In some circumstances subordinate legislation may be approved;
- The Premier will determine whether Government advertising campaigns continue – anything highlighting the role of Ministers or covering matters of political controversy are usually stopped;
- Ministers generally don’t go to Council of Australian Governments meetings which occur during the caretaker period.
Here’s a downloadable PDF file for your reading pleasure, courtesy of Ethical Consulting Services! http://bit.ly/2hnbr4p
- Government Ministers support union rights of protest www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/queensland-government-supports-unions-right-to-protest-after-they-bring-brisbane-cbs-to-a-standstill/news-story/fc5c067e186c207e9dcd106b6d7e7b45
- Regional economic policies to be the basis for opposing the rise of One Nation www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/queensland-labor-plots-economic-fightback-against-one-nation/news-story/7a91d3bcaadceb1c8f5bc7eb94ef615f
- Premier orders Ministers to perform http://au.news.yahoo.com/qld/a/32534369/palaszczuk-to-warn-cabinet/#page1 and www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/state-politics/queensland-treasurer-curtis-pitt-says-he-has-support-of-palaszczuk-cabinet/news-story/2611893b88ce2eeb1fbfeae136f03b52
- Trad forced to defend Government against disunity allegations www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/jackie-trad-i-dont-want-annastacia-palaszczuks-job/news-story/dd85f31057d87ee211b50d1fcae1a189
- … amid rumours of division over internal and Government issues www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/opinion-labor-must-ditch-its-unwieldy-new-leadership-election-rules/news-story/7c6ca297f849c407ac7d7818bc8ebe06
- Public servants may be disciplined for role in centre closure www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/sep/09/two-queensland-bureaucrats-face-action-over-closure-of-mental-health-facility
- Government’s market-led framework needs tweaking www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-government/queensland-government-marketled-proposals-framework-needs-tweaking/news-story/6da9c22b79b04b42ac4277ea9976523f
- Policy confusion on Brisbane Metro project www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/government-changes-tune-on-brisbane-metro-20160906-gr9s7v.html
- Central Station upgrade www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/brisbanes-central-station-set-to-under-67m-facelift/news-story/e7b9d63d0bb6a776a14a5d0d1e010a27
- More asbestos delivered for Queensland building site www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-07/asbestos-found-second-batch-building-materials-qld-govt-tower/7822136
Economy and Infrastructure
- ABS figures show the State economy growing www.abc.net.au/news/2016-09-08/annastacia-palaszczuk-queenslands-economy-is-surging-curtis-pitt/7825114
- Cairns might secure a further casino license http://news.worldcasinodirectory.com/queensland-treasurer-believes-cairns-has-opportunity-to-gain-forfeited-aquis-casino-license-34147
- Queensland is now Australia’s top cruise ship destination www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/queensland-becomes-nations-top-cruise-ship-destination-for-the-first-time/news-story/094308eae347e3dd5672b0888eb294f0
- Marketing Commonwealth Games interstate www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/peter-beattie-unrepentant-about-making-big-commonwealth-games-announcements-in-sydney/news-story/6cefe93e95758701955937f04d1624e4
- Sunshine Coast highway project to begin before Christmas www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/billiondollar-sunshine-coast-highway-project-begins-before-christmas-20160909-grcu0e.html
- Cross River Rail’s full impact on the economy and city www.couriermail.com.au/news/queensland/what-cross-river-rail-will-do-for-queensland-economy/news-story/f66b5b6e56ada64aae6890b082c324e6
- Six Queensland solar energy projects to get Australian Renewable Energy Agency funding www.couriermail.com.au/business/queensland-solar-energy-projects-get-funding-boost/news-story/78a49c602a97555123d8d16d4f5c6cd2
- M1 funding fight about whether Logan is a city? www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/brisbane-traffic-m1-upgrade-fight-over-whether-logan-is-a-city-20160908-grbg2f.html
- Government denies deal on Gold Coast casino www.goldcoastbulletin.com.au/news/council/premier-keeps-her-cards-close-to-her-chest-on-main-beach-casino-and-resort/news-story/20b1b41844ee63dc7d4b6de89ac95182
- Queensland’s Parliament next sits this week, from Tuesday 13 September to Thursday 15 September
- The Queensland Parliament’s summary of what’s new, including newly-introduced and passed legislation, is here www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/whats-new
- Both Houses of Federal Parliament sit this week, from Monday 12 September to Thursday 15 September – see www.aph.gov.au
- CCC commences Gold Coast Council election probe www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/ccc-to-probe-gold-coast-2016-election-donors-20160905-gr9bjq.html
* We’re not representing that this is a complete coverage of news in Queensland – it certainly isn’t, and it’s what we find interesting or important, and sometimes what’s unusual. Some of the links will require subscriptions to read content.