Canberra Needs More Wise Heads Not More Uni Grads

By Staff Writer Mozza



Recent shameful shenanigans in Parliament House involving sexual misconduct all relate to the hiring of immature and inexperienced politicos and in many cases too much alcohol.

Apart from creating embarrassing headlines and personal heartache for many these types of people are really the last ones we should have advising Ministers of the Commonwealth on issues affecting every Australian every day.

Over the last 20 years there has been a pull away from Ministers getting advice from experienced public servants, post graduate academics with real world experience and semi-retired ex politicians and policy makers. Instead they now fill their offices with over ambitious yes men and women who are fresh out of university politics or the union movement and have never achieved anything in life.

These apparatchiks have never held down a real job, made anything that lasts or served the community in any way. They create nothing. The comedy the Hollowmen is very instructive in the inner working of Canberra of late and worth a look. Art imitates life well here I think.

The modern day political adviser wants to align themselves with powerful mentors and think only of the time they will sit on the other side of the desk as Minister or want to be career ministerial staffers.

Just think our next crop of politicians will come from this rabble. They will represent us not knowing what it’s like to be a real worker in the real world or a manager or be responsible for success or failure of important functions in society.

The dramatic reduction in public servants in Ministers offices has meant a reduction in people who are experienced in public sector probity, administration and policy making. Few have the relationships to harness the strengths of the public service to the benefit of their Minister. Many believe the public service is part of the problem taking an adversarial role in dealing with them, tying up our well paid officials in politics and games of attrition.

A semi-retired 60 something policy maker or ex politician who has been around the block a few times, managed people at senior levels, run a business, provided services to citizens, consulted stakeholders and negotiated solutions to complex issues would be perfect to work as a political advisor. Not many of those around Canberra at the moment and George Street, Brisbane is just as bad.

At a time when people over 45 are flat out getting a job in favour of younger workers this example of the folly of this approach couldn’t get any higher or more serious. Experience counts, always has and always will.


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