Can decentralising the Australian Public Service actually work Look, for example, to Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce's portfolio, at the agencies he was determined to shift to the "bush".
The first, slated to move to Toowoomba, has now instead opened small offices in Toowoomba, Albury and Adelaide (which, with 1.3 million people, apparently qualifies as a "regional town"). The grains corporation has also instead adopted a stay in Canberra model, with some new offices in Toowoomba, Dubbo, Adelaide and Perth (another "bush" town, this one with more than two million people). Nonetheless, decentralisation can work, and has worked well at times in the past. What's crucial is that the motive for relocating is administrative rather than political. Economist and governance expert Stephen Bartos, a former senior Finance Department official, says it requires "a logical case in terms of a well skilled local workforce [and] suitable accommodation". He cites the example of the Tax Office, which employs about 1200 staff in its Albury offices. "This kind of initiative works well if a department or agency itself, for business reasons, wants to locate staff in a regional area. If it doesn't, it can find good reasons not to decentralise meaning the announced policy is likely to turn out to be more rhetoric than reality." Another aspect of decentralisation that Bartos says the recent public debate has omitted is the involvement of state governments: will oakley xl they help the transition? They can do that, he says, by oakley official website providing better schools, TAFEs, university campuses (to train a high quality workforce), transport and communications links, and social and cultural amenities. What's crucial is that the motive for relocating is administrative rather than political. "Otherwise, the federal government will be moving people to places where they won't be able to work effectively, meaning not only is there a cost in moving but a much larger cost in terms of reduced pubic service output. If states don't put in this investment, then the Commonwealth policy won't work." Bartos adds that, if the relocations are forced on agencies, they will "almost certainly target lower level employees, exacerbating divisions between senior and junior public servants unless there is a departmental secretary out there somewhere who wants to put their hand up to move to a regional town. The matter was "private", she said a response that would be fair enough for her staff to give, but which falls short of the accountability one would expect of leaders. Finally, there's another pesky problem: whether going bush cheap sunglasses outlet makes financial sense for agencies. Unlike businesses, government organisations have little flexibility in how much money they can pay staff, particularly under the tight controls imposed by the government's workplace bargaining framework. As much as Canberrans might not like to admit it, many people who move here for work regard the shift as an opportunity cost a lifestyle penalty, of sorts, given their preference to stay in their home city for which they want to be compensated. a semi skilled, white collar worker as opposed to a specialist). That is, Canberra employers say they need to pay about that much extra in wages to hire staff here compared with what that person would receive in a much larger city. Public service agency heads and HR managers have confirmed this to me: the quality of job applicants for, say, an APS level 6 job in Canberra is far poorer than it would be for a similar position advertised in Sydney. So what would the labour market be like in a far smaller town than Canberra? This city is about 17 times larger than Armidale, and boasts a much wider range of amenities and opportunities. It's safe to say the opportunity cost of moving to Armidale, or a similar regional town, from a larger city would be well above $20,000.
Indeed, the wages required to lure the skilled workforce that most government agencies need would be well beyond those agencies' budgets. Unless, of course, the same government that's made a virtue of suppressing public oakley black iridium servants' wages is suddenly willing to splash cash on bureaucrats' pay. Why not? It would be as logical as most aspects of this decentralisation push.
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