New Premier needs to stop playing musical chairs

Tasmanian Labor
  • Portfolios changing hands too often
  • Senior public servants silenced through reshuffles
  • Politics getting in the way of effective government
  • Whoever is the next Premier of Tasmania must stop shuffling the decks in the cabinet and in the public service.

    Labor Member for Braddon Shane Broad said there has been too much instability in ministerial portfolios and in the leadership of the public service.

    “Oversight of one of my own portfolios, the important area of resources, has been moved around six times in less than six years. That includes tearing apart the portfolio to separate out forestry and mining, and later cobbling it back together again.

    “A dozen other portfolios have changed hands three times, including high profile portfolios such as Infrastructure, Police, Fire and Emergency Management, Primary Industries and State Growth.

    “These frequent reshuffles cause disruption to the smooth running of government and cause chaos within departments, as public servants scurry to help new ministers who have no working knowledge of a portfolio get across important details.

    “The new Premier needs to keep Ministerial stability in mind as he appoints his Cabinet to minimise turmoil and confusion.”

    Dr Broad said there’s also been disruption in the leadership of multiple departments.

    “In the past four months alone, we’ve seen change at the top of four departments. In the case of the Health, Communities and Justice departments it really was a game of musical chairs with very senior public servants.

    “That sudden reshuffle was widely criticised as being a cynical move to silence the vocal head of the health department.

    “Tasmania’s public service needs clear direction and continuity of leadership. And politicians should not be removing senior public servants for speaking out in the best interests of Tasmanians.”

    Shane Broad MP

    Labor Member for Braddon

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