All public sector workers should be respected: union

Posted February 23, 2012 by Alex Scott

Queensland politicians need to stop trying to score cheap political points by interfering with the work of public sector employees and instead respect their professionalism and dedication in implementing the policies of the elected government, Together Secretary Alex Scott said.

Mr Scott said he was calling for the Premier to take the Department of Local Government and Planning’s document about the Townsville Futures policy down from her party political website (

“The document was prepared by public servants using public resources. It does not mention the Labor party once. It’s not appropriate for a party website,” Mr Scott said.

“All politicians and candidates need to be making a clear distinction between the policies, which they come up with, and the public employees who implement them,” he said.

Last week LNP Leader Campbell Newman was reported as describing workers in the Department of Environment and Resource Management as ‘green extremists’ and ‘drunk on power’.

“If those comments were indeed reported accurately, obviously that is of concern,” Mr Scott said.

“Public servants have a legal responsibility to uphold the will of an elected government, which DERM workers consistently do. The services delivered by DERM workers are world-class and extremely valuable. I don’t think anyone could fairly describe DERM employees as doing other than an excellent job overall,” he said.

“Unfortunately Minister Vicky Darling made the same mistake in failing to distinguish between policy and what employees do. DERM workers deal with environmental policy because they are directed to by their Minister. They don’t have a choice in the matter.

“The Greens have been getting into the act too, criticising DERM for things that are the responsibility of the Minister, not the Department.

“Of course anyone is entitled to have an opinion on whether the laws and regulations covering environment and resource management are up to scratch. But that is a question totally separate to the quality of work performed by DERM employees, who are upholding their duty to be responsive and compliant to the relevant laws and regulation.

“Already in this state election campaign the parties have been interfering with the work of public sector employees and mischaracterising their roles. We hope this doesn’t continue,” Mr Scott said.


Authorised Alex Scott, Secretary, Together.
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