The Guardian • Issue #2072


  • The Guardian
  • Issue #2072

The Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) says it is deeply concerned by reports regarding the conduct of the Secretary of the Home Affairs Department, Mike Pezzullo, labelling his position as untenable. Australian Public Service (APS) employees, including in Home Affairs, face potential disciplinary action for sharing political content on social media, yet one of the most senior public servants in the country has been apparently sharing his political wish list and hit list with a well-known political operative.

The union says the reports also raise questions regarding the former Coalition government’s failed attempt to privatise Australia’s visa system. The CPSU fought against the Morrison government’s attempt to sell off the system when it was first proposed in the 2016-2017 Budget, until it was dropped in 2020.

Liberal Party heavy Scott Briggs led the bid, and was part of the consortium who were the front runners vying for the highly lucrative contract – Australian Visa Processing Pty Ltd. Had the privatisation been successful, it would have handed our visa system over to private, for-profit businesses, and put over 2000 Home Affairs jobs on the chopping block. Melissa Donnelly, CPSU National Secretary, pointed out that APS values require all APS employees to be impartial and apolitical. After the revelations about the Secretary of Home Affairs, Mike Pezzullo, it is hard to see how those values have been upheld. “APS employees can face disciplinary action for sharing political content on social media, so it is astounding to learn that one of our country’s most senior public servants has been sharing a political hit-list with a known Liberal Party operative. Mike Pezzullo’s position as Secretary of the Department of Home Affairs is clearly untenable. These revelations also raise questions regarding the former Coalition Government’s failed attempt to privatise Australia’s visa system. Scott Briggs was heavily involved, leading the bid for the $1 billion visa processing tender.” Donnelly said.

PARASITE OF THE WEEK: Price gougers. Australian households are experiencing a significant decline in living standards as prices rise. Recent surveys have demonstrated that large numbers of people are going without basic necessities due to cost pressures. At the same time, corporate profits and executive bonuses are skyrocketing. Recent OECD research has demonstrated that in Australia, and comparable economies, corporate profits have been a major driver of inflation. The prices of goods and services are being raised not to match increased costs of production, but to inflate profit rates. To assess the causes, scale, and full effects of this price gouging and the adverse effects it is having on working people, the Australian Council of Trade Unions has commissioned renowned expert Professor Allan Fels AO to convene and chair an Inquiry into Price Gouging and Unfair Pricing Practices to examine the cause and effects of price gouging on the Australian people. The Inquiry will hold hearings across Australia. Everyone affected by price gouging is asked to make a submission about their story and what they see happening. Submissions will be also invited from academics, not-for-profit organisations, and think-tanks. The Inquiry’s report will be received by the ACTU and made available to policy makers, support providers, and the Australian public.

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