Monday, September 17th, 2012 - The Hon Kate Ellis MP Minister for Employment Participation Minister for Early Childhood and Child [email protected]

KATE ELLIS: Good afternoon Michael.

MICHAEL SMYTH: What do you - were you surprised by the size of this announcement from Isobel Redmond today?

KATE ELLIS: I was surprised but I was also horrified that we've now actually had the chance to see what this means when we look at Queensland. And I think sometimes Liberal politicians think that public servants are an easy target, that people think that they're the people that sit in offices away from the public.

But when we look at what's happened in Queensland, we can see that the people who have been sacked this week are the nurses, are the child protection workers, are the hospital orderlies, are the school cleaners. There were six hundred transit officers who have been sacked in Queensland.

So I think in South Australia we can look to Queensland and have a very clear view of what our state could look like under a Liberal Government. Of course, what Isobel Redmond is talking about is much more extreme even than what they're doing in Queensland.

MICHAEL SMYTH: Of course the Opposition Leader initially held this media conference today to talk about this freedom of information request. And the fact that quite a number of over sixty year olds have been taking these targeted voluntary separation packages within the public service here.

Surely that can be tightened up, that people over sixty who are close to retirement aren't the ideal candidates for taking these sort of packages.

KATE ELLIS: Well look, I think one of the things that we've been working on very hard is actually supporting people to stay in the workforce longer if they want to. So I don't think that, in today's age, we can assume that when people turn sixty that they're going to put their feet up for the next maybe forty years. I think we need to move away from that sort of thinking because we need people if they're fit and able to, to be accepted in our workforces.

But that's actually a different issue from talking about managing public servants, managing people on the way out, to talk about what an extreme cut that Isobel Redmond put forward today are two quite separate issues and I think that they should remain as such. Because we're talking about huge numbers and what we're talking about isn't just affecting the public service. Of course it affects the families of those individuals, but it affects our community more broadly.

And South Australia is the state that I, like you, love and I don't want to see all sorts of support services ripped out of the guts of what is South Australia's community.

MICHAEL SMYTH: Minister, thank you for your time this afternoon.

KATE ELLIS: Thank you Michael.

MICHAEL SMYTH: Kate Ellis, the Federal Minister for Employment Participation.

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Nathan Moir Adviser | The Hon Kate Ellis MP Minister for Employment Participation | Minister for Early Childhood & Child Care

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Isobel Redmond



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