Barbara Bennett

Barbara Bennett
Under the guise of an “information campaign” about its industrial relations laws, the Commonwealth government is running television and print advertisements which feature a public servant, Barbara Bennett, who has previously been engaged in clipping the entitlements of injured workers to compensation for their injuries. (See also the second link in the update below.)

As the Sydney Morning Herald reports (referring to the tv ad):

The advertisement begins by saying there are a lot of myths about workplace relations. Ms Bennett then appears and says: “The biggest myth is that employees are alone and unprotected and that’s just not true.” She goes on to speak on the role of the authority while footage depicts her and other officials carrying out their duties. It is believed to be the first time a public servant has appeared in a television commercial promoting government policies.

As that story and other stories (including in The Australian) relate, Julia Gillard has denounced the advertisements as “an appalling waste of taxpayers’ money and an “arrogant abuse” of the public service for a political campaign.” Ms Gillard says that the advertisements “might breach public service guidelines requiring bureaucrats to be apolitical.”

Ms Gillard is careful not to criticise Ms Bennett personally for the advertisements, preferring to lay the blame on the government and to question whether Ms Bennett had a choice in taking part in them. Personally, I think that is too kind to Ms Bennett, and I’m not alone.

I suspect that Ms Gillard may also have views which go beyond those which she has expressed on the record. It will be interesting to see what happens to Ms Bennett if there is a change of government at the next election.

Update:There is more on Barbara Bennett in various editions of the SMH this week, including:

Comcare boss changed evidence to Senate; and

Sworn to secrecy to save us from confusion.

As Matthew Moore comments in the second of those stories, referring to the assurances that Ms Bennett offers in the advertisement, “Bennett’s assurances are worth checking.”

,

3 Responses to “Barbara Bennett”

  1. Club Troppo » Missing Link - Saturday 28 July 2007 Says:

    […] looks at the new WorkChoices ads and wonders (a) whether it is appropriate for a senior public servant to feature in the ads and (b) […]

  2. Blogger on the Cast Iron Balcony » Blog Archive » Ad Nauseum: Federal Government’s IR ads Says:

    […] not get too gleeful: we’re paying for the campaign, after all. Tim Dunlop and others have more on why this ad campaign should be […]

  3. The Road to Surfdom » Blog Archive » Ad Nauseum: Federal Government’s IR ads Says:

    […] not get too gleeful: we’re paying for the campaign, after all. Tim Dunlop and others have more on why this ad campaign should be pulled.       Crossposted at the […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: