Crikey understand The Australian‘s irrepressible freedom of information editor Michael McKinnon will be back in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal next Wednesday, this time pestering the very top dogs of the public service, Prime Minister & Cabinet. What’s he after? Documents on IR reform – and that’s a story in itself.
What are documents on IR reform doing in the Prime Minister’s department, rather than the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations? It couldn’t mean that the whole WorkChoices campaign is someone’s personal crusade, could it?
Crikey understands that there may well be some interesting material the pen-pushers prepared in the papers McKinnon’s chasing dealing with the productivity, living standards and employment implications of the Government’s proposed new industrial relations system.
McKinnon is representing himself, but the union movement may be keen to assist with this case. Or ACCI. Or the BCA. The more the merrier, really.
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After all, Harold Mitchell, one of Australia’s most senior advertising industry figures, told the ABC yesterday that the Government’s IR campaign has been the most expensive in history. He says a Nielsen Media report shows the Government spent $26 million on television advertising alone in October – more than any other entity including retailing giant Coles Myer.
With spending like that, it would be nice if a few of the interested parties threw in a bob or two so we could see the actual documentation that tells us if those 11,000 TV ads on WorkChoices were telling employers and employees the truth.