While they haven’t been listed in the Crikey awards list, we should acknowledge the achievements of Minister for Family and Community Services and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for Women’s Issues Kay Patterson‘s in the field of staff turnover.
Liberal Party insiders say 11 people have left her office since the 2004 election – including assistance media adviser Kate Walsh, who has gone off to the new secret IR unit.
Much of this is being attributed to Patterson’s chief of staff, Gavin Jackman. Jackman is a career public servant, one of the bureaucratic sleepers taking advantage of the policy atrophy that has affected most of the Howard Government to infiltrate themselves into senior positions in ministerial offices.
Staff at CHQ during the 2004 campaign recall their delight when he told them that he was sure he could pick up a job with a Labor minister.