Why such savage cuts in Ferguson’s department? Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism secretary Drew Clarke told staff on Wednesday that at least 100 Canberra-based jobs would go thanks to a savage $27.5 million budget cut in 2012-13. The Canberra Times reported yesterday that “some workers would be offered redundancies because attrition alone would not cut the size of the workforce quickly enough”. We’re told eyebrows raised in Canberra over the size of the cuts — proportionally a much bigger cut than other agencies — and the motivation behind them.

One insider suggests it might be “the price of backing the wrong horse” — that is, minister Martin Ferguson and his public support of Kevin Rudd in Labor’s leadership showdown. “Also,” they write, “is now really the right to lose experienced staff who deal directly with the big miners? Insiders say we can expect more ‘unintended impacts’ as department secretaries figure out how to implement Swan’s budget cuts.” A departmental spokesperson wouldn’t confirm the number to us but wasn’t refuting the Crimes report.

Dose of reality for some bank staff. From this morning’s 3AW Rumour File: “Caller Mind Games says that a big four bank has instructed 30 staff to pack up their desks next week and they will go downstairs to receive a letter detailing if they have been made redundant or not. Those who have will leave immediately and those who have not will take their belongings back upstairs.” Sounds like a reality TV show. Which bank might that be …?

And which bank doesn’t let bikes in? Still in bank-land, does Westpac hate cyclists? This notice was posted outside the Potts Point branch in Sydney and has the cycling community up in arms as the photo is distributed through social media channels. As Crikey‘s correspondent writes: “One would think, given Westpac’s claims to be a green bank that they’d welcome cyclists rather than seek to anger them in this way.”

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey