10 April 2022
There is an election on May 21. The Liberals are likely to be decimated. So what is their response? To stack mates into as many tribunals as possible.
The Fair Work Commission has been totally underfunded by the Liberals, as with the deliberate demise of the Unions it was the only hope for some sort of wage justice and an unsuccessful enforcer against wages theft. Obviously if Labor comes in, it is likely to boost its resources and appoint more judges. So what do the Libs do at 5 seconds to midnight? Appoint a resource industry human resources manager as Deputy Commissioner.
The Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association CEO, Andrew McConville was made head of the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.
A Josh Frydenberg minder has been made a commissioner in the Productivity Commission.
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has become immensely busy due to people having to appeal for NDIS resource allocation decisions and in the absence of resources, its waiting times have blown out. It was very involved in the early Robo-debt cases. M Attorney-General Micaela cash has appointed 19 new appointments and extended 26 others. Six of the 19 were not in the ‘expression of interest’ register, so effectively they are Liberal recruits.
There needs to be an impeccable neutral process for the appointment of judicial officers and members of significant QUANGOs. The abuse of office in appointments to the US Supreme Court are a major issue in terms of long appointments, dictating conservative policies for years. The Liberals seem to be taking a leaf from the US Republicans’ playbook. The question is whether Labor will fix the system, or just tit-for-tat put in their people when the time comes.