26 September 2023

DES swoops on the birds

Start the conversation

Starting this week by going bush in Queensland, passing on a request from its very active Department of Environment and Science (which affectionately answers to the abbreviation DES!) pleading with the public to stop feeding the State’s endangered birds, the cassowaries.

According to DES, people have been enticing and feeding the birds non-native fruit, neither of which is in the birds’ interest.

“Some people genuinely believe they are helping cassowaries and contributing to cassowary conservation by feeding them, but this is not the case,” a DES Director said.

“The birds need to be foraging for their own food in the rainforest and not in urban areas.”

But why has the never-affectionate PS-sssst! chosen to go into bat for this extremely positive and heart-rending good cause?

The answer is to share the cunningly clever and creative catchword the delightful DES has chosen to communicate the campaign.

It’s calling on people to be ‘Cass-o-Wary” and stop feeding the cassowaries!

In addition, how could anyone not want to support a Department that calls itself DES?

Paid out?

To NSW now for an exercise in PS housekeeping with the State’s Department of Premier and Cabinet issuing a Memorandum this week formalising the Government’s decision of some time ago to limit future public sector payrises to1.5 per cent.

Explaining that the “primary aim of this policy is to ensure better services and value for the public” and that “future remuneration increases will be broadly aligned with the average forecasts for underlying inflation” the Memorandum puts its case strong and boldly but seems to fall a bit short when summing up why the policy is required in the first place.

“Employee related costs are the largest component of Government expenditure,” the memorandum says, “accounting for almost half of Government expenses.”

Now PS-sssst! makes no claim to have any skills when it comes to mathematics but does think that if the “largest component of expenditure” is not even half, there must be other, bigger, expenses that could do with attention before picking on defenceless PS workers.

A brewing law

To the wide world of wit and wisdom now regularly shown by PS-sssst! contributor extraordinaire, Philomena S of the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services, sharing with us a PS platitude from the prosaic passage of performance that prevails as the public sector.

Rated No. 11 on Philomena’s “18 Laws of Naughty Nature” is her “Law of Coffee” which PS-sssst! is positive almost every PS worker has paid the price of on one occasion or another.

“As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee,” Philomena’s absolutely accurate law forecasts, “your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold”.

How true.

Bean there! Drunk that!

Skinny giveaway

And now, maintaining our constant week after week timetable by taking the time to table Rama’s Gaind’s regular reach of rousingly reading reviews with rich rewards, it’s time to give away to two free booklovers two free books they’ll love after answering Rama’s regular riddle with the right response.

The celebrated giveaway this week is Karen Fischer’s informative health helper The Healthy Skin Kitchen which resolves skin complaints by showing readers how to create radiant skin from the inside out simply by being wise and careful how they eat.

To join Rama’s army of well-deserving winners all we needed to know was why The Healthy Skin Kitchen has such a popular new way of eating, the answer to which was because it’s new to eat to repair, firm and tone the skin through recipes that can be customised, and includes instructions on how to adapt them for food intolerance.

So it was that the first two correct entrants whose entries had the right answer and emerged first from the PS News Barrel of Booty belonged to Jyoti S from the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and Janice G from Workplace Health and Safety in Queensland.

Congratulations to Jyoti and Janice and thanks to all who took part. The new books will be on their way to their new owners shortly.

For another chance to join Rama’s giveaway game for next week, just sign on for her freebie Book The French Gift at this PS News link right now and/or go for her later offering, the Book Pushing Back at this link.

Good luck to all who do!

Family grows

And finally-ish another month has bitten the dust, prompting PS-sssst! to warmly welcome the 505 wise and discerning readers from all around the country who chose March to step in line with the PS News family by parading onto our free subscriber list to receive their own personal notice each time a new weekly issue is out and ready to read.

On behalf of everyone associated with PS News, PS-sssst! says thanks.

And while on the subject of March, the month was also meaningful for readers in the NSW, Victorian, Queensland and Western Australian public services, with each managing to reach record levels of subscribers, doing their bit to help take the combined national list past the 169,000 milestone to reach 169,108.

As PS-sssst! has said on many occasions – you read the stories and we’ll keep writing them!

And also, if you are on our subscription list and don’t want to be there, let us know and we’ll take you off.

PS of the PAST

Another nostalgic trip down the PS Past lane as we revisit the policies, preferences and predilections of the public sector 10 years ago this week.

Past PS news: Revisiting 5 to 11 April, 2011

1. This week 10 years ago, the Community and Public Sector Union (CPSU) was drawing attention to a study by Essential Media showing community opinion firmly against cuts to public services. The survey revealed more than two-thirds of Australians would prefer to put off returning the Federal Budget to surplus if doing so meant cuts to services.

“Cuts to essential services might fill a short-term budget hole,” National Secretary of the CPSU, Nadine Flood said, “but Australians realise they’ll lead to long-term problems.

2. A new guide to help victims of natural disasters understand their insurance policies was welcomed this week by Assistant federal Treasurer, Bill Shorten and Attorney-General, Robert McClelland.

The self-help resource was developed by Legal Aid Queensland to assist Queenslanders in the aftermath of the devastating storms, cyclone and floods that impacted on the State earlier in the year.

“While it is Queensland specific, it will also be of assistance to people in other States facing similar circumstances,” Mr Shorten said.

3. The earliest surviving document printed in Australia was added this week to the United Nation’s Memory of the World Register. The eighteenth-century theatre playbill, held by the National Library of Australia in Canberra, advertises a theatrical performance in Sydney on Saturday, 30 July 1796 and was printed by George Hughes, who operated Australia’s first printing press.

“As the oldest known printed document in this country, it is important that the playbill be recognised in this way,” Director-General of the National Library, Anne-Marie Schwirtlich said.

4. Meanwhile, to help with modern conservation, the National Archives of Australia launched a new online tool for Departments and Agencies to assess the strength of their records and information management systems.

Check-up 2.0 was designed to help Agencies identify the strengths and weaknesses and areas of high risk in their information management practices.

“Records are an essential part of Public Sector accountability and it’s important to manage them properly,” Assistant Director-General of Government Information Management at the Archives, Margaret Chalker said. “After all, they are the basis of good decision-making and they protect the rights and entitlements of citizens.”

5. Staying on the historical theme, this week 10 years ago the Cottesloe home of wartime Prime Minister John Curtin was opened to the public after comprehensive conservation and interpretation works.

West Australian Premier, Colin Barnett said the home was a place of great cultural significance and an example of a commitment from both the Federal and the State governments to ensuring Australia’s national heritage was conserved.

“It … is one of only three former Prime Ministers’ homes in Australia accessible to the community,” Mr Barnett said.

6. And, finally, the Royal Australian Mint this week released Australia’s first coin commemorating the royal engagement of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

The 50-cent coin, dated 2010 to mark the year of the couple’s engagement, was designed by the Queen’s goldsmith and jeweller, Stuart Devlin, who has also designed a number of Australia’s circulating coins.

The design featured on two products: a commemorative 50-cent coin in a card and a selectively gold-plated two-coin set.

Till next week……

Something to share?

Send to [email protected]

(And, yes, it can be anonymous!)

Start the conversation

Be among the first to get all the Public Sector and Defence news and views that matter.

Subscribe now and receive the latest news, delivered free to your inbox.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.