MEDIA RELEASE - Abbott Government axes public valuation office - Friday 24 January, 2014

The Abbott Government confirmed today that it is closing the Australian Valuation Office in June. I have responded with a media release highlighting that this is a Government continually chipping away at the public service, outsourcing public services without concern for the implications for jobs, especially in regional Australia.

ANDREW LEIGH MP


SHADOW ASSISTANT TREASURER


ACTING SHADOW FINANCE MINISTER


MEMBER FOR FRASER


MEDIA RELEASE



MORE JOBS LOST AS ABBOTT GOVERNMENT KILLS PUBLIC VALUATION OFFICE


The Abbott Government’s decision to axe the Australian Valuation Office jeopardises the jobs and livelihoods of almost 200 people across Canberra, Sydney, and Melbourne and in remote and regional cities.


The decision smacks of an ideological preoccupation with cutting government services without regard to their effectiveness.


The 104 year-old AVO, located in the Australian Taxation Office, has been doing an effective job. While the government refers to a projected loss in the future, it fails to point out that the AVO has consistently run a profit.


At the same time that the Minister for Social Services has announced a review of welfare spending, the Government is axing the office that conducts compliance valuations for Centrelink.


The AVO’s team of professionals provide valuation, assessment, risk management and independent advice regarding property and other assets. If the government does not know what its assets are worth, it risks making bad decisions in everything from defence to social security.


Tony Abbott gave no indication of this when in Opposition. The government has not consulted with staff before making this decision.


If there is a compelling case to axe the AVO, the government needs to make it. Scrapping a century-old institution deserves a proper report, not just a short press release from the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer.


The Coalition said that they wanted more services delivered in regional Australia, but all they have done is cut jobs.


The decision comes off the back of revelations this week that the ATO plans to close regional tax compliance offices across four states.


Why is the Coalition axing jobs at a time of rising joblessness and insecurity? Is this a preview of the savage cuts to come with the Commission of Audit?


Friday, 24 January 2014






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