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Your views: on public service bullying and nepotism, land tax and GM crops

Reader contributions

Today, readers comment on public servants giving a scathing inside view of their departments, argue the nexus between land tax and rent, and question why SA is following the pack on GM crops.

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Commenting on the story: “The whole place is a joke”: Public servants tell of bullying, nepotism

I read the article and the quotes with a sad, wry smile. All too familiar.

 As someone partly bullied out of my job and role, it rang true.

It mirrored too the experience I saw others, especially from outside, coming up against. Recruited to help and make a transformational difference.

But we came up against the nasty myopic, claustrophobic and xenophobic (any other) culture of public administration in Adelaide.

Strangely, even those within could see some of this, but almost celebrated it and seemed unable or unwilling to change it.

And the worst behaviours were definitely walked from the top and picked up below.

Poor leadership then; over-promoted incompetents, political lackeys, a “guilty until proven innocent” approach, “who cares what they think; just FDI!”, punch-drunk support staff, a lack of trust, respect, actual skill etc etc.

Whilst I was appointed under Mike Rann’s pen, my experience was of the early Weatherill years and I was appalled by the standards and competence of many of those in decision-making positions and the treatment and behaviours of those same leaders.

It was Machiavellian with more than a touch of The Thick of It, with just a bit of Blackadder and Death of Stalin.

There were thankfully a few honourable exceptions.  But no, not a joke.  Not funny at all.

And from what I can see, still holding SA back. – Name supplied

I’ve long been aware of extensive bullying and favouritism at the Women’s and Children’s hospital.

Friends who worked there often expressed deep concern over the deliberate victimisation of staff by senior administration.

Complaints were seemingly mishandled, with organisation-wide knowledge that complaints will only ever be found in favour of the senior administrators perpetrating the bullying and favouritism.

 I hope this report will lift the lid on these long term practises. – David Packer

We should not be surprised about the toxicity of the public sector workplaces – it has been going on for years.

While you have earmarked some of the workplaces, there are others too.

A dear friend of mine has just been ‘reinstated ‘ to his position after almost 18 months of spurious allegations of which he has been refused an explanation about.

Despite being denied procedural fairness all the way, the agency still refuses to tell him anything about the so-called allegations or the outcome, by simply hiding behind Crown Law advice.

Apart from wrecking his own sense of professionalism the issue has also affected his confidence, trust and personal relationships.

To say that there’s a problem is an understatement. – Tom Kelsey

Commenting on the opinion piece: Land tax rent claims not an open and shut case

Thank you Mr Atkinson for the lesson in economics and in particular explaining how markets dictate outcomes.

What you neglected to mention in your article is that aggregation of property for land tax purposes is an unnatural interference of market.  

When that happens outcomes can be unpredictable, as without prior  knowledge any market and in particular real estate could not be expected to factor in an interference of the scale we are looking at.

Here is a market reality; owners of rental properties cannot afford to absorb the costs associated with increases in valuations and land tax .

Having witnessed 50 years of real estate boom and bust, I can assure all that during bust periods – which is where this government is hell bent on delivering us – rents  actually rise as rental stock falls, and those who can hold their properties demand more rent to cover their costs.

What will transpire is a collapse of the property market, as banks reassess their loans and force sales, and property owners who will not be able to absorb the tax increases choose to sell in a flooded market. 

Some might read this and think that a flooded property market means lower prices, and so making housing more affordable.

Well hang on for a wild ride, because during times like this banks tighten credit, interest rates rise and job losses are a reality.

People forced  from their homes will need to rent, so demand for rental properties will rise. So will the rents.

Having lived through numerous recessions and credit squeezes, I would ask all the economic theorists and ideological economists to study history, so that we don’t repeat it. – Constantine Kapiris

Commenting on the story: State Govt moves to lift ban on GM crops

The current government never ceases to astound me.

The estimated loss to farmers of not having GM modified crops is $33m in 15 years, or put it another way, just a paltry $2m per year.

I offered to show them how they could save $50m per year on mass transit by not having to buy as many buses and railcars as they currently need, but unsurprisingly no interest from the government. I think they couldn’t understand it.

The report by Professor Kym Anderson appears to miss out a very obvious point.

The logic is this: as the globe continues to warm we, in South Australia (and the world) will produce less agricultural products.

The population of the planet continues to increase at the same time as more and more countries are going GM- free. This means a smaller GM-free crop with higher need.

On that basis, crop prices will rise. Especially so given that our competitors will not be GM-free and as those have found out in WA, it is too easy for GM pollen to infect a non-GM crop.

Once infected, you cannot get GM-free certification back.

By keeping the moratorium we will maintain our competitive advantage.

I used to work in a company where one department followed the trends of its competitors.

It was a stupid business model and cost the company dearly as it closed its operations in WA, SA and the NT.

In business, be different, don’t follow the lemmings. Geoff Moore

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