The public service union has slammed a coalition proposal to outsource large parts of federal policy to state governments, saying it will cost thousands of jobs and risk sending Australia back to the 1980s.
The idea, outlined by coalition finance and deregulation spokesman Andrew Robb, would involve the states acting as agents for the Commonwealth in the administration of some government policy.
But Community and Public Sector Union national secretary Nadine Flood says the policy is dangerous and would result in thousands of federal jobs slashed.
“Does the coalition really want to take Australia back to the 1980s where each state did its own thing?” she said in a statement.
“Do business and citizens really want to work through seven different sets of state regulations?”
Parliamentary secretary Mark Dreyfus earlier said the plan was a recipe for public sector job cuts.
“Outsourcing is just code for cuts,” he told reporters in Canberra.
“The federal government’s public service is going to be slashed.”
Mr Robb said the opposition has had quite a lot of contact with state coalition governments and oppositions about their plan to handover administration of environmental law to the states.
“And we are looking at using that as the model for other areas,” he told Fairfax papers.
“We’ve reached agreement that we will, in a sense, outsource environmental approvals to those states that wish to take up the offer and I think it will be enthusiastically embraced, from the reaction we’ve had.”