Government a home for lost Labor and dumped premiers

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Government a home for lost Labor and dumped premiers

LINDA SILMALIS
The Sunday Telegraph
January 20, 201312:00AM

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THE Gillard government has become a Labor refugee camp for out-of-work premiers and ex-Labor government and union officials.

An analysis of recent Commonwealth appointments reads like a who’s who of former high-profile Labor figures. The Opposition has accused the Gillard government of engaging in a “jobs for the boys” program.

Appointments include former Victorian premier John Brumby to the chair of the Council of Australian Governments Reform Council on December 7.

Former Queensland premier Anna Bligh was appointed to the board of Medibank Private three days earlier.

Her South Australian counterpart Mike Rann, was given the role of Australia’s High Commissioner to the UK on August 23. In November, ex-Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser was appointed to Australian Sports Commission board.

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A month later, Mr Fraser also joined the board of the new Moorebank Intermodal Company. Former Queensland attorney-general Cameron Dick was appointed to the chair of the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Commission on November 30. And ex-Victor- ian Deputy Premier John Thwaites was given the chair of the National Sustainability Council in October.

Mr Thwaites was also appointed chairman of the Australian Building Codes Board in the previous year.

Former WA premier Geoff Gallop was given a job on the International Education Advisory Council and appointed chairman of the Australia Awards Board. Former NSW Labor party president and Electrical Trades Union secretary, Bernie Riordan, has the role of commissioner of Fair Work Australia.

Mr Riordan quit the presidency after writing in his union magazine that Labor was highly unlikely to win.

“If there is one thing Julia Gillard has implemented successfully, it is an employment program for her Labor mates,” Opposition waste spokesman Jamie Briggs said.

“Labor should be focused on creating jobs.”

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