Do we undervalue our public sector innovations?

Sep 11, 2012


Nadine Flood questions whether governments take our science and other publicly funded breakthroughs for granted.

The CSIRO is one of Australia’s most respected institutions. The Bureau of Meteorology is crucial in times of impending climate crisis. They are also part of the public service. And though their specialty is science, other areas of the public sector are also responsible for innovation — from agricultural land use to new ways of fighting tax evasion.

See a brief history of CSIRO achievements from wi-fi to dollar notes.

It’s a concept that is often lost at Budget time when governments keen to trim down costs often take a knife to the public sector. It’s easy pickings if the millions of dollars saved or made by innovations in technology, energy and health fail to be counted as assets.

The CPSU’s Nadine Flood tells 3Q how the CSIRO’s development of wi-fi technology transformed the world and brought $500 million into Australia through patent fees. Yet if the Opposition has its way, crucial funding of the sciences and other public sector innovation would be lost.
Further cuts on the grounds of “efficiency” will have long term effects on our ability to innovate.

What next for public broadcasters in the digital age?

Jul 10, 2012

If SBS and the ABC don’t get a substantial increase in funding, their future is shaky, warns Nadine Flood.



The old media empires are being transformed by a new audience which doesn’t pay for its news. The News Corporation scandal in the UK is turning people away from newspapers. So what are the ramifications for public broadcasting?

CPSU’s Nadine Flood tells 3Q the role of the national broadcasters will be more important than ever. Investigative journalism and public accountability are at risk. But public funding must increase if they are to fulfil their roles and continue to innovate.

How will public sector cuts affect you?

May 15, 2012


Nadine Flood believes the public will experience more delays and long queues because of cuts to government services.

There’s a common misconception that most public servants are Canberra based, well paid and underworked. But two thirds of the public sector actually work outside of the national capital and are on average or below average wages.

CPSU National Secretary Nadine Flood tells 3Q that the public will notice the difference when over 4000 cuts are made to the public sector this year.

Read the CPSU’s round up of the implications the Federal Budget will have on the public sector.

And she says Tony Abbott’s plans to slash the public service would be disastrous.