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John Hassall


My submission is regarding the disparity between the nominated APS level and scope of work of jobs in the ACT verses those in other areas.
As an example, an APS 6 position in Oakey would be required to complete a higher level of work over a broader range of duties resulting in a higher output than the equivalent position in the ACT. In fact, from my observations, the equivalent position in the ACT would easily be nominated as an EL position. This is not just a recent observation but one that I have noticed over many years and has been verified several APS employees during that time. One employee, whose partner was temporarily posted to Qld, stated that the expectations of her APS 5 position in Qld would match the job description of an EL position in the ACT. Another ex Qld employee stated that her APS 6 position in the ACT was easier and had a lighter workload than her APS 5 job in Qld. There are some political and economic descriptions that could explain why a governmental organisation would allow this to occur but, with politics aside, there is no logical explanation why the APS condones paying non-ACT based employees below their worth.
Furthermore, I would like to point out that a recent departmental review identified a top heavy department where many SES and EL positions were identified as excess and subsequently terminated. It was no surprise that most of these were located in the ACT. Thus, if the norm for departmental growth is to create higher level positions in the ACT then this should also be obvious in other areas. From my observations, it is not. The norm for job growth in other areas seems to be that the incumbents just need to do more and hence the expectations are that they cover a broader range of duties and increase their output.
Looking at the future of the APS from a Review Panel perspective, some mechanism for state-to-state job level parity needs to be implemented so that those in non-ACT areas are rewarded with job advancement opportunities similar to what is occurring in the ACT. In the 21st century, we have access to telephone, email, text, Lync (Skype Business), Telecon, Vidcon, DREAMS etc so there should be no reason why employees at the higher level positions can not be based outside the ACT.