Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been playing political Santa this week and handing out the goodies to Australian voters. While Labor and the Greens (with the astonishing collusion of Pauline Hanson) stiffed us with a lump of coal, by rejecting the government’s union-busting Ensuring Integrity bill, Santa Morrison was able to stuff our stockings, twice over.

First of the goodies was the repeal of the dangerous, deceitful Medivac legislation. Now we’ve been given the gift that keeps on giving: culling the public service fatcats.

Scott Morrison has ordered the biggest shake-up of the public ­service in more than 30 years, axing four departments and five mandarins in a move to ­implement a “lean and mean”­­ ­bureaucracy.

Delivering on a pledge to cut red tape and streamline government services, the Prime Minister will cut the number of departments from 18 to 14 as of February 1 to “bust bureaucratic congestion”.

Mr Morrison, who is also Minister for the Public Service, said Australians should be able to ­access “simple and reliable ser­vices, designed around their needs”.

Once upon a time, genuinely reforming Labor governments also sought to curb the leech-like federal bureaucracy. Now, Labor states Queensland and Victoria bloat their public payrolls with an ever-growing taxpayer-funded bureaucracy. It’s purely coincidental, no doubt, that the public service is stuffed with people who fit the green-left demographic profile.

The creation of four super departments is the most significant restructure of the public service since Bob Hawke reduced the number of departments from 28 to 18 and abolished the public service board soon after the 1987 election.

Ahead of Mr Morrison releasing his response to David Thodey’s review of the public service next week, The Australian understands government agencies and boards, estimated to number more than 180, will be next in the firing line.

A senior government source said bureaucracy involved in the unwieldy, expensive ­information and communications technology platforms would also be targeted.

“The next step is the agencies …. there are more government agencies than there are countries in the UN,” the source said.

“There is also a big wake-up call coming for the IT and tech public servants who have spent 20 years making contractors and IT ­com­panies rich by signing up for fragmented, sub-scale tech ­systems.”

Just to give you an idea of how astoundingly elitist these unelected mandarins are, consider their eye-watering pay-packets.

The departing top bureaucrats, who were on remuneration packages worth more than $700,000 a year…

The clean-out of five department secretaries — Mike Mrdak, Daryl Quinlivan, Heather Smith, Renee Leon and Kerri Hartland — sparked a furious response from senior bureaucrats.

In an email to staff, Mr Mrdak said he was told late on Wednesday afternoon that his department would be abolished, ending his 32-year career in the public service.

Poor petal. Now he’ll have to work for a living.

But this is not just a vital move to cut Australia’s bloated public spending. It’s also a clear ideological signal. While it’s common to complain that there is no real difference between the Liberals and Labor (or, the “Laborals”), Morrison is moving to stamp a clear policy agenda against the Labor-Green left.

Scott Morrison has moved to take advantage of incumbency and use the power of parliament to pressure Labor and create a platform for a political strategy in 2020 […] Morrison decided to act like a political leader, taking his opponent head-on, appealing directly to the electorate on key issues, highlighting promises that have been delivered and “standing up” for what he and the Coalition believe in.

After the debacle of the light-green watermelon Malcolm Turnbull, who did so much to alienate the Liberals’ conservative base, Morrison is stamping his government as strong on border protection and small government.


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