Minister Hunt, after decades of decline, why has trust in the public service risen? And can that trust be retained?
The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Public Service and Cabinet, responded to questions from IPAA members following his delivery of the 2020 Garran Oration.
The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on the Public Service and Cabinet, was recently asked a number of questions by IPAA members from across the country following his delivery of the 2020 Garran Oration.
One of the questions was asked by Ian Stewart AO FIPAA, IPAA Queensland President.
“Minister Hunt, in the past few months we’ve seen a significant rise in Australian’s trust in political institutions such as the public service.
After several decades of continuous decline, what do you see as the basis for this rise?
And what are the prospects that public services across Australia can retain these higher levels of trust?”
After thanking Ian for his question, the Minister responded:
“I think this is a really important question and I think the sense of service has been immensely important and recognised by the public.
They’ve seen their Chief Medical Officers, or Chief Health Officers, provide that day-to-day reassurance — and they may not agree with everything, but they recognise that they are there day after day — and they are the bow of an entire public service that is behind the face.
And the fact that Australian leaders have chosen to stand side-by-side with the medical experts has been an endorsement, not just of the individual, not just of the medical experts, but of the public service.”
And he continued saying:
“And I know I made the very, very conscious decision from late January, right through February, to be accompanied by Brendan Murphy or Paul Kelly.
And the reason why was they provided expertise, and coupled with the elected leadership with the responsibility, it meant that there was a partnership, and Australians realised ‘Gosh, there is a real partnership here, and that partnership is protecting me and working for me’.
And if people believe that that partnership is protecting them and working for them, then they’ll continue the support.”
And he concluded with this observation:
“Unique times, but maybe something worthy and good and enduring comes out of it, on top of the innovation in governance, on top of the innovation in services, and on top of the innovation in outcomes for the Australian people.”
Ian Stewart AO FIPAA, IPAA Queensland President
You can read more on the 2020 Garran Oration in the feature: 2020 GARRAN | GREG HUNT HONOURS EXTRAORDINARY PUBLIC SERVANTS IN THE YEAR OF COVID.
You can also download an edited copy of the 2020 Garran Oration, or watch the video of the 2020 Garran Oration from the link below.
The Minister’s question and answer session with IPAA members begins at 33:40 in the recording.