Political staff roles around Australia’s parliaments should be abolished, say NSW Legislative Council election candidates, Anthony and Sharni Monaghan.
“Political staffers cost Australian taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars a year without any tangible benefit to the community,” says Mr Monaghan.
“Political staffers are weak points in corruption and security exposures,” Mr Monaghan said.
“Career public servants should fill any real additional work needs of MPs and ministers. That will enhance the career experience of Crown service officers, and deliver competent and responsible advice and service.
“The sorry spectacle of misbehaving MPs across Australia is especially corrosive of the ideals of young people who may be lured into personal political staff work. That promises weaker Parliaments into the future.
“Parliaments around Australia are failing to deliver good government, comprehensible legislation and effective representation. That is partly due to the massive expansion of political staff serving MPs and ministers but paid out of the public purse.
“In New South Wales, many backbench MPs have several political staff paid from the common revenue.
“The political staff appointments mean that instead of there being, say, two MPs each serving a smaller area, we have only one MP, who costs us more than two, but achieves much less than one should.”
Mr and Mrs Monaghan are grouped together at Group H on the NSW Upper House ballots.
“Because we are only two us, we are denied a box above the line, and we do ask people voting for us to complete another 13 numbers in other below the line boxes,” Mr Monaghan said.
Current political staffers should be appointed to special service roles.
Asked if he or Mrs Monaghan would hire political staff if elected on 23 March, Mr Monaghan replied: “If elected is a mighty tall hurdle. But if elected, no, we would engage Crown officers as permitted. You could not expect otherwise of us.”