Chinese hackers embarrass LGNSW and LGMA

Those mischievous Chinese hackers, not happy with burrowing their way into the Pentagon or interfering with international missile systems, have now done something even more outrageous.

There is a letter dated 11 December addressed to the Local Government Minister Paul Toole being circulated in the industry purporting to be signed by both Keith Rhoades, president of LGNSW and Barry Smith, president of LGM/PA. This is not inconceivable in itself, but the subject of the letter is - the welfare of Senior Staff!

Clearly it is a hoax. The address and the name of the Minister are both correct, so this can’t be something that LGM/PA had anything to do with. The last correspondence we saw from that organisation to the Minister was addressed to Minister Tool and their last letter to Keith was addressed to Keth!

And while we’re a bit suspicious of the image chosen to accompany the letter as well, (reproduced above) what makes it even more obviously a hoax is that LGNSW is the organisation representing councillors. Councillors sack general managers who don’t deserve to be sacked, but who do get sacked for political reasons. They defend the standard contract and their ability to sack general managers for no good reason at every opportunity. So clearly there is a conflict of interest that makes this enormously improbable.

Far too many GMs with good reputations have been sacked by councillors with less than admirable reputations and every time we call for an end to standard contracts, or term contracts at all the senior staff, we have never, ever, ever, received any support from the councillors’ organisation.


LGM/PA is an organisation that doesn’t quite know what it’s doing or who it represents and, when given the opportunity to debate the removal of term contract arrangements and the “38 weeks’ pay out for any other reason” provisions, LGM/PA never supports it either.

It was only the USU, LGEA and depa advocating in the Standard Contracts Working Party for better protection for senior staff by removing the capacity of councils to sack good people inappropriately.

Let’s be clear here: if there is to be a provision allowing general managers to be sacked without good reason, then the payout should be 52 weeks - as the unions argued in the Standard Contract Working Party - and there should be no such provision for other senior staff to be sacked for political reasons at all.

So, it can only be a hoax. These two people in bed together somehow having gestated a special interest, just days before the Government’s announcement to amalgamate councils, can only be explained this way.

In case it isn’t a hoax, the three industry unions have written to Keith proposing that a joint initiative with the unions would have made more sense for the registered employers’ organisation.

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