“Tony Abbott hasn’t seen an expert he hasn’t wanted to fire”
“Tony Abbott hasn’t seen an expert he hasn’t wanted to fire” Marc Stapelberg

Animal, guns, housing advisory bodies axed by Abbott

THE Federal Opposition has launched an attack on the Coalition over its axing or amalgamation of 21 key advisory bodies, in preparation for the first week of sittings for the 44th Parliament next week.

Senior Labor Party figures put out a series of statements on Friday, criticising the government's decision to axe 12 non-statutory bodies.

Leading the push was Acting Labor leader Tanya Plibersek and Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke, who said "Tony Abbott hasn't seen an expert he hasn't wanted to fire".

Prime Minister Tony Abbott revealed the changes in a statement on Friday, announcing key advisory councils on firearms, animal welfare, ageing, insurance reform and housing supply would go.

Mr Abbott said in the statement the bodies were abolished "where activities are no longer needed or can be managed within existing departmental resources".

"Many of these non-statutory bodies have outlived their original purpose or are not focused on the government's policy priorities," the statement reads.

"As a result, their work is best carried out by the relevant government departments or agencies."

While the statement said the decision was part of the Coalition's agenda to cut regulation by "at least $1 billion each year, every year", the statement did not outline any budget saving resulting from the changes.

Mr Burke said in a statement the government's sacking of "a quarter of the CSIRO's scientists and researchers" as well as the advisory bodies was "an unprecedented attack on expert opinion".

"This is a disgraceful cost-cutting exercise aimed at shutting down debate on important issues," Mr Burke said.

The Prime Minister's statement said ministers would continue to receive advice from "a broad range of sources", while Cabinet submission would also now include a "regulatory impact statement" in a bid to minimise compliance costs.


Non-statutory bodies to be abolished:

Australian Animals Welfare Advisory Committee.

Commonwealth Firearms Advisory Council.

International Legal Services Advisory Council.

National Inter-country Adoption Advisory Council.

National Steering Committee on Corporate Wrongdoing.

Antarctic Animal Ethics Committee.

Advisory Panel on the Marketing in Australia of Infant Formula.

High Speed Rail Advisory Group.

Maritime Workforce Development Forum.

Advisory Panel on Positive Ageing.

Insurance Reform Advisory Group.

National Housing Supply Council.

Non-statutory bodies to be amalgamated with another non-statutory body:

National Policy Commission on Indigenous Housing amalgamated with Prime Minister's Indigenous Advisory Council.

National Children and Family Roundtable and Prime Minister's Council on Homelessness to be amalgamated with Social Services Ministerial Advisory Council.

Pulp and Paper Advisory Group to be managed by the Manufacturing Leaders Group.

Non-statutory bodies to be absorbed by portfolio departments:

International Pro-Bono Advisory Group - Attorney-General's Department.

National Alternative Dispute Resolution Advisory Council - Attorney General's Department.

Centre for Workplace Leadership Advisory Group - Employment.

National Council for Education for Sustainability - Environment.

National Sustainability Council - Environment.