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HODGMAN GOVERNMENT PLAN TO SILENCE CRITICS

New employment guidelines proposed by the Hodgman government would expose state service employees to the threat of termination if they use social media to be critical of their employer, the government or a Minister.

The changes would guarantee the Premier could act against a state service employee who found themselves in the same situation as Angela Williamson did with Cricket Australia.

“These policies are designed to silence state service employees and to deny them the right every citizen has to participate in community debates on public policies,” said CPSU General Secretary Tom Lynch.

“The Hodgman government thinks state service employees are employed to serve the political interests of the government of the day when it’s actually the Tasmanian people they serve.”
“It thinks that the state service can only be apolitical if every employee within the service is apolitical in their private life and that is a significant over reach,” said Mr. Lynch.

The proposed social media policy warns state service employees that even making it clear in posts that the comments are made in a personal capacity or making comments anonymously won’t stop the government from pursuing code of conduct action.

“Despite his recent protestations these policies make it clear Premier Hodgman wants to be able to exercise exactly the same powers Cricket Australia used to sack Angela Williamson if state service employees use social media to be critical of his government’s policies,” said Mr. Lynch.

“It seems the Hodgman government will leave no stone unturned in its efforts to silence anyone critical of its policies or performance,” said Mr. Lynch.

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