Abbott hands out jobs for the pals

Written By komlim puldel on Jumat, 12 Desember 2014 | 20.01

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has handed out a large amount of jobs to people tied to the Coalition. Picture: Stefan Postles / Getty Images Source: Getty Images

IT WAS a night in which the spoils of winning government were laid out like trophies for lucky recipients, five of them with close links to Tony Abbott.

All governments find posts for former colleagues and loyal supporters — and most of them are also merit appointments.

For example, there is no questioning the qualifications that Alexander Downer brings to his role as High Commissioner in London, while the government has also kept former Labor leader Kim Beazley in Washington.

However, Thursday night's appointments were notable for the sheer number of jobs for the pals handed out in a single hit.

Gary Humphries, a Liberal senator from 2003-2013, was appointed to the five-year, $460,000 p/a job as Deputy President of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. Mr Humphries was an Opposition front bencher when the Liberals dropped him in a preselection contest last year.

Former senator Gary Humphries was handed a lucrative job by Tony Abbott last night. Source: News Limited

Former LNP member for the Queensland seat of Hinkler from 1993-2013, Paul Neville, appointed to the board of the National Film and Television Archive.

Former Liberal WA senator 1990-2007 and Environment Minister Ian Campbell and former NSW Liberal leader and Treasurer Peter Collins were appointed to the council of the Australian National Maritime Museum.

Columnist and regular supporter of Liberal Party administrations Janet Albrechtsen was appointed to the council of the National Museum of Australia.

The board and council and appointments are for three-year terms and come with travel and meeting expenses paid.

They also insert friendly Liberal identities into some important cultural bodies, particularly the National Museum.

Separate to these appointments, two judges were named to the Federal Court who have acted for the Liberal Party or have personal links — Salvatore Vasta and Alexander (Sandy) Street.

Former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer is currently serving in the prestigious role as High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. Picture: Ella Pellegrini Source: News Corp Australia

Previously, the Abbott government appointed Downer to his London post, as well as former WA Federal Liberal MP Barry Hasse as administrator on Christmas Island.

Today, Prime Minister Abbott also named John Lloyd, who is closely associated with the dumped Work Choices workplace policy, as Public Service Commissioner.

Mr Abbott said Mr Lloyd, formerly of the Institute of Public Affairs and head of the Building and Construction Commission, had extensive experience in "the areas of employment and workplace relations".

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