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When leaders crumble, keep your head down

Queensland doesn’t have a government days after an election. The Northern Territory administration is in turmoil after a failed coup. And Canberra is consumed over who should be the prime minister.

When leaders fall and governments crumble, throwing policymaking into chaos, what’s a hard-working public servant to do? “Take a holiday!” said David Charles, half-jokingly.

‘The former secretary of the Department of Industry, Technology and Commerce — now director at consulting firm Insight Economics — told The Mandarin:

“That’s a very hard question. Where the government is in disarray, I guess that raises difficult questions.

“The government is the government until it’s no longer the government. Public servants will know what’s going on, but on the other hand they’re there to serve the government of the day.

“This might be quite challenging if you’re a Northern Territory public servant. I guess the best thing is to avert your eyes! If you wanted to be a politician, you’d go into politics.”‘

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