Public servants first on the Coalition chopping block

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott speaks to media at the CAboolture Netball Association. Photo Vicki Wood / Caboolture News
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott speaks to media at the CAboolture Netball Association. Photo Vicki Wood / Caboolture News Vicki Wood

PUBLIC servants on six-figure salaries in Canberra are "exactly the kind of thing" the Coalition's Commission of Audit will focus on, Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott said today.

Mr Abbott met with senior colleagues Julia Bishop and Warren Truss in the nation's capital on Monday to finalise the Coalition's agreement to form government.

In an interview on 2GB, Mr Abbott said the agreement was the "first thing to finalise" the Coalition needed to complete, even before being sworn in.

He said he expected to be sworn in as Prime Minister early next week, but in the meantime would be finalising the ministry and Cabinet.

Mr Abbott said once his government had been sworn in, the Commission of Audit would be one of the first initiatives to begin.

"It's important to get these things sorted at the beginning of a new government," he said.

"Because these will be issues the government will own, and before you own it, you've got to fix it and that's what we plan to do."

However, Mr Abbott's key problem of repealing the carbon tax through a hostile Senate will be one he owns.

His plans will come up against likely opposition from Labor, The Greens and a range of wildcard first-time senators.

"Let's wait and see what the Labor Party ultimately decides; the Labor Party is in a state of flux," he said.

"My instinct is what they will conclude that they badly let down the traditional working people of our country."

With more than three months until the traditional parliamentary Christmas break, Mr Abbott said he also planned more sittings later this year.

He said the likely timeframe would include sittings in "late October, early November", but did not commit to a timeframe.

"We've got to be expeditious, but we've got to get it right," he said.

"It's important that we get the legislation prepared so that the instant parliament comes back we've got a legislative agenda."

Topics:  coalition federal election 2013 job cuts public service tony abbott

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