Wednesday, October 20, 2010

How many politicians does it take to change a lightbulb?

POLITICIANS reckon they and their staff are quite capable of climbing a ladder to replace a blown lightbulb. 

But occupational health and safety requirements say that should be left to a qualified electrician.

The issue surfaced during a Senate estimates hearing when Liberal Eric Abetz told Upper House colleagues he was prevented recently from changing a light bulb in his electorate office.

He was told that the rules meant an electrician had to be called.

"It is just impractical, it's stupid," Senator Abetz said in Canberra today.

"Most Australians would say if a person is not capable of changing a light globe, chances are they are not capable of running an electorate office."

Senator Abetz said he had been told changing a bulb could require climbing a ladder which was a safety risk.

Australians managed to change bulbs in their own homes every day of the week without getting electrocuted.

"It's bureaucracy gone mad, it's a waste of money and the minister should intervene to stop it," he said.

Nationals senator Fiona Nash said she was quite capable of changing a lightbulb.

"I would certainly be able to get up a ladder as a farm girl and change a light globe," she said.

But Labor senator Doug Cameron was more cautious.

"I have never even thought about changing a lightbulb in my office," he said.

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