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Home News ABC public sector-set farce no utopian vision of satire
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TAGS Utopia, ABC
Is working in the public sector funny? Perhaps it is if you work at the National Building Authority, a fictional agency from new ABC TV satire Utopia. Does it cut to the bone?
You’re the boss of a major federal government agency. Do you hang up on a minister? Do you get locked in endless meetings about changing the department’s logo? And why aren’t you wearing a tie?
Welcome to the National Building Authority, an agency that sounds real in name if not in practice. It’s an invention of veteran funny-people troupe Working Dog, whose public sector-set farce Utopia premiered on the ABC last night.
Tony, played by writer/director Rob Sitch, is the straight-man boss surrounded by incompetency. With a development derailed and the media on their backs, tradies shut down the floor to paint a new logo — which looks suspiciously like a famed Pink Floyd album.
It raises some chuckles. But, like Working Dog’s celebrated newsroom satire Frontline and (less successful) political saga The Hollowmen, does it cut anywhere near the bone?
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The Mandarin is where Australia's public sector leaders discuss their work and the issues faced within modern bureaucracy. Join today to discover the latest in public administration thinking and news from our dedicated reporters, current and former agency heads and senior executives.
Jason Whittaker is managing editor of The Mandarin based in Melbourne. He has written for and edited political, business and culture publications for a decade. He spent two years as editor of sister Private Media publication Crikey.
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