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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 8 Hansard (18 August) . . Page.. 3479..


MS BURCH (continuing):

business sense. They are now waking up each and every day with their existing concerns and those members opposite are now threatening more job cuts. Their noses are just above water now. If we were to relive the experience of 1996 and 1997, I do not think there is one small trader in the Tuggeranong Hyperdome that would be saying: "Bring on this policy. This is a good thing to do. Let's rip the heart out of the federal public service here in Tuggeranong and across the ACT."If that happens, our small businesses will be nought, because those opposite have no sense of or concern for their sustainability.

The loss of jobs—this is the Liberal Party policy—will result in a decline in business, a decline in employment, a decline in opportunities for youth—Mr Rattenbury has mentioned the need for a vibrant graduate program within the federal public service—and, in short, it will be a decline in our community resilience and feel. It is a shame that those opposite consider that it is acceptable to watch over the burden and despair that this will bring to the ACT community. It is an absolute shame that they do not fight this tooth and nail, because the impact will be felt by each and every one of their neighbours, where their children go to school, where they buy their papers, where they buy their milk and bread and everything else. I do not support their position at all. I think it is flawed; it is almost anti Canberra. I thank Ms Porter for bringing this motion to the Assembly.

MS PORTER (Ginninderra) (11.38), in reply: I thank members for their contribution to this debate. However, I thought it was interesting that more than two opposition members were not in the chamber. In just three days time our nation will go to the ballot box to elect a federal government, and the outcome of this election will have direct consequences on the people of Canberra.

Mr Smyth: But there is only one Labor member in the chamber. Where are the rest of the ministers?

Mr Seselja: Where are all your friends, Mary?

Mr Smyth: Where is Jon? Where is Katy? Where is Andrew? Where is Simon?

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Mr Hargreaves): Order, members! You guys are outnumbered.

Mr Smyth: Apparently not.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Apparently so.

Mr Smyth: Apparently not.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Count.

MS PORTER: In my speech, I referred to how each one of the proposed 12,000 job cuts will affect Canberrans and their families. As these inevitable job cuts occur, the fear that will run through the public service will bring down productivity. Conversations held in workplaces will revolve around one question: who will be next?


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