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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2012 Week 6 Hansard (9 May) . . Page.. 2221..

of weeks—a week, if the Treasurer had his way—to finalise the budget and to make those decisions based on what we have seen and the detail we received last night.

We are very conscious of the role we play; we are a small but significant player in terms of our role in the local economy. The commonwealth is the big player in town, and we cannot pretend to have the influence that the commonwealth has. But I think between the ACT government and our very close-knit business and community sector representatives we will be working to make sure we make those right decisions in terms of our budget and those decisions going forward. We have got a tough couple of years ahead, I think, and there is a role for the ACT government to play here to ensure economic stability across the territory.

MR SMYTH: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Chief Minister, what will be the impact on the ACT economy of the 12,000 jobs to be cut by federal Labor's budget?

MS GALLAGHER: We have not had the 12,000 job cut figure confirmed. In fact Senator Lundy, who is the only federal minister I have spoken to at this point in time, this morning did not confirm that number. It is not clear.

Mr Smyth: She said there would be none.

MR SPEAKER: Order! The minister is answering the question.

MS GALLAGHER: Thank you for your interest finally in the federal budget, Mr Smyth, and the opportunity to politically point-score. What I am telling you, and I am answering your question truthfully, is that that figure has not been confirmed. We need to work through the detail of the budget papers to work out what impact that may have on the people of Canberra. It is certainly not clear from the budget papers that it is anywhere near 12,000 jobs in Canberra, and I do not think anyone is running that line.

What we do know from what Mr Hockey said is that he is not ruling out 20,000 job cuts in Canberra, and he has actually been quite specific about that. So we have not had the confirmation that we have had from Mr Hockey. It is not clear. What is clear is that there are 1,400 jobs this year. One of the results of my meeting with the Prime Minister is to ascertain, of that $164 million in savings to their wages bill in the outyears, exactly how that is going to be implemented and what that means for jobs in Canberra. Then we have a job to do there to make sure that we provide stability to this city, a city that all of us love and all of us want to see prosper. And that is exactly what I am doing.

Opposition members interjecting

MS GALLAGHER: I am standing up for Canberra and I will continue to do it while you harp, whinge and whine on the sidelines.

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