Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2013 Week 9 Hansard (7 August) . . Page.. 2616..
when he was last a minister. What was it, Mr Smyth? I think it was 1.5 per cent. The last two Carnell wage outcomes for the public service were 1.5 per cent. That is a little bit of a history lesson—lots of job losses and 1.5 per cent.
What we are talking about is no job losses, no changes to conditions and two per cent per annum. We have revised that in response to the union's claim. That is what we have put on the table; we have revised it based on some feedback. The ACT CPI is 1.9 per cent. They are the facts. We have prioritised jobs because we are worried about jobs in the ACT over the next few years. We would like to be a good employer and maintain the level of public service employment. But we have to be mindful of modest pay increases.
We have been a good employer. We have improved conditions year on year on year in the EBA. We have been a much better employer than any other government, I think. Look at the improvements to carers leave. Look at the improvements to maternity leave. Look at all of the arrangements we have put in place to work with our union colleagues. I will continue to talk to all the unions and make sure we can resolve the EBA claims as soon as possible but within a budget we can afford.
MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.
MR GENTLEMAN: Chief Minister, how important is it to prioritise jobs in today's economy?
MS GALLAGHER: The government has a very firm view on this, that the next couple of years, particularly with the threats of significant job losses from Canberra which the federal Liberal Party seem to enjoy trotting out every few days—and I imagine we will see a fair bit more of it in the next 30 days—
Mr Hanson: Is Kevin Rudd cutting jobs?
MS GALLAGHER: There is quite a difference in what the federal Labor Party talk about and what the federal Liberal Party talk about. Go and have a look: 20,000 jobs in Canberra. I think the government has taken the right decision. The unions are not arguing with us around maintaining jobs.
We have taken the view that we are a significant employer in this town. That generates confidence when you have got an employer maintaining jobs, and we will continue to do it. But we also need to finalise the EBA as quickly as we can, with minimal—hopefully, no—industrial action.
MR COE: My question is to the Minister for the Environment and Sustainable Development. Minister, why was at-grade light rail chosen as the mode for capital metro?
MADAM SPEAKER: I am sorry, Mr Coe; I did not hear the end of that question.