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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 5 Hansard (10 May) . . Page.. 1815 ..


The importance of maintaining the ACT as the centre of the federal public service.

MS CODY (Murrumbidgee) (3.49): Yesterday I spoke about how well the Barr Labor government is doing in delivering a strong local economy and good jobs for the people of Canberra. Today I have yet again been forced by the Canberra-hating Liberal Party to focus our attention on the challenges they are putting in our way.

Despite the extensive spin campaign that happened before the federal budget, on Tuesday night we discovered that the Liberal Party federal government continue their plan to rip the guts out of our town. Canberra is not just our home but also our nation's capital. Its construction over the last century has seen many visionary and great leaders growing this city and moving the various departments of the federal public service here—building a city, building our suburbs, building our economy, building a centre of expertise in public administration.

After decades of resisting rent-seeking from the Country Party, the Liberal Party of today has capitulated and has agreed to reverse the nation-building project of earlier generations. Whilst the bungled attempt to move the APVMA from Canberra to New England is the most infamously botched attack on our city, there are many more. Just this week we heard of attempts to move the Office of the Registrar of Indigenous Corporations from Canberra to Darwin; the Unique Student Identifier Registrar from Canberra to Adelaide; the Department of Infrastructure's Indian Ocean Territories office from Canberra to Perth; and the Inland Rail Unit from Canberra to Toowoomba in Queensland, Dubbo in New South Wales and Wodonga in Victoria. Some of those so-called decentralisations are not even to regional areas. This is not even a plan to build regional economies. It is just a plan to smash Canberra.

It is a good thing we have got a territory government with the skill and vision to attract new private investment. The Liberals only want to trash the place. Of course, these jobs are only a small number of those being lost in our town. The general haphazard gutting of the public service also has its toll.

Whilst the Liberals have not fessed up to the share of cuts that will hit our town, we know the cuts across many departments will fall disproportionately on Canberra. So far 14,044 jobs have been cut by the Abbott-Turnbull government, including 6,740 in the ACT between June 2012 and December 2014. Last year it was 2,000 jobs. This year it is more than 3,500. And I want to make sure we give every one of those cuts the emphasis it deserves because every single one hurts a family and deprives Australians of services they deserve. Every single one is shameful.

They are: the Australian Commission for Law Enforcement Integrity, one job; the Australia Council, one job; the Clean Energy Regulator, one job; the Independent Parliamentary Expenses Authority, one job; the Export Finance and Insurance Corporation, one job; the National Australia Day Council Ltd, one job; Infrastructure Australia, one job; the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, two jobs; the Department of the Senate, three jobs; the Australian Film, Television and Radio School, four jobs; SBS, five jobs; the APVMA, six jobs; the Australian Electoral


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