Page 1118 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 3 May 2022

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Jobs have been lost because of outsourcing to consultants based in Sydney and Melbourne. The federal government have spent billions of taxpayers’ dollars on the outsourcing of public sector jobs. In 2020 alone, the Liberals’ spending on some of the biggest international consultancy firms was over $1 billion. The world’s two largest strategy consulting firms, McKinsey and Boston, were the greatest beneficiaries of the coalition government’s recent increase in outsourcing, each more than doubling their 2019 takings from the Australian taxpayer.

The billions of dollars in profits that these companies make does not support our city. And, contrary to the claims of the Canberra Liberals, this money leaves our city and does not support our economy. The coalition government could have used this $1 billion to create 12,000 public service jobs—12,000 jobs for this city, the heart of the public service! Zed and his government colleagues instead gave this money to huge multinationals. They should be ashamed, and the Canberra Liberals should be ashamed of the fact that they are defending this.

Taxpayer money is being wasted on consultants. For example, the commonwealth health department spent over $600,000 on a contract with a global consultancy firm. For this $600,000, Australian taxpayers received “no specific advice”. All that was received from this contract was an eight-page summary of publicly available data. There is transparency and accountability when public servants do the work. The coalition government’s contracts with consultants are shrouded in secrecy.

Public service jobs are secure jobs. They support families and businesses in our city. We need a public service that can be strong and capable into the future. The pandemic has shown this, but we already knew it too. That is why for 20 years the progressive ACT Labor government has grown and supported our own public service.

The ACT government has an insecure work task force, and we are developing a secure employment framework. We have a union encouragement policy, and we engage in good faith when it comes to enterprise bargaining. We have a suite of policies designed to support our workforce, including leave provisions and flexible work arrangements. For those doing business with government, we also have a secure local jobs code and a labour hire licensing scheme. We have a strong and independent workplace safety regulator that ensures all workers in the ACT can get home safely every day.

We know that Zed and the Canberra Liberals hate these progressive policies. The Canberra Liberals have voted against these policies whenever they could. The Canberra Liberals have voted against increasing public service funding for several years. This includes funding for front-line workers such as police, nurses and teachers. Zed’s Liberals have also voted against funding for workplace safety measures and against supporting the ACT’s workplace safety regulator.

We know that the Canberra Liberals are all talk and no action when it comes to jobs in this city. But now it seems that they have even run out of talk. They have had to turn to one of their most conservative members, one who has not sat in this place for several years, for policy ideas. Well, how embarrassing, and what a terrible idea this is!

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