Page 1124 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 3 May 2022
Canberra, impacts our economy and it impacts our small businesses. Perhaps Ms Castley should take note.
I support Ms Orr’s comprehensive amendment, and I support it because I want to see a federal government that invests in the APS. A federal government that invests in our APS is one that supports our city, its growth and its future. I commend the amendment to the chamber.
MR HANSON (Murrumbidgee) (4.14): I will speak to the amendment and close the debate. I thank members for their contributions. I actually agree with some of the rhetoric in the speeches. I do not want to see fragmentation. I do not want to see cuts to jobs. The problem is that that is what the Labor Party policy actually does. Even though they are arguing motherhood statements, the Labor Party and the Greens are actually arguing something that is not the reality of the policy. The policy, as I have said ad nauseum, is $3 billion of job cuts, principally in Canberra, and $500 million, about a sixth of the money, and maybe a fifth of the jobs—someone has to quantify that—will be in frontline positions in the NDIS and so on. I imagine there will be a bunch of them in Armidale. The irony!
The Labor Party and the Greens, in supporting this policy, in supporting job cuts, are supporting a weakening of federal departments and are arguing for fragmentation, because that is where these 1,000 jobs will go, by necessity. It will be untenable, unless they are going to augment the NDIS and Centrelink by 1,000 people here in Canberra. That is clearly not the policy; they are going to Armidale and Dubbo—to wherever they may be.
It is ironic as well that Mr Gentleman, who trots out the same old lines, would talk about staff cuts and not having enough staff to do the job. This government has created the worst teacher shortage—a critical shortage—in the history of the ACT! There is a crisis. They are so short that not only is it affecting educational outcomes but we have had to shut schools down because they are so violent. It is not me saying this; it is the union. The teachers union has said that there is a critical shortage. Whose watch is this on? Mr Gentleman’s. He is hardly one to lecture about staff when his government has created that.
In question time today we heard about staff and the nurses union saying they feared for their lives when going to work under this ACT government. What about the police union saying they are spread so thin that their members are stressed and they cannot do their job? I will not be lectured by an ACT government that has created a crisis across so many areas of its own local government by driving staff shortages. Those are not my words; that is coming from the unions. You can read what the AEU, the police association and the nurses union have had to say about this government.
When it comes to job cuts federally, I do not want to see a single job cut in the public service. Let me put that on the record. My colleagues and I are very strong supporters of the Australian public service. That does not mean we have to hate contractors. Unfortunately, that is the Labor Party position. We are happy to say that public servants are vital to what we do here in this nation. We support them, we commend them and we stand with them. It does not mean that you have to hate contractors, and