Page 1125 - Week 04 - Tuesday, 3 May 2022

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that is what you see from the Labor Party, from their Senate candidates and what they are spruiking in their positions.

The fact is they say things that are simply an attempt to rewrite history. What I refer to there is the actual cuts that happened under the Rudd government to the federal public service. At the end of the Rudd-Gillard fiasco, they were running out of money, because, like all Labor governments, they had spent it all, and they enforced redundancies. Senator Wong, when she became a shadow minister, thought that she had a good attack point here and questioned the head of the finance department, Mr Tune, about this. This is what was said:

The advice that the government has received is that, over the forward estimates, the funding profile that you determined—

this was the former Labor government—

translated into 8,819 fewer Public Service jobs, and that that reduction combined with another 846 jobs from so-called more efficient management structures and 4,808 jobs through the additional efficiency dividend to 2.25 per cent takes the total reduction in public sector staff to 14,473—as a result of decisions that you made—

as in Senator Wong—

before the last election—that were never publicly disclosed.

There you have it, Mr Assistant Speaker. As much as we hear from those opposite, “We’ll always stand by the public service; we’ll never cut those jobs,” the Secretary to the Department of Finance put on the record in a Senate hearing that the Labor Party, the last time they were in government, by stealth, cut over 14,000 public service jobs. It is in Hansard. You can look at it in the media as well. I will not be lectured to by a party that, last time they were in government, cut thousands of public service jobs by stealth.

At least this time, I suppose, they are being honest about it. They are saying, “We don’t like contractors. We want to sack you. We want to sack thousands of you.” At least they are being honest. Last time they cut public servants by stealth—14,700 of them! Shame! I do not want them to cut $3 billion of contractors’ jobs, thousands of contractors’ jobs, but at least this time they are being honest about it. At least we can commend them for that, I suppose. Seemingly, to use their language, with these other jobs that they are creating in the APS out in the regions. the Labor Party would describe that as pork-barrelling. I am not because I think they are important jobs, and I support the creation of jobs to provide those services.

Mr Braddock talked about public servants going home to their families and loved ones, as public servants do, after their day’s work. Good. I agree that that is what they do, but so do contractors. Contractors have families, too. Contractors go home to their families. Contractors have loved ones. Contractors have to put a meal on the table. Contractors have to pay their mortgage. What we know is that about 4,000 or 5,000 of

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