Page 796 - Week 03 - Tuesday, 28 March 2023

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By voting against this appropriation, the Canberra Liberals are voting against the cost-of-living pay increase to 27,000 ACT government staff. By not supporting a pay increase for public sector workers, they are effectively saying that there should be a wages cap applied across the public sector. This Appropriation Bill funds the government’s enterprise bargaining offer, effectively. What it will do, when it passes in the not too distant future, is appropriate the funds to deliver the government’s enterprise bargaining offer. The Canberra Liberals are opposing that. They are opposing a pay increase for ACT public sector workers. For every single ACT public sector worker, their cost of living payment, their pay increase, their superannuation increase—all opposed by the Canberra Liberals, through Mr Hanson’s speech this afternoon. So I think that is clear—

Mr Hanson: You are making it up.

MR BARR: You vote no to this Appropriation Bill and you are voting no to a
pay increase.

Mr Hanson: It is a bad approach. That doesn’t mean we don’t support the pay increase, does it? It’s a bad approach. Other stuff in it is bad, like the tax increases.

MADAM SPEAKER: No need to respond to the interjections.

MR BARR: Mr Hanson can continue to try and back-pedal out of what he has just committed the opposition to do, and the vote that they are about to cast against the pay rise for public sector workers and the vote that they are about to cast against rent relief for struggling households and the vote—

Mr Hanson: The highest rents in Australia you, are delivering out of this.

MR BARR: that they are about to deliver to say no to new expenditure in a range of important areas that have been outlined by my colleagues. In the end, it is more of the same from the opposition: the same fiscal policy, the same political strategy from 2016 and 2020. I do not mind them continuing that. It is a pretty clear difference, isn’t it, between this side of the chamber and that side on fair pay for ACT public sector workers, on investment in public transport, on investment in public health and education and on investment in growing our economy, which they are also voting against. The only thing missing from Mr Hanson’s contribution was a lecture on how the government needs to diversify the economy more.

Mr Hanson: Yes; this is true.

MR BARR: He even owned up that he did not hit on that, because of former shadow treasurer Brendan Smyth—

Mr Hanson: If you give me leave, I can have a go.

MR BARR: I am nearly tempted, Mr Hanson.

In closing, I thank those members who will support the second Appropriation Bill, because they are voting to support a pay increase for public sector workers, they are


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