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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 06 Hansard (Thursday, 21 September 1995) . . Page.. 1633 ..


I want to ask Ms Follett: Why was there no noise from the Trades and Labour Council about your slashing over 1,000 people out of the public service over the last three years? There was no noise, and it really happened. Did the size of the public service over the last three years actually decrease by 1,019 people? It did not decrease by anything like that number. In fact, on the best possible information, the size of the public service was reduced by 350, not 1,000. So, it seems that we paid $37m for 1,019 jobs, and we actually reduced the public service by 350. Why did that happen? That happened because, while they were paying out people, while they were shelling out $37m for redundancies, there was absolutely no freeze on recruitment. There was absolutely no effort whatsoever to keep the public service numbers down while paying out substantial amounts of taxpayers’ money.

Ms Follett: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Mrs Carnell asked me a question in the course of her tirade. I wonder whether I am permitted to answer to it.

MR SPEAKER: Yes.

MS FOLLETT: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I would like to refer members to Mrs Carnell's press release of today, most of which she has just read out, which is headed “Redundancies - What Follett Never Told You”. I would like to alert the Assembly to the fact that they have had the wool pulled over their eyes there. In every budget speech I made in the course of the last Government, redundancies were quite specifically referred to, and I will read it out. In the budget speech for 1992-93 I said:

Consultation with unions will be central to the restructuring that will be needed, and relevant awards will be adhered to. Where a reduction in positions is involved - - -

Mr Humphries: On a point of order, Mr Speaker: Have you given permission for a question to be answered during question time by someone other than a Minister?

MR SPEAKER: I was considering whether the Leader of the Opposition was in fact responsible for the trade union movement - I had a bit of trouble with that - or whether the trade union movement was responsible for the Leader of the Opposition.

Mrs Carnell: It is all right; let her go.

MR SPEAKER: I am quite happy to allow the Leader of the Opposition to speak, if the Assembly is in agreement with the decision. The Chief Minister has indicated that she has no opposition; so continue, Ms Follett.

MS FOLLETT: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I am referring to Mrs Carnell's statement “What Follett Never Told You”, and I repeat that in the budget speech for 1992-93 I said:

Consultation with unions will be central to the restructuring that will be needed, and relevant awards will be adhered to. Where a reduction in positions is involved - - -


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