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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 03 Hansard (Tuesday, 16 March 2010) . . Page.. 880 ..

path, but this is what we are required to do. In the short term, we have put in place this process. Agencies feel comfortable with it and in a way it is protecting our existing workforce so that we can secure their jobs into the future.

MR SMYTH: A supplementary, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Thanks, Mr Speaker. Treasurer, what impact will this staffing freeze have on those service delivery areas that will be affected?

MS GALLAGHER: At this point in time, and perhaps when we have provided you with the memo that has gone out around that you will be able to see that we are protecting direct services to the community through this decision. We are seeking the expertise of our chief executives to manage the recruitment freeze within their own areas so that there is no impact on service delivery to the community. But if there are things that can be put on hold, if there are pieces of work that are not urgent and that do not need to be pursued—and we do not have a large workforce, for a government of our size. With just over 17,000 staff doing a range of jobs, I do not think there is much fat in our workforce. I think we have chopped out fat that existed before. We have looked for efficiencies. We have done the work that has needed to be done to make sure we are a lean, mean machine. But when you essentially have a second global financial crisis, which is the loss on our budget that the GST revenue will do, we have to go back and relook at all the measures that we need to put in place to ensure that we can deliver key essential services to the community and protect jobs at the same time, as a good employer does. They are the things we will be focusing on. They are the things we have been having discussions on, in terms of the budget decisions that the cabinet will make in the near future.

MR SMYTH: Supplementary question, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, how long will this staffing freeze last?

MS GALLAGHER: It is to the end of the financial year at this point in time.

Education—Shaddock review

MR DOSZPOT: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training, Mr Barr. Minister, last December the review of special education in the ACT was made public. The review includes 68 possible options for the future of special education in ACT schools. Which of these options will you implement?

MR BARR: The government will release its response to the Shaddock review in due course.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Doszpot, a supplementary?

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