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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 03 Hansard (Wednesday, 17 March 2010) . . Page.. 990 ..


Mr Hargreaves: On the point of order, Mr Speaker, now Senator Humphries—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Mr Hargreaves, it is not necessary.

Mr Hargreaves: No, there was a point of history brought up. I will give her a history lesson. Who was working for Senator Humphries at the time? Vicki was.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Hargreaves, thank you.

Mrs Dunne: No, I wasn’t.

Mr Hargreaves: What, you weren’t working there? Nothing’s changed.

Mrs Dunne: I was in the commonwealth public service, you goose.

MR SPEAKER: Members, enough. Whilst Mrs Dunne is correct about the standing order, it does not actually require accuracy in the question; it simply requires conciseness.

MS GALLAGHER: Mr Hargreaves’s point in his supplementary question was around whether or not staffing freezes have been used before. From my understanding, they are used fairly widely when required. That is exactly what we are doing at this point in time. I do not know if you guys have noticed, but the Commonwealth Grants Commission will remove 10 per cent of our GST. Now that is $85 million next year, and it grows to $101 million in the outyear. Business as usual cannot continue. Business as usual cannot continue on the current savings strategy that we have in place, and we have further savings that are now required.

Mr Seselja: What have you been doing over the last few years? Have you actually ever looked for savings before, Katy? Is this the first time you’ve thought of looking for savings?

Mr Smyth: Is that because—

MR SPEAKER: Ms Gallagher, one moment, please. Clerk, stop the clock. Mr Seselja, and Mr Smyth, I have spoken to both of you quite extensively about constantly hectoring questions across the chamber. The next time I will have to warn somebody.

MS GALLAGHER: I look forward to that moment, Mr Speaker. I understand that these are issues that other jurisdictions are considering putting in place, if they are not in place already, particularly those jurisdictions that did not do well in the Commonwealth Grants Commission. I am surprised about the Liberal Party’s opposition to the staffing freeze. I cannot for the life of me think why. A staffing freeze is in place for non-essential public servants—that is, people who are not required to be back-filled or have relief staff put in place—as a way of, one, sending a message that business as usual cannot continue and, two, avoiding a bigger problem in the next financial year, which is the year where we have to find savings in the order of


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