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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 25 March 2010) . . Page.. 1530 ..


here. They had a motion yesterday talking about the difficulties our budget is in. They are now trying to say that we should not have views about a staffing freeze and whether or not we should be employing staff at a time when our budget is under increased pressure.

Mr Seselja: We’re not saying that. Why don’t you answer the question?

MS GALLAGHER: Exactly; you do not know what you are saying.

Mr Seselja: You’re all over the shop. You’ve got essential staff, non-essential—

MR SPEAKER: Order! Stop the clocks. Mr Seselja, you have been constantly interjecting today. You have been warned.

MS GALLAGHER: What a shame. We will be missing your dulcet tones.

MR SPEAKER: Treasurer!

MS GALLAGHER: I will miss him. I will miss him for the next half an hour. I will miss the interjections.

MR SPEAKER: Thank you. Continue with the answer.

MS GALLAGHER: I can reconcile those statements. The question that Mr Hanson asked was about previous staff that have been employed and the question that Mr Coe asked was about staff that may be—

Opposition members interjecting—

MS GALLAGHER: That are being considered for employment or that agencies may wish to employ.

MR SPEAKER: Mr Coe, a supplementary question?

MR COE: Going on from that, why did you institute a hiring freeze on non-essential public servants if all staff are essential?

MS GALLAGHER: Governments have to make decisions based on information that is available to them. So information that came to us is that our budget will lose an additional $85 million as of 1 July next year. That will rise to an additional $100 million in that final outyear. Governments need to respond to situations as they arise. We had a budget which delivered initiatives which required growth in our staffing numbers. They were key government policy decisions in front-line service delivery areas, delivering on our election commitments, our commitments under the parliamentary agreement and other base pressures—

Mr Hanson: Oh! The agreement that we’re not allowed to ask about!

MS GALLAGHER: Did you sleep through the budget, Mr Hanson? You would see that from the budget that was introduced there was growth in staffing numbers


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