Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 August 2010) . . Page.. 3380 ..
What were the implications last time? The implications were dire. It pushed the ACT into recession, as I have said before. John Howard and the Liberal Party did in 1996 what the global financial crisis could not do in 2009-10. It pushed us into recession; it reduced employment dramatically; it dropped house prices; it devastated small business. It had enormous effects around the ACT, most notably in areas where there were significant public service departments that were particularly affected, particularly at Tuggeranong, which lost thousands of commonwealth employees. It took those businesses in Tuggeranong years to recover.
Mr Hanson: Did you lose your job, Jon?
MR STANHOPE: Actually, I did lose my job in 1996. I was one of those sacked by John Howard for daring to have opposing political views. I often commented—
Mr Seselja: Were you a political appointment?
MR STANHOPE: I was. But for John Howard, I would not have actually entered politics. I would not be here today. John Howard was directly responsible for me having this job today.
MR SMYTH: Supplementary, Mr Speaker?
MR SPEAKER: Yes, Mr Smyth.
MR SMYTH: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Therefore, Chief Minister, do you agree with the Rudd-Gillard government cuts in the 2008-09 budget of 474 jobs in the Department of Defence, 210 jobs in defence materiel, 195 jobs in veterans’ affairs, eight jobs at the War Memorial, 213 jobs at the department of education, 269 jobs at FaHCSIA, 179 jobs at health and ageing, 445 jobs at human services, 200 at Centrelink and 171 in Medicare, 221 jobs in the department of immigration, 142 jobs in innovation, 85 in the CSIRO, 50 in the department of infrastructure, 1,137 jobs in the Department of Treasury and 166 jobs in the bureau of stats? Were they reasonable cuts as well, Chief Minister?
MR STANHOPE: I thank Mr Smyth for the supplementary. I was concerned I would not get another supplementary, so thank you very much, Mr Smyth. I can continue on the theme. Under the last three years of Labor government, the public service in Canberra has grown. Mr Smyth can seek whatever diversion he likes. Under this current federal government, under this Labor government, employment has grown over the last three years here in the ACT, within the commonwealth public sector, as has our economy. But, of course, having regard to the enormous growth in the economy, Mr Smyth talks it down and talks down the commonwealth’s role and responsibility for that.
I am happy to accept all credit, as I am sure the Treasurer is, and my colleagues, for the fact that we have the fastest growing economy in Australia and we have now the second strongest economy in Australia, after Western Australia, as a result of the combined efforts of two Labor governments, a federal Labor government and this government.