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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 August 2010) . . Page.. 3381 ..

What this Labor government has not done is send this territory into recession; it has saved it from recession. It has not done what John Howard did. It has not done what Tony Abbott is now promising to do. The bare, bald facts are: Tony Abbott has promised to take 12,000 jobs out of this community. He has promised—explicitly, directly, looking straight at the camera—to take $24 billion in outlays out of the commonwealth public service, at a cost of 12,000 jobs directly, and, in the view of the ACT or any other modelling, an additional 17,000 jobs throughout the broader community.

The issue today for all of us is: what has Gary Humphries done about it? Nothing. What has Zed Seselja done about it? Nothing. What has Brendan Smyth done about it? Absolutely nothing. Because they do not care and they have not got the guts to go up to Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey and say, “Stop doing this.”

Mr Smyth: A supplementary, Mr Speaker?

MR SPEAKER: Ms Porter has the supplementary question.

MS PORTER: Minister, since the projected 9,000 job losses in 1996, which resulted in 30,000 job losses nation wide, with 4,000 of them in Tuggeranong alone, what will be the impact on small business in the ACT?

MR STANHOPE: Thank you very much, Ms Porter. It is food for thought. The position that John Howard put and expectation was that, yes, he would take 9,000 to 10,000 jobs. It is interesting. It is a point well made. The cynicism inherent in the question is justified.

Last time around they promised 9,000 and delivered 30,000 nationally. This time they are actually acknowledging it, honestly and openly, to their credit. Obviously you have got to give that to Tony Abbott. He is not being duplicitous about it. He is not being ambiguous. He just said, “We’re cutting 12,000 jobs. We’re cutting $24 billion out of the budget. We’re cutting 12,000 jobs.”

Mr Smyth: $209 billion—

MR SPEAKER: Stop the clocks. Mr Smyth, you are now warned for constant intervention.

MR STANHOPE: The reason, of course, why Mr Smyth has been getting so agitated over there in relation to this is that he was part of that government for a little while, before he lost his seat.

Mr Barr: He was the only one who lost his seat.

MR STANHOPE: Is that right? The only member of the Legislative Assembly that has ever lost four elections! That is why they call him the greatest loser. Four elections losses, the greatest loser!

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