Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Tuesday, 17 August 2010) . . Page.. 3428 ..
Firstly, Lin Hatfield Dodds’s interest is about the Senate balance of power. It is not about Canberra. This is all about the Greens trying to get the balance of power in the Senate. It is not actually about the Greens trying to have good representation for the ACT. And let us be very clear about that. If you have in the ACT the left and the far left having the balance of power, I would contend that is no balance at all.
We must have representation from both major parties in the Senate if we are going to get good representation for the people of Canberra. And if by whatever chance the Greens were to get the second Senate seat, then to not have a represented Liberal who would be either a member of the opposition or of the government—so no representation by the two major parties—would not be good for Canberra, would not be good for Canberrans, and that is for sure.
We know two things in this place. Firstly, a vote for the Greens is a vote for Labor, and we have seen that echoed today. And secondly, the Greens and their policies should be looked at in more detail. We will certainly be doing that tomorrow when we look at their policies, their anti-family policies on health, their anti-family policies on education. And it is not by accident that they are called the watermelon Greens—green on the outside, red on the inside—and we should be rightly concerned, rightly fearful, of some of their extremist and damaging policies.
Why is it that the Liberal Party is bringing forward federally some federal public service freezes? Let me make it very clear that not one public servant will be forced out of their job. This is about natural attrition. The size of the public service will reduce by 12,000, noting that it has grown by 20,000 over the last three years. So in that period it is actually a net gain of 8,000.
Noting that only a percentage, about a third, of public servants are in Canberra—they are spread out all across the country—and noting that no front-line public servant position will go, let us think about why that action has been taken. It has been taken because the Labor government has driven this country so far into debt that in 2010-11 the gross debt will be $209 billion.
This is a government that only three short years ago took over books that were in the black. We had a surplus. We had cash on hand. This Labor government, federally, has driven this country so far into the red that something does need to be done. And it is always the job of the Liberal Party, be it federally or be it locally, to tidy up, to clean up, after the reckless spending of the federal or state Labor governments. We see it with Wayne Swan and we see it with Katy Gallagher.
We saw it today. She was willy-nilly wanting to spend $77 million of taxpayers’ money without it needing to be spent, recklessly pushing us further into deficit. The debt per person is going to amount to over $3,600—per man, woman and child. Every day, we are going to have to borrow $110 million just to pay off that debt.
The federal government under Kevin Rudd has been no friend of Canberra. We have seen job cuts, and my colleague Mr Smyth has discussed those. We are going to see further money stripped out of IT, the IT industry, and administration costs of