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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 August 2010) . . Page.. 3463 ..

That is how important the commonwealth public sector is to this economy. Half of our state final demand is generated by the commonwealth public service. Of course, that reflects the fact that we are the seat of the federal government, the national capital.

This motion, appropriately moved by Ms Porter today, provides this opportunity in the lead-up to Saturday to highlight the territory’s strong economic performance over the years, which is, of course, as we acknowledge, a consequence of the role which the commonwealth plays. We saw just now almost hysterical efforts and attempts—and I heard them yesterday from Mr Smyth—by the Liberal Party to actually categorise the current Labor government as a government that has reduced or slashed jobs. There has been an evening out of jobs across departments.

Mr Smyth: Oh, it’s an evening out!

MR STANHOPE: Absolutely. There has been an evening out across agencies, but there has been an overall significant increase in federal government jobs within the commonwealth public service. Indeed—

Mr Smyth: So you’ve forgotten your own words?

MR STANHOPE: No, I have not. I have not forgotten at all.

Mr Smyth: “It wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be.”

MR STANHOPE: Well, it is far better than we expected. It is massively different from the false picture that both you and the Leader of the Opposition have painted over the last day or so. Total employment, average staffing levels, for all federal government sector agencies in 2007-08 when Labor came into government was 248,217. The budgeted ASL for this financial year for the federal government—in other words, its public service, its workforce—is 258,704, an increase of 10,487 during the period of Labor government. Is that consistent with what Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth have been saying? No, it is not. They have been gilding the lily. They have not been telling the truth. The fact is that, over the last three years, there has been an increase of 10,487 commonwealth public servants. But, of course, that increase is set to be completely removed by the Liberal Party.

So there you have it. The Labor Party over the last three years has increased commonwealth employment by 10,487, contrary to everything that Mr Seselja and Mr Smyth have been saying. They have been hysterically seeking to justify the cut, but every single one of the jobs that has been created under Labor over the last three year in the commonwealth public service is about to be wiped out by the Liberal Party, plus an extra couple of thousand. Those are the raw figures, so do not listen to this nonsense. Do not listen to the fibs and the gilding and the hysteria around—

Mr Seselja: On a point of order, Mr Speaker, the Chief Minister does tend to verbal and mislead often, but he cannot go around saying that we have fibbed. We had this debate in the chamber yesterday, and I ask you to get him to withdraw those words.

MR STANHOPE: I withdraw those words, but I draw the attention of anybody with any interest to the statements made yesterday and today by the Leader of the

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