Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 August 2010) . . Page.. 3464 ..
Opposition and Mr Smyth. I refer them to the commonwealth budget papers and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and they can draw their own conclusion around which set of numbers they choose to believe. We have one particular version of facts and numbers being put by Mr Smyth and Mr Seselja, and then we actually have the facts and the truth.
Mr Smyth took great pleasure yesterday in a question, I think it was, in detailing cuts, but this is my point about evening out across agencies—he did not, as he would not, mention any of the increases that were included in exactly the same budget. He actually listed a whole range of cuts, but he did not then go on to say: “But, by the way, there was an increase in staff in agriculture, forestry and fisheries. There was an increase in the Attorney-General’s Department. There was an increase in the Australian Crime Commission. There was an increase in the Australian Customs Service—all in the ACT. There was an increase in the Australian Federal Police. There was an increase in the environment department. There was an increase in the climate change department.” He did not bother—
Mr Smyth: All in the ACT?
MR STANHOPE: Yes. He did not bother to mention, as he listed with great hilarity departments that had lost numbers, all those that actually had an increase in public servants—the departments that I have just mentioned. Yes, Mr Smyth, the numbers evened out and, at the end of the day, in each of those years there was a net increase in public servants in the ACT. There was more than an evening out; there was an increase. In the commonwealth public service across Australia, an increase of over 10,000—
Mr Smyth: I will read your words back to you.
MR STANHOPE: Well, you do that, and we will read back your list of cuts without you actually balancing it up, evening it out, by mentioning all of those agencies that increased the number of public servants, as I have just done to correct the mistakes that you made yesterday.
MS HUNTER (Ginninderra—Parliamentary Convenor, ACT Greens) (10.44): The Greens will be supporting this motion today because there can be no doubt that a strong and stable public service is in the best interests of the ACT.
During yesterday’s debate on the matter of public importance, I outlined the particular impacts that a significant reduction in the number of public servant jobs will have on the ACT economy. A quality public service is important to every Australian, but, as I outlined yesterday, it is of particular importance to the ACT because our economy depends on it. We in the ACT depend on the public service for our livelihood. It is our biggest industry sector. I find it astounding that a party hoping to form the government of Australia on Saturday can actively promote a policy that it knows will have such a devastating impact on our economy. It really does highlight what a perilous position we are in.
The public service is an easy target. It is a shame that the service that the APS provides is not really recognised and that it is treated like this when it is seen as