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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 August 2010) . . Page.. 3470 ..

said is that jobs will go through natural attrition; they will not be replaced. That is what he said.

We have got to go back to what Mr Stanhope said. Mr Stanhope is good at beating his chest and casting his memory of what happened in 1996, but of course in 1996 what the Liberal Party found when they came to office was not what they were told would be there. They were told that the economic picture of the Australian economy was far rosier. When they got there they found $100 billion worth of debt. They found the deficit and it had to be fixed.

We have the same situation here and now. If you look at some of the key statistics on the state of Labor’s deficit, in 2010-11 there will be $80 billion worth of debt. In 2011-12, the level of gross debt will be $209 billion. For 2010-11, the underlying cash deficit will be $41 billion. Somebody has to pay for that and it will be the taxpayer of Australia and, in particular, the taxpayers of the ACT.

We have got the hypocrisy of the Greens and we have got the blindness of the Labor Party. You have to ask: where were Senator Lundy, Mr McMullan and Ms Ellis when the Labor Party cuts were going ahead? They were nowhere to be found. The chief cheerleader from the ACT government, Andrew Barr, said it would actually be good for tourism to have these cuts because the travelling exhibitions would stop and therefore people would have to come to Canberra to see the exhibitions. Not even Kate Lundy tried to defend that. She said that was the most incredible piece of spin she had ever heard and she could not defend the case. She did not, but she voted for them. She voted for them, as did Annette Ellis and Bob McMullan. They voted for the cuts.

The cuts have been outlined. I have read them out and I will read them out again. More importantly, I might read out the comment by the Chief Minister, Jon Stanhope, who did not stand in the way of these cuts, who did not make a fuss, who did nothing. This is Jon Stanhope’s quote: “We’ve come out of it far better than we were led to believe we would. I don’t believe the stringencies here in the ACT are nearly as tough as some of the rhetoric we faced in the lead-up to the delivery of this budget.” In other words: “It’s okay. It wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be.” Guess what, ACT taxpayer, you are going to pick up the slack. We have got this amazing press release: “ACT gears up to welcome workers affected by possible cuts to federal public service”. What have we got as a consequence of their mismanagement? Years and years of deficits.

At the end of the day, somebody has to pay. Somebody has to pay the debt and the deficits that Labor, both federally and in the ACT, create. Look at what the Labor Party are proposing. According to the current election campaign, they are going to strip $840 million from budgets for administration and information technology. There will be a $450 million cut to IT spending, breaking a promise to make this spending to this industry, and $300 million of cuts to administrative functions across the bureaucracy.

That will have a substantial adverse effect on the ACT. But we do not hear the Chief Minister railing against his federal colleagues in that regard. Where was the

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