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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 August 2010) . . Page.. 3472 ..


numbers in the list that I read out yesterday it is about 4,000 jobs. That was what was proposed in the 2008-09 budget. Did we hear anything from ACT Labor or the ACT Greens saying, “Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard, stop this”? No, we did not.

You are known for your consistency. You are known for what you say. We see the ad where the Liberals will take an axe to Canberra. Here is Lin Hatfield Dodds: “What kind of Canberran would axe 12,000 jobs from the public service? The Liberals will take an axe to Canberra.” It is just wrong and she has been debunked by her own parliamentary convenor, whose numbers add up to about 6,000 jobs in the ACT. Who knows if they are accurate? Four or five-year-old reports from South Australia with multiplier effects—gee, that is a good basis for a decision on these numbers! It is sheer hypocrisy. (Time expired.)

MR HARGREAVES (Brindabella) (11.10): I thought that was a very interesting speech. One of the things I like about his speeches is the way that he can provide a whole heap of data, a whole stack of numbers, page numbers and paragraph numbers—all of these numbers—and list them so quickly that we have to go back to Hansard to verify them. But then he will slide a little one in, like a worm through the belly of a goose, and it goes like this—this is the one he slid through—“and there are cuts going on surreptitiously in departments now”. After having got up in the chamber yesterday and listed a whole tribe full of them, I do not reckon that is surreptitious. You have got to back it up, Brendan. If you really want us to take you seriously and have you go down as the number cruncher of all time, you need to back it up. You cannot say things like “cuts are going on surreptitiously in departments now”. I am sorry, that just does not cut it for me.

The substance of what I wish to talk about today is a subject that I have been talking about and trying to get some action on since 1995 maybe. That is what we call the economic food chain. Tuggeranong is particularly susceptible to the vagaries of an economic food chain. I am not an economist, but I know in my instinct what the issue is. The food chain depends on somebody spending money. In Tuggeranong, there is the most significant dependence on the public service pay packet. We know that in Canberra probably half the jobs are in the private sector and half the jobs are in the public sector. But we also know that half of those jobs, or maybe more, in the private sector are dependent upon—

Mr Smyth: It used to be the other way, John, under us.

MR HARGREAVES: Half and half—I am not going to argue about one or two percentages. The most salient issue is that a significant number of private sector jobs—I would suggest greater than half—are dependent upon the public service pay packet. These are the jobs in the retail industry, petrol stations, cafes, microbusiness and a lot of ordinary small business, contractors, recruitment firms and the like. They are totally dependent on the health of the public service and, in particular, the commonwealth public service. We do not have a sufficient alternative to that economic food chain in the Tuggeranong Valley.

We saw no greater proof of the danger of that dependence than what happened in 1996. I worked in the ACT department of education in Manning Clark House, right in


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