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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Wednesday, 18 August 2010) . . Page.. 3473 ..


the middle of the Tuggeranong town centre. I can tell you that it devastated the Tuggeranong Valley when there were supposedly 7,000 jobs lost across Canberra and 4,000 of them came out of Tuggeranong in 1996. That is because the social service, social security, Centrelink—call them what you like this week—had their headquarters down there, and a few other commonwealth departments.

The loss of those 4,000 jobs had a trickle-down effect. Years ago I read, and I stand to be corrected on the actual numbers—the scale of them is really the message I am trying to get through—that for every public sector job there are four private sector jobs. The private sector jobs are either in the community sector or the private sector itself, or in microbusiness. The loss of 4,000 jobs means the loss of 16,000 jobs. What chance do we have of fulfilling the vision that in places in Tuggeranong people can be born, educated, work, have their recreation and die in the comfort of the most beautiful place on earth? What chance have we got if we do not have jobs for the kids to go into? We do not.

Mr Hanson: Oh!

MR HARGREAVES: I hear an exasperated “Oh” from Mr Hanson. Sometimes I wonder about his commitment to young people. I do not think it is there. I know that he would like to bring back conscription so that we could stick them all in the Army. Well, I have been there and it ain’t on. What we really need to be aware of is that this is a back to the future thing. This is Groundhog Day. I can remember walking to the Tuggeranong town square, the Hyperdome and Homeworld and seeing shop after shop with “to let” signs on them, cafes out of business and hairdressers out of business. I do not want to see that again.

In fact, it was a major tenet of the campaign in 1996 to give the seat of Namadgi to Annette Ellis. What did we see? Who was the member there? The member for Canberra, in fact, had the seat split, and then Mr Smyth contested Namadgi. There was about a 20 per cent swing against him. It was not only about a 20 per cent swing against Brendan Smyth; it was also about the Liberals’ intention to cut jobs, particularly out at Tuggeranong.

Contrast that with what the Labor government have done in the last couple of years. These guys cut 4,000 jobs out of the public sector and another 12,000 to 16,000 jobs out of the private sector, the community sector. The stimulus package, on the other hand, was to keep apprentices going, keep the economic food chain and keep the dollars trickling down that chain to make sure that we would not be sent into recession, because that is where we were in 1996 in the Tuggeranong Valley—we were in recession. What happens is that when times are good the community sector, for example, looks after those people who are very badly off, but in a recession the community sector looks after the rest of us—all of us.

I also wanted to talk about this abject nonsense of natural attrition. Sure, there will not be any involuntary redundancies. You can trust them, of course, that that will not happen; we know that. AWAs might come back, but involuntary redundancies will not. It will only be by natural attrition. Natural attrition means that you do not fill a job when it is empty. I tell you what: in the public sector people are going to be so


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