Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 08 Hansard (Thursday, 19 August 2010) . . Page.. 3692 ..
this is what we need to do here in the ACT to maintain our economic prosperity into the longer term. I must say, however, that the need for significant change is very immediate, and the longer we wait, the harder it will be.
Another very important part of long-term economic prosperity and the overall improvement in our economy is productivity. The better return we get on both our natural and human resources, the better off the economy will be. This means not only taking advantage of technological advances that facilitate better production methods, but also providing the health care system and working conditions that lead to better outcomes.
In other debates on the economy this week, I have mentioned the importance of the region to the ACT economy and the importance of the ACT economy to the region. We are the regional centre. We know that many people live and work on opposite sides of the border and that we do need to consider how our actions impact on those people. Our economy relies very heavily on both public sector employment and expenditure.
We are subject to the whims of the commonwealth. Much has been said this week about the impact of changes in commonwealth expenditure on the ACT. It is undoubtedly true that significant expenditure reductions have a disproportionate impact on us. The Greens’ view, as has been put many times before, is that there should not be a reduction in the number of public service jobs. It is not in anyone's interest.
We know that Mr Howard at the start of his term did cut jobs. By the end of that, however, there were actually more public servants than there were at the start at his term. The fact is that we need people to work in the public service to deliver quality outcomes. The Greens know it, and the people of Canberra know it. Significant public service job cuts will have a massive impact on the people and the economy of Canberra. The Greens do not support the proposal, as it is undoubtedly not in the best interest of Canberra, the region and its people.
Just on economic prosperity and stability, our Greens’ senators did support the stimulus package that kept us out of recession. It is well accepted by mainstream economists that it is appropriate for public money to be spent to smooth out the fluctuations in the economic cycle. There are benefits in governments spending beyond their means to smooth out these economic cycles. The test is, of course, that that expenditure is in productive resources that deliver a long-term, sustainable and useful return for the community into the outyears, into the future. The Greens, both in this place and at the commonwealth level, have consistently argued for improvements in the sustainability of expenditure and have delivered better outcomes for Australia and particularly for the ACT.
MR DOSZPOT (Brindabella) (4.54): This is an extraordinary matter of public importance from an ACT Labor government who has recently been involved in big budgets, big spends, big spin, big blowouts and small outcomes. During the budget, it was stated that revenue was forecast to grow to $4.234 billion in 2013-14, the most ever collected in the territory. Yet the Stanhope government is still talking in terms of