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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2011 Week 14 Hansard (Wednesday, 7 December 2011) . . Page.. 5895 ..


My motion is almost identical to a motion moved in this place on 24 August 2011 by Ms Porter—a motion that today is petty politics yet four months ago was good public policy. Oh, how the times change. I wonder how Ms Porter, Ms Gallagher and their ACT Labor colleagues can now defend their federal Labor colleagues in the face of the decisions announced in the recent federal mini budget.

I want to spend a few minutes looking at what Ms Porter said in her motion on 24 August, because it provides a very illuminating insight into where we have now got to in this broad economic debate. Ms Porter said very early in her speech:

Labor, on the other hand, has always been the party of working people and the party that creates jobs.

She went on to say that Labor has been in the business of creating jobs. As I so accurately point out, from 1995 certainly, and now in 2011, thousands of jobs have been lost or will be lost as a consequence of the Labor Party’s lies to the electorate. I notice Ms Porter has not come down to defend her motion of August this year. Far from Ms Porter’s claim that the Labor Party is the party of jobs, the actions of this same Labor Party will now result in some hundreds of job losses or, if you believe Nadine Flood—and Nadine Flood is not necessarily a big friend or ally of the Liberal Party—3,000 job losses. Laura Tingle says 5,000 jobs. You could reasonably say that an efficiency dividend of 2½ per cent that amounts to $500 million is approximately 5,000 jobs. Given the 1½ per cent that is already there, there is only so much you can cut before you have to get to jobs. It is quite clear that contractors will go, it is quite clear that consultants will go and it is quite clear that public service jobs will go.

My motion today had a very simple purpose—to ask our Chief Minister to stand up, against her federal colleagues, for the ACT, for the ACT economy, for the ACT community, but most importantly for those ACT residents whose jobs will now be sacrificed on the vanity of Wayne Swan. My motion asked the Chief Minister to demonstrate in the strongest possible terms that the actions of the Gillard federal Labor government will disadvantage the ACT—disadvantage people who will lose jobs and disadvantage the families of those people who will lose jobs.

This reminds me of another piece of stupidity in Ms Porter’s comments on 24 August:

After 12 long years of federal Liberal neglect of the ACT, it is great to … assure the jobs of Canberrans into the future.

We had a crisis in the ACT under the Howard government; it was a crisis that they could not get the accommodation out of the ground fast enough to house the public servants. There were some great reforms, in areas like border security, in customs, in defence, that grew in response to very difficult policy decisions. But decisions were made and growth in the public service occurred, and most of that growth was in the ACT.

The contrast with the treatment of the ACT by the current federal government could not be more marked. Federal Liberal governments invest in Australia’s national capital city—and they did. Whether it be the National Portrait Gallery, the National


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