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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2018 Week 05 Hansard (Thursday, 10 May 2018) . . Page.. 1816 ..

Commission, seven jobs; the Department of Finance, seven jobs; the National Archives, 10 jobs; the National Library, 12 jobs; the Department of Jobs and Small Business, 13 jobs; the Digital Transformation Agency, 13 jobs; the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, 30 jobs; the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, 36 jobs; the Department of Education and Training, 58 jobs; the Department of Veterans’ Affairs, 84 jobs; the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities, 85 jobs; the Department of Social Services, 140 jobs; the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 169 jobs; the Attorney-General’s Department, 360 jobs; civilians in the Department of Defence, 1,127 jobs; and finally the Department of Human Services, 1,280 jobs.

As a person concerned with national security, the cuts in Defence worry me. But as a person responsible for the welfare of the people of the ACT, the cuts in Human Services are our business to oppose. Those cuts in Human Services are not only an attack on the families of those who are being sacked but also an attack on the whole community because those public servants are directly employed in helping the most vulnerable Australians. And the Liberal Party know that these vicious attacks are hurting the most vulnerable.

Just this morning I received correspondence from Mr Milligan begging for contributions to Mustard Seed, which is a food bank in Gungahlin providing assistance to over 650 families. Whilst I commend Mr Milligan for his charitable work, I would advise him to have the courage of his convictions and go see his mate, his co-conspirator in the Liberal Party, his comrade, the senator, Zed Seselja. And I would advise Mr Milligan to say, “Comrade Seselja, stop these mad cuts to Canberra and these mean cuts to disadvantaged Canberra families.” Perhaps he could take his colleague Comrade Wall with him.

Whilst that idea may seem humorous to some, the failure of the Canberra Liberals to stand up for this community is actually more of a tragedy—a tragedy the Barr Labor government is taking steps to address, taking steps like a massive investment in infrastructure without the commonwealth support it deserves, taking steps like upgrading local schools and hospitals without the commonwealth support it deserves, taking steps like supporting CIT to provide the skills and training to attract new business to Canberra without the commonwealth support it deserves.

It is a sad day when we have to debate the importance of maintaining the ACT as the centre of the federal public service. And I look forward to a Shorten Labor government overturning the incompetent nastiness of the current Liberal government and restoring our place at the heart of our nation.

MISS C BURCH (Kurrajong) (3.58): I thank Ms Cody for the opportunity to speak today on this important matter. The Canberra Liberals remain opposed to decentralisation of the Australian public service. We are opposed to any attempts to take public service jobs out of Canberra and to take away the value that centralisation brings to the public service and to Canberra. We support the ongoing role of Canberra as Australia’s centre of government and the centre of the Australian public service.

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