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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 12 Hansard (Tuesday, 23 November 2021) . . Page.. 3518 ..

I think a lot of people that serve in defence, that work in defence, that work in the defence sector, and their families, would want to know that the local Labor Party is not in cahoots with the Greens on this. They would want to know that, no, locally, it is all right because the local Labor Party does not support this either; they have not jumped the shark and gone so far to the extreme with their Greens colleagues that they would support a policy like this. They need to be definitive. That is why, in my motion, I am saying that, as leaders of the party, we need to write. I am not expecting that the Greens will. To be frank, I would be surprised, because they are clearly in favour of this.

But surely, the Labor Party have not gone so far to the extreme that they are not prepared to say, “We do not support cutting $300 billion from defence and we understand the negative impact this would have on Canberrans”? There are a lot of people who would be nervous out there. Let me tell you, between now and the next election, we will be making sure that everybody that goes to the ballot box understands: “You think you are voting for flying foxes but you are actually voting for a mob that want $300 million in defence cuts, that actually want to strip the defence force by 50 per cent.” That is going to cut thousands of jobs across all the sectors, and there is the impact on their families.

I suppose it is useful that people understand that about the Greens. But what they probably want to see is a Labor Party here that has not gone completely loopy.

Mr Parton: They want backbone.

MR HANSON: That has got some backbone—exactly right, Mr Parton—that actually, once in a while, when they have gone a bit too far, will actually say, “Yes, okay. There is still a compromise you have got to make to keep this government going. We get that, but we are not going to go out there and rip the guts out of our defence force and support a policy that does that. That would lead to massive defence cuts.”

Let us make sure that we stand up against this threat to the ACT. If the Labor Party is not prepared to, if the Labor Party is going to support this Greens’ amendment that aims to distract and deflect and avoid talking about the substantive issue, if the Labor Party is not prepared to support the motion as it stands today, then I think there will be a lot of people out there—and I know there will be because I will be telling them, don’t you worry—who I will be telling at every opportunity, “You think you are voting for flying foxes. What you are actually supporting is a mob that wants to rip the heart out of the defence budget, that wants to not just compromise our national security but rip the jobs from the defence sector and damage our economy to the extent of billions of dollars.” I commend my motion to the Assembly.

MS DAVIDSON (Murrumbidgee—Assistant Minister for Seniors, Veterans, Families and Community Services, Minister for Disability, Minister for Justice Health and Minister for Mental Health) (3.45): I would like to thank Mr Hanson for bringing forward this motion today. I move the revised amendment circulated in my name.

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