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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 5 Hansard (14 May) . . Page.. 1189 ..

MR SPEAKER (continuing):

I have considered the two parts of Ms Follett's question that relate to the matter before the coroner and have sought information from the Commonwealth Parliament as to their practice in relation to coronial inquiries. Although the information requested by Ms Follett seems to be factual in nature, it is possible that it may prejudice the coronial inquiry. I therefore ruled it out of order and wrote to Ms Follett asking her to withdraw from the notice paper those parts of the question relating directly to the detainee and indicating that I would be making my ruling known to the Assembly when it sits, which I am doing now. Those parts of the question remain on the notice paper, and I will be directing the Clerk to withdraw parts (1) and (5) from the question to appear on the notice paper of 15 May 1996.


Australian Public Service - Job Cuts

MR WHITECROSS: My question without notice is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, I refer to the comments by your deputy and Business and Industrial Relations Minister, Mr De Domenico, that there will be "opportunities in the financial services area as public servants seek advice on what to do with their redundancy/retirement packages". I also refer to Mr De Domenico's comments that public service job cuts will have little, if any, effect on future unemployment. Does the Chief Minister endorse these comments by her deputy, or does she agree with the vast majority of Canberrans that these comments are insensitive and an insult both to public servants who face the loss of their jobs and to private businesses that are currently experiencing such severe pain due to the Federal Government's ill-conceived policies?

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I must admit that I did not hear my deputy make those comments at all. In fact, I would be extremely surprised if Mr De Domenico made any comment at all with regard to public sector cuts somehow having no impact at all on unemployment. There is no doubt, from my reading of Mr De Domenico's press release and other statements, that he was saying exactly the opposite. He was actually saying that the rise in unemployment that had occurred over the last couple of months could be directly related to the downturn in employment with regard to the unsureness and the general insecurity that currently exist in the private sector and in the public sector in Canberra. That is the reason that I went to see the Prime Minister last week - to make it very clear to John Howard that the current problems in Canberra, which were related very much to people simply not knowing where the future lies for our city, were causing us extraordinary problems.

My own public servants know very well what is going on. What is going on is that there will be absolutely no involuntary redundancies. We have made it very clear that in the ACT Government there will be no involuntary redundancies. It makes it very clear. Therefore, redundancies can happen only when somebody chooses to go. It is that simple.

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