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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 5 Hansard (14 May) . . Page.. 1191 ..

MRS CARNELL (continuing):

and unfortunately by people who should know better - people such as fairly prominent union leaders in this city and new senators from the Labor Party. They have bandied around figures that can only serve to scare public servants. I do not believe that that sort of an approach is acceptable. By the way, Mr Speaker, when people on our side of politics made those comments, when some fairly unwise comments were made by State Premiers, we got stuck right into them. When Kate Lundy made those comments, and when union leaders made those comments, did this mob get stuck into them? No, they did not.

Australian Public Service - Job Cuts

MR KAINE: Mr Speaker, I want to take up the same matter that the Leader of the Opposition has taken up. I note that over the weekend Mr Berry was quoted by the Canberra Times as having made some comments about what he claimed was Mr De Domenico's insensitivity to possible job cuts in the Commonwealth Public Service. The Leader of the Opposition has now raised the matter, but I notice that he does not address the question to Mr De Domenico; he addresses it to the Chief Minister. I would like to ask Mr De Domenico whether he accepts the criticism made by Mr Berry, whether he accepts it as being fair and reasonable, having regard to the context of his own comments which Mr Berry was referring to in making those statements.

MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Speaker, the latest attempt at publicity by Mr Berry does not surprise me in the slightest. As usual, it is all doom and gloom. The article in question was only a small one but worth noting publicly in this chamber if for no other reason than because it again epitomises the Opposition's willingness to put their political point-scoring above all else, including the economic wellbeing of Canberrans. Mr Speaker, this Government has never hidden from the fact that the Federal Government's proposed cuts to the Commonwealth Public Service will have an impact on Canberra. Of course they must. Whilst details of those cuts are yet to be finalised, the speculation over just how many jobs may be lost is already having a damaging effect on confidence in the ACT economy, as Mrs Carnell said. Mr Berry is quoted as saying that I, and presumably this Government, are insensitive to the economic situation being faced in the ACT. Mr Speaker, how hypocritical he is! Let us not forget that, since Labor took office federally back in 1983 - - -

Mr Berry: It was only a little article. It was only this big - two or three centimetres.

MR DE DOMENICO: It was as big as your brain, Mr Berry.

Mr Berry: Do not get carried away.

MR DE DOMENICO: No, I am not getting carried away. These are just a few home truths that you might not like to hear.

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