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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 April 2008) . . Page.. 1129 ..

When we come up with a process to protect the life of those children, we can—if we are really clever—protect the human rights of other people as well. Mr Corbell was a fine example. Can you see Constable Pratt—of course, he is a relative of the member—sitting on the side of the road with his spatula, sticking it in the mouth of a 75-year-old woman and saying, “I’ve done you. You’ve taken valium over the last couple of days. You’re gone”.

What is in the legislation? I would not know. He calls us for not giving this briefing. Where is the offer from those people over there to discuss the issue, let alone brief on the content of their legislation? It does not exist. (Time expired.)

Question resolved in the affirmative.

Federal government—spending cuts

Discussion of matter of public importance

MR SPEAKER: I have received letters from Mrs Burke, Mrs Dunne, Dr Foskey, Mr Gentleman, Ms MacDonald, Mr Mulcahy, Ms Porter, Mr Pratt, Mr Seselja, Mr Smyth and Mr Stefaniak proposing that matters of public importance be submitted to the Assembly. In accordance with standing order 79, I have determined that the matter proposed by Mr Smyth be submitted to the Assembly, namely:

The adverse impact of the Rudd razor gang cuts on jobs and business in the ACT.

MR SMYTH (Brindabella) (4.42): Mr Speaker, I welcome the opportunity to speak to this matter of public importance today, because it provides the platform to do two things: firstly, to make some pertinent observations about decisions that have been taken by the Rudd government with respect to the ACT; and, secondly, to make some further observations about the response of the Stanhope government to the actions of the Rudd government.

The particular focus of this matter of public importance is about jobs and about prospects for Canberra businesses. As we heard today in question time, there have been four or five reports in recent months from some major economic institutions around this country, a couple of banks and from the Governor of the Reserve Bank to say that things are not well with the Australian economy. You only have to read about the latest job cuts in the ACT today where 61 IT contractors working for the Australian Federal Police have had their positions axed to know that. It is evidence that these cuts are a direct result of the intentions of the Rudd government, and, in this case, the intention to save around $24 million.

The significance of this particular announcement of the loss of the 61 IT contractors’ jobs is, in fact, twofold. It is a further indication of the disdain with which the Rudd government is treating the ACT. So much for having three federal Labor representatives! There are also serious implications for people who have information technology qualifications and expertise.

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