Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2008 Week 04 Hansard (Tuesday, 8 April 2008) . . Page.. 1142 ..
conclusions Mr Smyth has in his MPI of assuming that the impact will be massively adverse. As I have said, efficiencies should not be opposed just because they are hard or because, unfortunately, they can translate into people losing their jobs. Governments should look for efficiencies and should not be automatically criticised for doing so.
I also would express the view that, as we talk about diversifying the economy, I too would love to hear what these initiatives are. It is very easy in politics to advocate more and more spending. It takes one hell of a lot more courage to actually suggest areas where governments need to trim back. Anyone can go out and dish out a lump of money to a company—and there are plenty of companies that will take advantage of gullible politicians—who will set up airlines, as we saw in this territory, or companies that are in the copying business and whatever else, and who will promise you the world.
I saw it when I worked for the Victorian government. By and large, we were careful to avoid the carpetbaggers who would come to town promising the world and ask government to fund it. I think we used to give them cheap telephone calls on the home of the CEO, and that was about where our assistance ran out. I think that is what the Liberal Party ought to think about.
MR SESELJA (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (5.22): I like hearing about the courage of the crossbench. The crossbench tell us about having the courage to come up with policies which everyone knows they will never, ever be able to implement.
Mr Mulcahy: Well, we share that in common, Mr Seselja, because you’ll never be there either.
MR DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order, Mr Mulcahy! Don’t get too excited.
MR SESELJA: We look forward to finding out how popular Mr Mulcahy is at the next election. Mr Mulcahy misread the matter of public importance, I think, when he referred to the “massive adverse impact”. There is no mention of the word “massive”. It refers to “the adverse impact of the Rudd razor gang cuts on jobs and businesses in the ACT”. We should try and get the details right.
We have heard from the Chief Minister consistently, and the message we get consistently from the Chief Minister on this is that he does not care about these cuts. In fact, we have seen how little he cares in his response to some of these cuts. We have seen his fence-sitting approach to this issue, whereby he has refused to criticise any of the cuts. Mr Mulcahy talks about efficiency dividends, but when you cut 37 jobs from 88 in an agency, it is difficult to describe that as an efficiency dividend. It is very difficult to say that what they were really looking for when they slashed the NCA was an efficiency dividend. It was, perhaps, a gutting of the organisation. I think that is what people see.
It was, in fact, a revenge attack by Kate Lundy, backed by her local colleagues, supported by Jon Stanhope, to absolutely slash the NCA. We now see the review, in retrospect. After making cuts to about 40 per cent of the organisation, we now have a