Page 3808 - Week 09 - Wednesday, 24 August 2011

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“(ba) the scheme to sack 12 000 public servants includes disbanding the Department of Climate Change;”.

This is an amendment so that it is clear in this motion that the plan that has been put out there by the federal Liberal Party about sacking 12,000 public servants actually includes a whole department, disbanding a whole department, and that department is the department of climate change.

In 2011, when we know the science is in, we have thousands and thousands of eminent scientists, commentators, researchers and economists across the world who understand that climate change has got real impacts for—

Opposition members interjecting—

MR SPEAKER: Order, members, really!

MS HUNTER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. Climate change will have real challenges and real impacts on many things including the economy, for instance. That is why it is so important that we do have a department that can be devoted to looking at the impacts on the economy and how we can move forward. Obviously there will be a connection to carbon pricing into the future. There will be connections to a range of issues.

We know that there are going to be major impacts on health, for instance, that will impact on every man, woman and child in Canberra and right across Australia. We know that there are going to be challenges around hotter summers, drier weather. We are going to have some issues around water. There are many issues. There are a myriad of issues that obviously do not worry the Liberal Party, probably because, at the end of the day, Tony Abbott said he certainly did not believe—he did use a particular word which I think is unparliamentary—in climate change. And that is why I think it is important to put this amendment into the motion this afternoon so that it clearly is there on the record for the people of Canberra that not only will it be 12,000 jobs proposed to be slashed from the public service in the ACT but that it includes a whole department, the department of climate change.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Education and Training and Minister for Tourism, Sport and Recreation) (5.19): The government is very pleased to support Ms Hunter’s amendment. I think she raises a very important point. It would appear that anyone who disagrees with Mr Abbott and Mr Hockey on these matters of climate science will find themselves in the firing line to, in fact, be disbanded, that the department of climate change would be the main target of the federal Liberals’ attack on Canberra, an attack on the commonwealth public service. So I think that speaks volumes about their attitude towards scientific research.

I do find myself in some agreement, though, with some of the interjections that were coming from those opposite during Ms Hunter’s speech. We are undoubtedly in a period where the attacks on Australia’s scientists and scientific research from both

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