Page 1749 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 May 2013
The roll-on effect to private enterprise will be catastrophic, with rising unemployment and more bankruptcies. It will be not just the builder, the baker and the policy maker. The whole economic box and dice in this town could be sacrificed for Liberal political tricks. What will be the effect on house prices, the value of the family home? The financial nest egg of many Canberra families will be scrambled.
Who will lose jobs? It will be people living on your street. Before your cafe or local shop goes bust, will they be laying off your teenage children from their weekend jobs? Cutting public service jobs by natural attrition has a disproportionate effect on young people. Retirees or people leaving for another job are not replaced. There is no hiring of young job seekers or new graduates. The next generation looking to establish a career or some financial security are just told, “Go away, you’re not wanted. We’re not hiring young people; just getting rid of people,” even if their jobs were once seen as essential.
Just last week a constituent told me he is very worried about the future of his job at the Australian National Museum under an Abbott government. We are yet to see any Liberal national cultural policy or commitments. I have no doubt that staff at other commonwealth-funded Canberra cultural institutions are feeling the jitters. Young people studying, say, materials preservation or curatorial studies—fields where they might be looking to join some of our great cultural institutions—would be feeling dispirited, to say the least.
Who could be on Mr Abbott’s commonwealth hit list in my electorate of Ginninderra? We have a large number of people working in commonwealth departments and agencies. There is the Australian Institute of Sport, the Sports Commission, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, the Department of Immigration and Citizenship, the Australian Bureau of Statistics and Comsuper. The people working in each of these organisations make a great contribution to our community, and it would be a shame to see them discarded, cut to the bone or transferred piecemeal to Sydney or Melbourne to satisfy Mr Abbott’s ideological whims. I call on the opposition to stand up for Canberrans now. Do not sing Mr Abbott’s sad song.
MR HANSON (Molonglo—Leader of the Opposition) (4.18): One thing we can say about a motion that is put forward by Dr Bourke is that it is always entertaining. It may not be factually correct, it may not be good policy, but it is always entertaining. I find it ironic that the bloke who recently lost his job with this government as a minister is the bloke who is concerned about job losses in Canberra. He should probably have a chat to his own Chief Minister about that issue.
What is happening in this place today is absolute hypocrisy. This is not about job cuts; this is about trying to make a political point. Let’s not try and pretend it is anything other than that from the Labor Party. It is hypocrisy. When they woke up this morning and saw the Canberra Times, and saw that today’s story in the Canberra Times and on the ABC is about 3,000 jobs that have gone in the public service recorded last year in the six months to December—that that was the main story in the Canberra Times—they must have thought, “Oops, we’re actually here to talk about mean Mr Abbott”, the bogeyman that they are trying to present, when in actual fact these hypocrites over here are having—