Page 1754 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 May 2013

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since federal Labor delivered a budget surplus. Based on the fact that this mob is going to lose government, you would expect—but even if they do not, even if there is a miracle and Gillard stays in, there is no chance that she is delivering a surplus.

That is the reason why whoever is the federal government is in a difficult position. The reality is that when you have a federal budget that is in such a perilous state as it is, Canberra does become low-hanging fruit. We are at risk. That is the problem. That is the problem, members. The federal Labor government has wrecked the federal budget and, no matter who is in government, difficult decisions are going to need to be made. That is the problem. It stems from Gillard’s and Swan’s abject mismanagement of our economy. I think that we all understand the blowout, the waste, the absolutely disgraceful management.

I have circulated an amendment. Rather than this nonsense that we are talking about, which is about some future government that might be there, let us just recognise the reality of what is happening. I am essentially asking for a replacement of the motion and I am saying that we should note some things. Labor promised Canberra they would not cut jobs. Well, that is true. The current Prime Minister is currently reducing the size of the public service in Canberra. Well, that is true. The public service—

Dr Bourke: On a point of order, Mr Assistant Speaker—

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Stop the clock, please.

Dr Bourke: The opposition leader has referred to an amendment that he has circulated. I have seen no amendment.

MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: The amendment has been circulated.

MR HANSON: The amendment has been circulated; thank you very much. It says that the Public Service Commission reports that nearly 3,000 positions have been cut from the federal public service in the last six months of last year. That is true, isn’t it? Further job cuts in the federal public service have occurred since last year and job cuts are continuing. We know that is going to be the case. Any commitment to Canberra signed by the Prime Minister cannot be trusted given her extensive record of breaking commitments. That is quite true; that is quite evident. I have just read out a whole bunch of things that are irrefutable truth about that.

So what should we do? What we should do, members, is this: let us write to the Prime Minister and find out how many jobs she has actually cut. Let us do that and get a comprehensive view, not just to December last year. And let us write to our local Labor members who seem to be all over the place on this: “We do want job cuts; we don’t want job cuts.” It depends who they are talking about at the time. Let us ask why they have failed to be open and accountable. You can talk about any number of things, like pretending to deliver a budget surplus, but in this case it is about federal public job cuts and why it is that they are pledging things like in this Labor campaign media release where there will be no arbitrary recruitment freeze that affects services, workloads and career opportunities. We see from the CPSU in the paper that that is exactly what they are doing.

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