Page 1757 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 May 2013
Mr Seselja interjecting—
MR BARR: Mr Seselja is suggesting that 17,000 jobs are going, is he? The only party suggesting that 17,000 jobs should go is his party, the party that he will be seeking to be elected with—
Mr Smyth: That’s not true. That’s not what they’ve said.
MR BARR: That is exactly what Joe Hockey said. He said on 29 April 2013, “We can’t afford to have around 20,000 extra public servants in Canberra compared with the last year of the coalition government.” Joe Hockey, 2UE, 29 April 2013.
Mr Seselja: On a point of order—
MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Clerk, if you can stop the clock.
Mr Seselja: I think it is under standing order 46 where I have been misrepresented, Mr Assistant Speaker. I am not exactly sure what Mr Barr claims to have heard across the chamber, but he heard nothing of the sort. If he claims that I said anything in relation to job numbers, he has misrepresented me and I would ask him to withdraw.
MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Seselja, I think it is probably better if you cease the interjections so you do not allow him to comment across the chamber.
Mr Seselja: Just on that, Mr Assistant Speaker, you are not suggesting that it is okay for Mr Barr to misrepresent me, are you?
MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Not at all, no, Mr Seselja; I did not hear any misrepresentation.
Mr Seselja: And we can clarify that.
MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: Mr Barr.
MR BARR: Thank you, Mr Assistant Speaker. They are very sensitive about these matters, it would appear. When it comes to questions of public sector employment in the ACT, as I say, even if we accept the position of the federal Liberal Party, moderated by the position of the local Liberal Party, then we see a net increase of 17,000 jobs in Canberra over the last six years.
We can certainly say—and we seek no other more authoritative source than the Australian Bureau of Statistics—that there are 209,500 people in employment in the ACT at the moment. That is an all-time record level of employment in the Australian Capital Territory. We would not be achieving all-time record levels of employment if there was some massive slashing of public sector employment going on.
There is no doubt that employment levels in the territory will be reduced if there is a change of federal government. This we can view as the gospel truth coming from both