Page 1777 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 May 2013
MS BURCH: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. As I said, this morning we heard many a call from those opposite, particularly Mr Hanson, about fighting the good fight for the people of Canberra. But he is not prepared to fight the fight against Tony Abbott. It should not come as any surprise that they are not supporting this motion today, because the Canberra Liberals have a track record of supporting public service job cuts in our own public service and abandoning the people of Canberra.
We only need to look to the lead-up to our own election last year. The Canberra Liberals—in fact, I think it was the Speaker of the house in her former role of shadow community services minister—pledged to outsource front-line government services, a policy that would have resulted in the loss of hundreds, if not thousands, of public service jobs across a range of government front-line services. I would like to remind the Assembly of Mrs Dunne’s comment at an ACTCOSS forum that I attended when she stated:
My vision is that we should actually as a government be a funder of services rather than … a provider of services.
There, in her own words, she was already sharpening her pencil to cut ACT front-line services here in Canberra. With that ideology, it is no surprise that the Canberra Liberals are standing idly by while their federal colleagues plot to gut our city, our community and our economy.
Of course, there is another reason for their silence and their complicity on the coalition plans. We know that Mr Seselja is counting his days and counting the pay cheques till he can leave this Assembly in body—he has already left it in spirit, some time ago—and take Abbott’s plans to the streets as one of the coalition’s candidates in the next election. At a recent AHA gala dinner, Mr Hanson introduced Mr Seselja as the next Liberal senator and said that he would be an MLA for the next four months. He also told people in the room that if they had a local matter they could take it up with Mr Seselja. They did not, because they know he does not represent the local community.
No doubt Mr Seselja has been telling his Assembly colleagues to keep quiet on Mr Abbott’s plans to slash the public service here in case they make Mr Abbott more unpopular than he already is. Whilst Mr Hanson is happy to continue to be directed by his actions and words at the AHA dinner, this tells me one thing: Mr Hanson is happy to continue to be directed by the former leader of the Canberra Liberals, he accepts poor advocacy for the people of Brindabella and he accepts—
Mr Hanson: Point of order.
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Ms Burch, resume your seat, please. Stop the clock.
Mr Hanson: Madam Deputy Speaker, fascinating as—
MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Have you got a point of order, Mr Hanson?