Page 1780 - Week 06 - Wednesday, 8 May 2013

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I will also make reference, if I may, to an article published yesterday. I think it was in yesterday’s Canberra Times. The Canberra member, Gai Brodtmann, accused the opposition leader of treating the public service of the capital with disdain. It quotes her as saying:

Remember 1996 when house prices fell, we lost 15,000 public servants … local shops shut down, businesses and tradies went under and people left Canberra. And that’s the future vision that the Coalition has for Canberra.

The article also says:

A report by ANZ Research warned the ACT could be “heavily negatively affected” by public service cuts under a Coalition government.

The Liberal-Nationals plan to cut around 20,000 jobs from the public service, a large proportion of which are likely to occur in Canberra as around 40 per cent of the workforce is either directly involved in public administration or the services that consult to it …

We estimate there could be a direct 4 per cent cut to Canberra’s workforce, which would have flow-on effects to other sectors in the ACT and nationally.

The article also says:

The ANZ Research report said the possibility of a change of government was already hitting the territory’s economy, with the housing market slowing and business and households acting cautiously.

Madam Deputy Speaker, this motion—or the amendments, which I think Mr Rattenbury will get to shortly—is very clear. The amendments state:

… the Prime Minister made a commitment in her speech launching the Centenary celebrations on 12 March 2012 to Canberra remaining the heart of the Australian Public Service and the primary location of Commonwealth Government departments and agencies …

They recognise:

… the importance of Canberra as the nation’s capital and continuing to invest in Canberra, both as the home of our national institutions and the heart of the Australian Public Service …

And they call on the Speaker—that would be you, Madam Speaker—to write to Mr Abbott. (Time expired.)

At 6 pm, in accordance with standing order 34, the debate was interrupted. The motion for the adjournment of the Assembly having been put and negatived, the debate was resumed.

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