Page 2167 - Week 07 - Thursday, 16 May 2013
and I ask members to look at the two documents I have tabled that confirm that funding was ongoing into 2015-16. Of course, that funding of more than $20 million has now been withdrawn from NICTA.
MR COE (Ginninderra) (3:36): Mr Assistant Speaker, I seek to move a matter of public importance about the impact of the federal budget on the ACT.
MR ASSISTANT SPEAKER: You do not need to move it.
Mr Hanson: He doesn’t normally win MPIs.
MR COE: That is right. I think this is only the second or third time I have won an MPI in the 140 times that I could have.
Mr Barr: You should get Tom Waterhouse odds on that bet.
MR COE: That is right. It could have been more certain if I had invested with Eddie Obeid. But of all MPIs to get, I am pleased to get one as important as the state of the current federal budget and, of course, the impact it will have on all territorians. The ACT budget, which will be handed down in a month, will be in an interesting situation as it will be in the shadows of this terrible federal budget. It is a budget which really goes against all that has been said by the Labor Party over the last five or six years both on the hill but also in this place. It is a budget which is true to what they have been saying—it is a Labor budget; it reflects Labor values and reflects the Labor Party’s mismanagement of the economy.
At the forefront of this issue is, of course, the deficit. For a long time we have been hearing from the government that there are always externalities as to why they cannot deliver a budget surplus. There is always an excuse; there is always an explanation as to why the Labor Party is not able to deliver a surplus. Well, here we go, once again, we have another excuse. Despite revenue going up six per cent, despite revenue repeatedly going up, this government is unable to balance the books. And who has to pay for that? Not just current Australians but future generations of Australians have to pay for this government’s mismanagement.
I think that, if we are going to have a deficit, if there were something to show for it there would be some acceptance. People would be far more inclined to say it was reasonable if we had something substantial to show for it. But the reality is that all the money that has been squandered over the last five or six years has genuinely been squandered. There is so little to show for it.
Here in the ACT we are going to struggle. In fact, here in the ACT it is estimated that 1,262 jobs will be shed. Those 1,200 jobs are jobs the government said would not be lost. Last year Gai Brodtmann, member for Canberra, and numerous other Labor MPs said there would be no job cuts here in the capital. They said the only risk to public servants here in the ACT would be a Tony Abbott government. Well, that was wrong. That was absolutely wrong. The fact is even the Labor Party—the so-called champions of the public service, the so-called champions of the public sector—have brought misery to many territory public servants.