Page 2971 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013

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gets into government has got some tough times ahead. The real difference is that whilst the federal coalition has been honest, what we have seen from Labor and the Greens is dishonesty. Meanwhile, as the Canberra Times reported and as the CPSU were saying, we are seeing a staffing purge. The hypocrisy is rank.

It is not just at the federal level. We have seen it at the ACT level as well. The government that, with their CPSU mates, ran a scare campaign about what the ACT Liberals might do then got back into government. Then, as the CPSU started shafting them, we saw job cuts in the budget. What we are seeing now is a government that is trying to squeeze down the wages of nurses and public servants, saying that if they do not accept the wage negotiations, if they do not accept what the government is saying, there are going to be job cuts. As the CPSU said, they are basically threatening us. Some of the quotes are extraordinary; it just shows what the government is doing.

Vince McDevitt from the CPSU said:

… the government should be prioritising jobs over public art and the “flying sky pig”.

They’re robbing Peter to pay Paul and that’s when you see fiascos start to happen …

It’s like crisis management, the way they do business.

That is exactly right. Whether it be federally or locally, it is the fiascos; it is the mismanagement. That then comes down to who is paying for it. Who is paying for it right now? Federal public servants and ACT public servants. It is not Jeremy Hanson saying that; that is the CPSU. It is Nadine Flood federally and Vince McDevitt locally who are saying that about what is happening right here and now.

ACT public servants have been shafted. They accuse the government of delaying the start of negotiations to ensure an inferior offer. And what about the nurses? The nurses say they have been insulted and it was disrespectful.

I commend this motion to the Assembly but I finish with this point: let us have honest debates in this place and let us not have any more of this hypocrisy from Labor and the Greens.

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services) (11.16): The government will not support Mr Hanson’s motion today, and I will move amendments shortly. From the outset it is fair to say that in that speech Mr Hanson has shown more cheek than a sumo wrestler. It is laughable. Given what he said last week about bringing federal issues into this chamber in the federal election campaign, it is the height of hypocrisy and borderline offensive that he has just given the speech that he has. For a party that has form, a party that does not care about jobs or about public servants, to suggest that the ACT government is in some way cutting public sector jobs is just a complete misrepresentation of the facts. I draw Mr Hanson’s attention to the amendments that I will now move, and I seek leave to move the amendments together.

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