Page 2974 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013

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Again, to the Canberra Times on 7 May:

And we’ve said the public service here in Canberra has to be reduced by 12,000 over the first two years as a starting point.

As a starting point. Joe Hockey, 3AW, 14 February 2013:

Then they continue to criticise us for saying that we’re going to reduce the size of the public service in Canberra by 12,000. But we are doing it because the public service in Canberra has increased by nearly 20,000 since Labor was elected.

So, Mr Hanson, who is right? You or Joe Hockey? And if the public service has not increased by 20,000 over this period, why does Joe Hockey want to cut it?

Mr Hanson: Madam Deputy Speaker, a point of order.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Resume your seat please, Mr Barr. Stop the clock.

Mr Hanson: You have made a couple of rulings, Madam Deputy Speaker, about interjections, but, under standing order 42, I ask that Mr Barr address his comments through you. If he is asking me questions directly it makes it a little bit difficult for me not to respond.

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Hanson. I suggest that you, in fact, do not respond. Mr Barr, address your comments through the chair.

MR BARR: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. Through you, the challenge for the Leader of the Opposition is to state clearly whether he believes Joe Hockey and the rationale that his federal colleagues are putting about the country pretty much everywhere but Canberra—but, to his credit, at least Joe Hockey said it to the Canberra Times—where the number of 12,000 quickly grows to 20,000 and where the language used to describe the work of those public servants is pretty poor.

We all remember that quote from Mr Hockey in May that there is a golden rule for real estate in Canberra: “You buy Liberal and you sell Labor.” Joe Hockey in May, words directly from the Liberal Party. That is not our interpretation; they are Mr Hockey’s own words. And this is the great problem for Mr Hanson and the hypocrisy of raising this issue today, having criticised Mr Rattenbury last week for bringing another issue forward, that, with so much cheek, he has the temerity to bring this one forward today. Hypocrisy in the extreme. But we know it is the Liberal Party way.

Mr Hanson: Madam Deputy Speaker, a point of order. I wonder if you could rule on “hypocrisy” and whether that is unparliamentary.

Mr Rattenbury: On the point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker, I believe Mr Hanson used the exact same word in his own speech just 10 minutes or so ago.

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