Page 2975 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 14 August 2013

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MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you, Mr Rattenbury. I was about to say the same thing. Mr Hanson, in your speech you, in fact, used that word frequently, so—

MR HANSON: So “hypocrisy” is all right, now?

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: I think “hypocrite” is not allowed. I do not believe you are allowed to call a member a hypocrite, but I think “hypocrisy” in context is quite acceptable.

Members interjecting—

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Thank you. Are we all finished having conversations across the chamber? Yes. We will now get on with it. Mr Barr.

MR BARR: Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker. So it is very clear. The facts are available for the Leader of the Opposition in terms of the relative size of both the ACT and commonwealth public services in terms of employment within the Australian Capital Territory. Those facts, it would appear, are not contested at the federal level. Mr Hockey certainly uses those facts to justify his desire and that of the federal Liberal Party to cut those jobs from the ACT in particular. There appears to be recognition at least from the majority of the Liberal Party that those jobs exist, were created and are based in the ACT. Mr Hanson appears to want to deny that fact, but, in doing so, you would think it would undercut the argument that has been put nationally by his federal colleagues.

Those facts are clear and on the record, and it is interesting to look at that long-run trend—the public service has continued to grow in the last six years. The suggestions that the current federal Labor government has cut the size of the public service are just wrong. They inherited 143,846 public servants and there are 168,580 now. That is more. So any suggestion, whether it is from the CPSU or Mr Hanson, that there has been a reduction in the commonwealth public service is wrong. Joe Hockey believes there has been an increase and—

Mr Hanson: So you’re quoting Joe Hockey and I’m quoting the CPSU.


MR BARR: In this instance, on this issue, Joe Hockey is right; there has been growth in the public service. That is true, yes. No-one is contesting that fact. Yes, there has been growth. So let me repeat this for you, Mr Hanson, one more time: in June 2007 there were 143,846 commonwealth public servants; in June 2012, 168,580. Yes, the public service has increased. Joe Hockey is right on that, and anyone who looks at the figures and can comprehend that 143,000 is less than 168,000 will comprehend there has been an increase. You appear to be the only one in denial on that point—

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Mr Barr, address your comments through the chair.

MR BARR: Madam Deputy Speaker, the Leader of the Opposition appears to be the only one in denial on that point. The question is: is it a good or a bad thing that there

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