Page 61 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 25 February 2014

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MR BARR: What did Kevin Rudd do? He increased the size of the public service in Canberra by 8,000 people—from 57,000 in 2007 to 65,000 in 2013. That is what happened in the six years of the federal Labor government.

The Liberal Party will, of course, deliver devastating cuts that will impact on employees and businesses. This will flow through our economy, hitting sectors and businesses, particularly in retail, hospitality and construction. In terms of jobs growth, the Liberals’ cuts have the potential to wipe out 3½ years worth of economic growth and jobs growth in this city. Quite simply, when the biggest employer in town decides to cut its workforce, it harms an economy.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary question, Mr Gentleman.

MR GENTLEMAN: Minister, how will the ACT government respond to the risks to our economy?

MR BARR: The government is committed to doing everything it can to mitigate the damage caused to the territory economy by the Liberals. The government understands the human toll on individuals and on our society when people are put out of work, and we will be fighting to support jobs in our economy and to support the ongoing economic growth of our city.

To help support the economy, the government is maintaining a strong program of spending on infrastructure and other capital projects. Let us be clear on this: if the ACT government is not investing capital into this economy in the coming few years, it is difficult to see where that investment is going to come from. It is vital that the ACT government continues to play an active role through our capital program and through our budget policy settings to ensure that our economy continues to grow.

Our current levels of revenue and our low levels of debt will allow the government to continue a strong program of infrastructure investment, including the University of Canberra public hospital, the city to the lake project, the capital metro project, the renewal of our public housing stock and the renewal of the Northbourne Avenue corridor. Not only will this help provide facilities that the community deserves and expects; it will also help keep our economy growing and support sectors of the ACT economy that will be hit hardest by the Liberals’ cuts.

We will also maintain the size of the territory government. Unlike the Liberal states, we will not be slashing and burning our own workforce. We support jobs; we support economic growth; and we support cutting red tape, getting rid of inefficient taxes. And we support Canberra, Madam Speaker. That is the key difference between Labor and the Liberals. The Liberal Party are the party of recession for the ACT.

ACT public service—private employment advertising

MR SMYTH: My question is to the Chief Minister. On 3 February 2014, a New South Wales-registered company, Venue Industry Professionals Pty Ltd trading as VIPeople, advertised for casual staff in the ACT public service whole-of-government

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