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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 March 2017) . . Page.. 1224 ..

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary.

Opposition members interjecting

MADAM SPEAKER: We can all do without the interjections and the sound effects, thank you.

MR STEEL: Chief Minister, how many Canberrans currently work in commonwealth agencies and what would be the impact on employment if more agencies were relocated out of our city?

MR BARR: There are approximately 57,900 Canberrans currently working in Australian public service agencies across the territory. That represents around a quarter of all employment in this city. So if you start relocating entire agencies from Canberra, the most obvious impact is that the jobs based here will go with them. And we are seeing that with the APVMA move, with just under 200 jobs being shifted out of the ACT. But, according to the Deputy Prime Minister, that is just the beginning.

Taking these public sector jobs out of our economy hurts the private sector as well, because of the fall in consumption for local businesses. This will be particularly sharply felt in the sector that provides services directly to the Australian public service, such as our professional services and consulting businesses, as well as those that provide non-exportable goods and services like child care, retail and hospitality.

One need only look at what has happened in the Woden town centre, with the mass exodus of commonwealth employees from that area. We have responded by shifting thousands of our own employees into the Woden town centre in order to respond to the policy approach of the friends on the hill of those opposite—

Opposition members interjecting

MR BARR: Your parliamentary party colleagues on Capital Hill have continued this approach of relocating jobs out of Canberra. It has an impact. They are your colleagues, and you are accountable for their actions.

MADAM SPEAKER: Supplementary, Ms Cheyne.

Opposition members interjecting—

MS CHEYNE: Chief Minister—

MADAM SPEAKER: Ms Cheyne, please sit down. Can we let Ms Cheyne ask her question with some level of silence, thank you.

MS CHEYNE: When federal Liberal governments have previously cut jobs in Canberra, what was the impact on key economic indicators like consumption, confidence and the housing market?

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