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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 March 2017) . . Page.. 1273 ..

Australian public service

MADAM DEPUTY SPEAKER: Before I call Ms Orr, I ask members to be mindful of the level of volume in the chamber because Ms Orr’s voice does not travel as far as some others.

MS ORR (Yerrabi) (5.16): I move:

That this Assembly:

(1) notes that, over the years, federal governments and major agencies have seen the significant benefits of moving their offices to Canberra, including the:

(a) Chifley Government’s relocation of the CSIRO headquarters from Melbourne to Canberra in 1949;

(b) Fraser Government’s relocation of the High Court of Australia from Sydney to Canberra in 1980;

(c) Hawke Government’s relocation of the Defence Signals Directorate, now known as the Australian Signals Directorate, from Melbourne to Canberra from 1988; and

(d) Turnbull Government’s relocation of the Climate Change Authority from Melbourne to Canberra in 2016;

(2) notes the Australian Public Service has been crucial to the growth and development of Canberra as a world-leading city by:

(a) investing significantly in the city’s people and infrastructure over many decades; and

(b) growing strong links across the Canberra economy, from small business to higher education;

(3) further notes that the role of the Australian Public Service in Canberra has enjoyed tri-partisan support until February 2017; and

(4) calls on the Federal Government and its elected representatives to support a strong Australian Public Service in Canberra and to utilise the significant intellectual capacity of Canberrans to its advantage.

As the nation’s capital, Canberra plays a key role in the efficient operation of the federal government. Our city is home to the Australian public service, and it has been this way for decades. The work of public service staff is invaluable, and with over 57,000 employees based in the ACT, it is important that their jobs are retained here and protected from brutal cuts and relocations. The Turnbull government’s recent pork-barrelling decision to relocate the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicine Authority—or the APVMA—to Armidale exemplifies the inefficiencies associated with forced relocations and the decentralisation of the public service.

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