Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 29 March 2017) . . Page.. 1281 ..
was responsible for which cuts over the last 10 years, I acknowledge the contribution of the Leader of the Opposition this afternoon. I think even he recognises that what we have witnessed with the APVMA relocation is beyond the pale and it is completely indefensible.
Frankly, only the National Party could come up with a proposition as ridiculous as this. It would be fair to say that it reflects poorly on the leadership within the federal government at this time that they recognise how silly it is, how ineffective it will be, both in financial terms and in terms of clients, the stakeholders, the users of this important service.
I think we all understand that if this becomes a trend, if the National Party are allowed to continue this process without any intervention from the federal Liberals, this will be very problematic for Canberra in the longer term. I can conclude by saying that as ill-conceived as the Deputy Prime Minister’s policy is, if his objective is to relieve pressure on house prices and congestion in Sydney or Melbourne, moving nearly 40,000 APS employees in those cities, rather than from Canberra, might achieve his ends.
This federal policy seemingly is about shoring up voter support in the marginal seat of New England rather than good public policy. I commend Ms Orr’s motion to the Assembly.
MR PETTERSSON (Yerrabi) (5.46): I thank my colleague Ms Orr for bringing this motion to the Assembly today. The Australian public service has been absolutely critical to the development of Canberra, and I appreciate the opportunity to speak about these matters today. The Australian public service is world renowned for its expertise and diligence, and that success comes from the hard work of many thousands of Canberrans employed in this sector.
It is worth reflecting—just quickly—on some of the achievements we have seen from the public service. Almost everyone in this Assembly would be using wi-fi. That is an invention that came out of the Australian public service. While many of the world’s largest communications companies struggled to deal with the complex mathematics required to deal with the rapid exchange of large amounts of data via radio wave, the APS came through with a solution.
Most members present would also be familiar with Aerogard. It is a common product in most households and, dare I say, probably a necessity around summer barbecues. The formula for Aerogard was originally formulated by Doug Waterhouse, a scientist, indeed, employed by the public service. It was originally designed to protect Australian soldiers in World War II from mosquitoes, but once brought to market has become a familiar product. It is another example of the innovative spirit that is often forgotten about the APS.
The list does not end there: plastic bank notes, self-twisting yarn and extended wear contact lenses. The impact that the APS has had, not just on the development of Canberra but on the development of Australia and Australian industry, is hard to overstate.