Andrew Leigh, Gai Brodtmann and Senator Kate Lundy have condemned the Abbott Government’s first budget as an attack on Canberra that Liberal Senator Zed Seselja has failed to stop.
REPORTER: Would you if elected though, urge Joe Hockey, the Treasurer to keep it at the 12,000 mark and not take it further?
SENATOR ZED SESEJLA: Oh, look very much so, and I’ve been on the record as a Canberran - 27 August 2013, ABC Capital Hill.
“[The Coalition has] been good enough to put their policies on the table and that policy is to, across Australia, reduce the size of the public service by 12,000 through natural attrition. Now, my job should I be elected to the Senate will of course be to hold the Coalition to that promise.” ZED SESELJA, 4 July 2013, 666 ABC Drive with Adam Shirley.
"No doubt plenty of them will find part-time work.” ZED SESELJA, 14 May 2014, Canberra Times.
The Abbott Government will cut 16,500 jobs from the Australian Public Service, with over 7000 of those jobs slated to go in the next financial year.
This is an even bigger cut than the Coalition promised. It demonstrates that Senator Seselja is a limp defender of Canberra.
“In his Budget speech Joe Hockey paraded the figure of 16,500 APS job cuts like a badge of honour, showing his complete disdain for Canberra, and his complete disdain for the public service,” said Gai Brodtmann MP.
“Tony Abbott has said he wants to be the ‘infrastructure Prime Minster,’ but where is the infrastructure investment in the ACT? There is no investment in Canberra roads or infrastructure in this Budget - just cuts.”
“I have no doubt these rapid cuts to the APS will have a negative impact in the ACT,” said Andrew Leigh MP.
‘We are a more resilient territory then we were in 1996 – thanks to the stewardship of the Stanhope and Gallagher governments and investment by the former Federal Labor Government – but we are still a government town and it would be foolish to think that these rapid and savage cuts are not going to make life harder for Canberrans.”
The Australian Tax Office is one of the hardest hit agencies with 2,100 staff to go by June 2018 in addition to the 900 cuts this financial year.
“The compulsory redundancy process affects morale and is resource intensive. It will be a big distraction for an agency trying to bring in tax revenue,” Dr Leigh said.
“In 1996 savage cuts to the APS under the Howard Government caused unemployment and insolvency to rise, and caused the housing market to drop significantly,” added Senator Kate Lundy.
“Canberrans should not be made to endure another Liberal-induced economic downturn because of Joe Hockey’s fabricated budget crisis.
“This Budget stands as further proof that Senator Seselja has failed to protect Canberra jobs and thus failed as an elected representative of the Australian Capital Territory,” Senator Lundy said.