The interim Commission of Audit report was due to be released in January. However, as we all know, January has come and gone and Canberrans, Western Australians—in fact all Australians—are none the wiser. This information vacuum has created fear in my electorate—fear amongst Public Servants, fear amongst small businesses, fear amongst people in the capital region.
And they have every reason to be fearful, because coalition governments have form when it comes to Public Servants. According to the Parliamentary Library there are about 7,600 Public Servants in Western Australia and they do have cause to be concerned. They do have cause to be very, very fearful. As I said, coalition governments have got form.
I take you back to 1996. In 1996 you got rid of 30,000 Public Servants, 15,000 here in Canberra. That sent the economy into a downward spiral here; house prices fell, people left town, shops closed down—it reverberated right throughout the capital region. This is the future that Canberrans potentially face and this is the future that 7,600 public servants in Western Australia potentially face. I call on the Abbott government to come clean on its plans for Public Servants across Australia and, most importantly, those 7,600 in Western Australia.