Standing up for Canberra

Joe Hockey strikes again - proves he’s no friend of Canberra public servants

Joe Hockey has been at it again with another attack on Canberra public servants.

Member for Canberra, Gai Brodtmann said his comments last night on the ABC’s 7:30 program are proof he has no plan for Australia’s future other than slashing jobs in the nation’s capital.

Member for Canberra, Gai Brodtmann said his comments last night on the ABC’s 7:30 program are proof he has no plan for Australia’s future other than slashing jobs in the nation’s capital.

Monday 5 March, 7.30 – ABC1:

JOE HOCKEY: A lot of people in Canberra are spending a lot of time duplicating the work of the states. For example, there's a Department of Health in Canberra with over 6,000 employees. Not one of them is a doctor or not one of them is a nurse treating a patient - not one.

CHRIS UHLMANN: Tony Abbott keeps demanding an election which means that you should be ready to go now with all of your policies, so where will the pain fall, because there will have to be pain, won't there?

JOE HOCKEY: Well of course; if you wanna reduce the size of the government, if you wanna get rid of the waste, if you want to keep your commitments on track, you're gonna have to make hard decisions.

CHRIS UHLMANN: So where will the hard decisions be though? You haven't identified any of them.

JOE HOCKEY: Well, we have. I just pointed out to you that the public service in Canberra is much larger than what it was, that Labor inherited. We've already said that 12,000 will be going.

Ms Brodtmann said his comments were disrespectful and showed a lack of understanding about what people in the public service actually do.

“So far we’ve seen Mr Hockey pledge to cut 12,000 public servants and get rid of the Department of Climate Change and Energy Efficiency, and now he’s attacking the Department of Health and Ageing because apparently there aren’t any doctors or nurses working for it.

“Is he really suggesting that the public health initiatives the Department oversees are not that important?

“Does he think national health reform simply happens by itself?

“And what about mental health? Who does he think actually implements mental health reform, which the Gillard Government has committed $2.2 billion towards?

“I think it’s very telling that the only policy Mr Hockey – the alternative Treasurer – has is to slash jobs and slash services in Canberra.

“His plan will take us back to 1996 when 30,000 public servants lost their jobs because of John Howard, sending Canberra into a recession,” Ms Brodtmann said.