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Monday, 26 November 2012
Page: 13244


Mr NEUMANN (Blair) (21:22): Slashing and burning, cutting and pillaging—that is the record of the Queensland LNP government, the New South Wales LNP government and the Victorian LNP government. This side of politics, the federal Labor government, has always supported the hardworking public servants in this country. There are about 1.8 million of them who serve this country well, from the Torres Strait to Tasmania, from Palm Beach right across to Perth.

At a federal level we know that those opposite have a proposal to cut 20,000 jobs from Commonwealth public sector. Why do we know that that is a promise they will fulfil? Because of the record of those opposite—Ted Baillieu, their mate, Campbell Newman, their comrade, and of course Barry O'Farrell, their friend. Their record in both states shows that quite clearly. In Queensland, my home state, Campbell Newman has cut over 14,000 full-time public sector jobs and there are another approximately 7,000 who work on contracts as well. These are people like teachers, nurses, community workers, domestic violence counsellors, people who work in child safety and disability services. He even proposes to get rid of people who work in Eventide, a state run aged care facility. Then there are the people in the rural fire brigades, those who work in regional councils, those who work in flood recovery community work and those who work in the drug courts and the Murri courts. Even the tenancy advocacy services were proposed to be slashed and we had to step in to save them.

Campbell Newman and the LNP state government in Queensland have betrayed the workers. He said that public sector workers had nothing to fear from him. That is what he said in April 2011. He betrayed the people who elected him. There are TAFE cuts on the go. There is a proposal to cut the number of TAFE campuses and educational institutions from 82 to 44, and Bremer TAFE in Ipswich, in my electorate, is under the gun as well.

Campbell Newman calls what he has done 'revitalisation'. Those opposite claim that he is there to 'clean up the mess'. The member for Ryan was in his political party, on his team, in the Brisbane City Council. What is the legacy Campbell Newman left to the Brisbane City Council? It is $2.4 billion in debt. They are figures that the Brisbane City Council budget records show. That is what he left to the Brisbane City Council. He got out leaving them with a terrible legacy and now he purports to come into the Queensland parliament to allegedly fix up Labor's debt.

That is what he claims, but he has betrayed even his own members. We have seen that in the last 24 hours. We have seen the member for Condamine, Ray Hopper, come out and say it and now he has decided to desert the ship. He has decided to actually stand up for his constituents. The LNP members opposite never stand up for their constituents in this place. They never stand up to Campbell Newman on behalf of Queensland; they always stand up for Campbell Newman. You can see them, one after another. In August this year we even saw former LNP life member Clive Palmer giving the Together union, which helps represent public sector workers in Queensland, $250,000 to create the Hope Fund to provide impacted former public sector employees with counselling and vocational training. Mr Palmer has become so disillusioned with the LNP government in Queensland he resigned his membership.

We have had to step in to help public sector workers in Queensland. The Queensland Council of Unions estimates that 900 jobs have been lost in my electorate. Indeed, the unemployment rate in Ipswich went up 0.6 per cent in a month at the height of the cuts from the Campbell Newman government. That is the impact they have had. On 24 October the federal Labor government staged a government jobs and information workshop at Ipswich. The LNP member for Ipswich claimed there were only a few people in Ipswich who had lost their jobs. Well, I was there at that workshop and there were dozens and dozens of public servants in Ipswich who had lost their jobs, right across the sector. I spoke to many of them. This was part of an $850,000 federal Labor government support package for the 14,000 affected public sector workers. We have run jobs and skills expos in Brisbane and Logan.

The reality is that coalition governments do not value the public sector. They do not value the services it provides. Look at what their attitude is. We have seen those opposite come out in support of what Campbell Newman has done in Queensland. The shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey, the member for North Sydney, praised Campbell Newman's savage cuts, saying in the Age on 7 September 2012: 'All strength to his right arm. He's showing incredible courage'—sacking people. We have seen Campbell Newman— (Time expired)