Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Tuesday, 19 November 2013
Page: 648

Public Service


Ms GAMBARO (Brisbane) (14:36): My question is to the Treasurer. I refer the Treasurer to media reports that the previous government had secret plans to cut 14,500 jobs from the Public Service over the next four years. What do these revelations mean for more than 16,000 federal Public Service employees in Queensland, including those in my electorate of Brisbane?

Mr Fitzgibbon: Madam Speaker, on a point of order: I refer you to page 558 of House ofReps Practice and the precedents set by previous Speakers that the member should be required to authenticate the reference in that question.

The SPEAKER: There is no point of order. I call the Treasurer.

Mr Fitzgibbon: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

The SPEAKER: The member for Hunter does not have the call.

Mr Hockey: What is going on here?

The SPEAKER: The Treasurer will resume his seat and the member for Hunter will resume his seat. I have refreshed my memory with page 558. I think the member simply referred to the statements that had been made with regard to public servants. Perhaps you could reread the question.

Ms GAMBARO: Madam Speaker, I was referring to media reports. Is that not in order?

The SPEAKER: You have not identified any particular media report. Continue to read.

Ms GAMBARO: My question is to the Treasurer—

Mr Fitzgibbon: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

The SPEAKER: The member for Brisbane will resume her seat and the member for Hunter will resume his seat. The member for Hunter is concerned that if the member is including in her question citing a particular media report then she needs to authenticate that report.

Ms GAMBARO: Madam Speaker, I am pleased to do so. I will rephrase the question. My question is to the Treasurer. I refer the minister to media reports in the Daily Telegraph of 19 November and in TheAustralian of 19 November, today, that the previous government had secret plans to cut 14,500 jobs from the Public Service over the next four years. What do these revelations mean for the 16,000 federal Public Service employees in Queensland, including those in my electorate of Brisbane? (Time expired)

Mr Fitzgibbon: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

The SPEAKER: I call the Treasurer. The member for Hunter will his resume seat.

Mr Fitzgibbon: Madam Speaker, I rise on a point of order.

The SPEAKER: I have given the call to the Treasurer, who is yet to open his mouth and speak. The Treasurer can resume his seat for one moment and we will entertain the member for Hunter.

Mr Fitzgibbon: Under the precedent clearly outlined in House of Reps Practice set by previous Speakers, the member is required not only to authenticate the fact that the matter was published but also to authenticate the purported facts published in the article.

The SPEAKER: There is no point of order. I call the Treasurer.




















Mr HOCKEY (North SydneyThe Treasurer) (14:38): I note that the member for Brisbane does not have media favourites so that is why she did not go down the path of naming all the publications, but it was widely published today. The fact is that Labor hid 14,500 job losses in the public sector before the election. How unbelievably embarrassing. Whoops, how did that happen? Fourteen and a half thousand people just lost their jobs under Labor in the public sector and they forgot to tell us about it.

But if you believed the Shadow Treasurer this morning, he said at his press conference, 'It is all in there in all our economic statements released just before the last election.' I went thumbing through it again and I read it again and again. I even put a little orange tab here. It says nothing about 14,500 jobs in the public service. But it gets better. The Leader of the Opposition, as Minister for Workplace Relations in the previous government, on 16 August 2013 went to the union movement, the Commonwealth Public Sector Union, and said, 'We believe that the necessary savings should not impact unduly on the overall number of Public Service jobs.' Hang on, so there you have the Leader of the Opposition saying, 'Do not worry, we are going to have efficiency dividends but nobody is going to lose their job.' And then after the election we discover that 14,500 jobs are going in the public sector. But it was not just his spoken word but his written word as well to Nadine Flood, the national secretary of the CPSU. He said it is possible that public sector savings and the efficiency dividend outcome may be achieved through a range of measures including targeted non-staff savings at the agency and sector-wide levels and the possibility of mergers or a reduction in the Public Service. There was nothing about 14,500 jobs going under Labor as a result of their efficiency dividend.

Senator Wong said, in estimates today, how did that happen? We asked for an efficiency dividend out of the public sector and oh my goodness aren't we surprised that there are job losses? The problem is: every cupboard we open on the budget there are more spiders put there by Labor. We went to the last election saying there would be 12,000 redundancies through natural attrition and every day we had to suffer the member for Griffith standing in this place talking about the job losses in Queensland and all the hypocrites on the Labor side talking about job losses under Campbell Newman.

Opposition members interjecting

Mr HOCKEY: It is true; you are hypocrites.

The SPEAKER: I would ask the Treasurer to withdraw.

Mr HOCKEY: I withdraw. How sad it is for Australia that they were ever in government.