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Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Page: 6400

Ms BRODTMANN (Canberra) (12:18): I want to turn to a bit of soul food, but, before I do so, the minister has just recently highlighted the threat of those opposite to the nation. I just want to remind Canberrans about the threat that they pose to Canberra and remind them again of 1996, when they abolished 30,000 Public Service jobs.

Mr McCormack: How many Public Service jobs went in the last budget?

Ms BRODTMANN: I think I have said to you before, member for Riverina, that in terms of jobs, that is about half the population of Wagga gone. The future for Canberra that they pose is between 12,000 and 20,000 jobs lost. That is on the current figures, but every time I talk to someone opposite they throw in another 5,000 Public Service jobs. So at the moment I am ranging between 12,000 and about 30,000. I just want to remind Canberrans of the future, the threat, posed by those opposite to Canberra. It will not be pretty; we will go back into recession, housing prices will plummet and it will be an unattractive prospect for everyone in Canberra. Remember: half of Wagga gone. I just to talk about Canberrans and their passion for art. We have got a very vibrant and diverse arts community here. The current debate around the School of Music and the Canberra Symphony Orchestra attest to that. We are also the proud keepers of the nation's major cultural institutions. They continue to feed the souls of Canberrans, of the nation and also of people from around the world. Minister, can you please advise how the government is continuing to support the national cultural institutions based in the capital?