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Monday, 10 September 2018
Page: 8373

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Whitlam) (13:54): While the Prime Minister has been out in the lobby revving up the characters in his very own muppet show, the member for Chifley has discovered a secret plan by his government to axe 30 jobs from the Department of Human Services in the member for Cunningham's electorate and my electorate. It is not bad enough that this means that the last line of defence against their shocking robo-debt program is about to go. It's not bad enough that this means queues and wait times will get longer and longer and longer. It also flies in the very face of their own promise to decentralise jobs out of Canberra and into the regions. We had a lot of hope that the new great hope, the new minister for decentralisation, who has had the job for 12 days, was going to make her mark. But her very first act was to wave through these regional job cuts.

They have had pretty bad form in this area. At the last budget, the National Party leader stood up and said: 'We've got triumph. We are decentralising 96 jobs out of Canberra and into the region.' When you read the fine print, you see what he is doing; he is moving jobs out of one capital city into another. My very favourite is that he is moving 25 jobs out of Sydney to Parramatta, and calling that decentralisation. It is time for the Prime Minister to take regional jobs seriously. They deserve more than a Prime Minister who acts like Fozzie Bear and is leading an entire muppet show.