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Monday, 21 May 2012
Page: 4898

Mr BUCHHOLZ (Wright) (12:45): Previous speakers have indicated that have the most efficient public service sector in the world. Well, it is our intention to make it better. We have no doubt that there are motivated, good public servants who go home physically exhausted on a daily basis. They go home exhausted because of the amount of compliance. They go home exhausted because of the frustration that is bestowed upon them through the layers and layers and layers of management and compliance regulations that just seem to dog the public service sector. Wherever it is possible, the business sector tries to reduce these types of compliance measures.

The question is not whether or not you believe that there is any room for better returns on investment of taxpayers' money spent on administration of the public sector. The coalition believe that we can get a better return on investment in administering this nation. We in the coalition fundamentally believe in smaller taxes. That is no secret. This government has introduced 27 new taxes. We fundamentally believe in fewer taxes. We believe, fundamentally, in smaller government. This is not a secret. We are on the record as saying that we will tidy up, trim up, the public service sector.

How can we ask small business, the manufacturing sectors, the farming sectors, the tourism sectors and the construction sectors to tighten their belts as these sectors of the economy soften while the government has constantly mismanaged and, as some commentators have stated, there has been a 'blatant waste of taxpayers' hard-earned money by this government and administration'?

I want to refer to the budget papers with reference to the increase in the public sector. We want to find better efficiencies in the public sector staffing levels so that we can increase frontline services. At table 22 of the estimates of average staffing levels, we see that in 2006-07 we had 238,623. In the following year that increased to 248,217. In 2009 it increased to 250,566. In 2009-10 it increased to 258,321 and through to 2010-11 it increased to 261,891. From the budget's own records, there has been an increase of over 23,000 Public Service staff.

We will be reducing the public service sector because of Labor's ongoing waste and mismanagement. You do not have to look too far to see this. There is the immigration budget blowout of $4.7 billion. When we were in government it was $85 million. There has been an enormous blowout. The live cattle export fiasco forced Labor to provide $100 million in assistance packages—notwithstanding future liabilities from class actions which may still be outstanding by our cousins in the north. The administration of the carbon tax advertising was $31.5 million. Can you imagine the number of public servants it takes to run that advertising campaign—and we did not need to have it. Remember back to the comments—comments that will dog this government through to the next election—that 'There will be no carbon tax under a government I lead.' Now we are having to increase the bureaucracy to run the advertising campaign. Then we have climate change bureaucrats travelling the globe, the ceiling insulation program, Fuelwatch, GroceryWatch—and the list goes on.

We will rescind the carbon tax. We will rescind the Clean Energy Fund—$10 billion of taxpayers' money going into risky investments that the private sector just refuse to invest in. We will rescind the Clean Energy Regulator, the climate change commission and the Climate Change Authority. Why have these authorities and administrations been created when all they had to do was just use the original department? It is Labor who devalues the currency of their own Public Service by not entrusting the existing people in place to take a position from. We want to work with the honourable men and women that work hard in the Public Service, that work hard to administer and govern this country better than it has been in the past.

A recent state of the state report has indicated that the ACT has the fastest annual economic growth rate in the nation—5.9 per cent—ahead of South Australia and outstripping the mighty growth of Western Australia, the resource-rich state, on 4.6. How can that be?

Debate adjourned.