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Tuesday, 29 May 2018
Page: 4709

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Whitlam) (13:54): The Liberal Party's $150,000 man has given a harsh assessment of his own government's decentralisation agenda. The pricey hat from Tamworth has called BS on the decentralisation plan that he spent the last 12 months spruiking. He said that every regional town was entitled to shift a Public Service department from Canberra into their own backyard. After 12 months of talk, the new Deputy Prime Minister has with great fanfare announced that the policy has arrived: from a Public Service of 167,000 workers, an amazing total of 97 jobs will be decentralised, and as many as 16 of those jobs will go to a regional area—never mind the fact that 1,280 jobs are being cut from agencies in regional towns! In fact, 80 per cent of the jobs earmarked for decentralisation will move from one capital city to another. My absolute favourite is the 25 jobs that are being moved out of the CBD of Sydney into the town of Parramatta, 25 kilometres away. If only Seven could afford the rights to this herculean achievement in public policy! Maybe for their next trick, The Nationals might challenge the member for New England to decentralise the proceeds of his upcoming interview to a more worthy cause. (Time expired)