ACT Liberals reveal plan to slash the public sector: media release
27 September 2012, 11:03am
As the ACT Opposition leader Zed Seselja was reassuring ACT public servants on Tuesday that he had no plans to cut public services or jobs at the Community and Public Sector Union election forum, his Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services, Vicki Dunne was at a different forum revealing plans to outsource ACT services and cut funding.
The Canberra Times is reporting that during Ms Dunne’s address to the ACT Council of Social Service (ACTCOSS) forum she says:
"My vision is that we should actually as a Government be a funder of services rather than necessarily a provider of services.
"We believe that the community sector is better able to provide the services, because you know your client groups better than we do.
"We also believe that there is in excess of $200 million in the Community Services/Disability Services Budget, not counting Housing. There is a lot of money there, and I don’t know we’re necessarily seeing great value for money."
The ACTCOSS forum was held at Rydges Capital Hill in Barton and attended by approximately 50 community sector workers.
At around the same time that day, the CPSU ACT election forum was in progress, not far away at the Legislative Assembly. At the forum, Chief Minister Katy Gallagher and Liberal Opposition Leader Zed Seselja were being grilled by approximately 70 Canberra public servants about their plans for the public sector.
Mr Seselja responded to a question about the party’s plans for the public sector by saying:
"I've spoken out against Liberal cuts, I've spoken out against Labor cuts and I will not be cutting jobs myself.
"I do not support job cuts in the public service."
Both forums were being held as an opportunity for the major parties to put their case to the ACT public ahead of the ACT Legislative Assembly Election to be held Saturday, 20 October 2012.
CPSU ACT Regional Director Vince McDevitt today said the CPSU has been concerned that the ACT would be a victim of a Liberal Opposition that say they won’t cut public services, but break that promise once in office – as has been the case in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and now seems to be happening the NT.
“It seems Vicki Dunne has revealed the Liberals’ real plan for the ACT’s public sector.
“I’m calling on the ACT Opposition to outline its true intentions for public services and jobs because he and his Shadow Minister are clearly saying very different things.
“Given the legacy of other recently elected Liberal State and Territory governments, who say they won’t make cuts and turn around and do just that, I think what we’re seeing here is the ACT Liberals’ “smoking Dunne”,” Mr McDevitt said.
Mr McDevitt said Ms Dunne’s comments also shows contempt for the public servants working in the community and disability sectors.
“It’s a slap in the face to those people who are working in often difficult areas to say we’re not getting value from their work and in the same breath saying, if elected you would cut more than $200 million out of the sector.
“This is also raises serious questions about the Liberals’ commitment to those who often need the most help from Government. You take $200 million out of that work and what happens? Less child protection workers, a cut in early intervention programs, less support for people with disabilities, and the list goes on. And to say that the hundreds of public sector workers who work in this area don’t know their clients just adds insult to injury,” he said.
To arrange further comment call CPSU Communications Officer Jess Nelson on 0459 168 514