Independent ACT Senate candidate, Anthony Pesec, has described yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister that the Coalition will be funding their election promises by cutting a further $1.5 billion from Australian Government agencies as an assault on the ACT economy and on the ability of the Public Service to deliver on behalf of all Australians.
“The Public Service, which is the largest single employer in Canberra, has suffered massively from the economic effects of the efficiency dividend, of ad hoc decisions to move public service jobs out of the ACT to shore up the National Party’s collapsing vote in regional areas, and the Coalition’s government jobs freeze.
“With local unemployment now starting to rise, the last thing the ACT needs is another phase of swingeing cuts to Commonwealth departments.
“Just as we saw in the latest budget, incumbent Liberal Senator Zed Seselja has completely failed to stand up for his electorate.
“The budget allocated just 0.05% of the national infrastructure spend to the Canberra region, the nation’s eighth-largest population centre.
“As Assistant Minister for Treasury and Finance, Zed’s fingerprints are all over all of these cuts.
“Zed has been the single worst representative for the people of the ACT, ever.
“In his seven years in the Senate, Zed has demonstrated again and again that his focus is on internal Liberal Party games and boosting his career in the Party’s hard-right faction, rather than working in the interest of his electorate.
“If elected, I will be a real voice for Canberra. I will be beholden to the people of the ACT and Norfolk Island, and no-one else.
“Unlike Mr Seselja, I will vote to ensure that the ACT Assembly has the same rights as State Parliaments to make laws on behalf of its citizens and I will represent their views in Federal Parliament, not just my own.
“The government’s decision to dump this announcement at the very end of the election campaign, when 20% of ACT electors have already cast their votes, is another sign of the contempt in which they are held by Senator Seselja.”