Public Sector Jobs

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SpeakersPresident; Cusack The Hon Catherine; Robertson The Hon John
BusinessQuestions Without Notice, QWN

Page: 16444

The Hon. CATHERINE CUSACK: My question is directed to the Minister for Public Sector Reform, and Special Minister of State. What are the projected financial dollar savings to the New South Wales State budget as a result of the Minister's intention to reduce back-office public sector jobs by attrition? The dollars!

The Hon. JOHN ROBERTSON: As I have said previously, the Government has announced the creation of 13 super agencies. This reform will streamline the functions of the agencies and deliver better front-line services. Unlike the Opposition, we are not about job cuts but let me repeat what I have said already for the benefit of those opposite: No-one will lose his or her job or be made forcibly redundant. The recruitment freeze on the back-office positions will continue. However, this does not apply to front-line staff and services.

The PRESIDENT: Order! Hansard has difficulty reporting the proceedings when members keep interjecting on the member with the call.

The Hon. JOHN ROBERTSON: Back-office functions will be consolidated through natural attrition as people retire or move into other employment. The creation of the 13 super agencies is the most significant reform of the public sector in 30 years. The Rees Government, unlike those on the other side of the House, is about supporting jobs and delivering services to the people of New South Wales. We have not heard anything from the Opposition. The problem is that this Government has made its view and position very clear on the future employment of people in the public sector in New South Wales.

The Hon. Duncan Gay continues to refer to the former Opposition leader Peter Debnam—Mr Budgie-Smugglers—and asking me whether I have any. The only thing we know from Opposition members is that they want to cut 20,000 jobs. That still stands on the record, and the Leader of the Opposition can rant and rave, but the fact is that they still have on the record their policy of 20,000 job cuts. We are not cutting jobs, we are reducing positions, and they can rant all they want. We are cutting positions through natural attrition. They can rant and rave all they like. Nobody is losing a job as a result of these mergers and we have made our position abundantly clear, unlike those opposite.

The Hon. CATHERINE CUSACK: I ask a supplementary question. Why will the Minister not tell us the projected financial savings to the New South Wales State budget as a result of his intention—

The PRESIDENT: Order! That is not a supplementary question.