First cab off the rank is the Canberra Liberals (unusually nimble for them but always good at getting their talking points from the big kids):
At a time when cost of living is hurting families, the Federal Labor budget merely adds to the pain, according to ACT Leader of the Opposition, Zed Seselja.
“After being ignored by the ACT Labor budget, this federal Labor Budget also fails to relieve pressure on the families of the ACT. Both ACT Labor and now federal Labor are adding to the cost of living of Canberra families.
“This budget provides very little in infrastructure or general support, and does not focus on priorities that are important to local families.
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“When the two biggest and best announcements are putting back a road that they reneged on four years ago and funding for the Stanhope arboretum, you know there’s not a lot in it for the ACT.
Won’t anyone think of the families the way Zed does?
The Canberra Times has comment from the Liberal’s Joe Hockey who says he’d like to sack 12,000 public servants.
Presumably ones that don’t have families.
Labor Senator Kate Lundy is making hay from the echoing silence that is Gary Humphries ressponse to last night’s budget.
In Canberra, he criticises Federal Labor’s responsible fiscal constraint limiting the growth of the public sector, incorrectly claiming it will lead to forced redundancies.
But in the Liberal party room, he supports the Opposition Treasurer Joe Hockey’s call for a slashing of public sector jobs by at least 12,000.
Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey said again this morning, “If you want to start with cuts we have said we will cut 12,000 public servants out of Canberra. That is the starting point.” [ABC News Breakfast, 11/5/11]
Senator Humphries can’t credibly hold these two positions.
His baseless fear campaign has, for the fourth Federal Labor budget in a row, amounted to nothing.
The fact is that Federal Labor continues to provide a stable employment base across the Commonwealth Public Service despite the challenging global economy and unprecedented natural disasters.
And Federal Labor is still on track to return to budget surplus in financial year 2012/13.
Senator Humphries has nowhere to hide, the duplicity of the pretender defender of Canberra is exposed.
Perhaps the lack of statements from her Liberal counterpart has something to do with his tricky position?
And a day late Canberra’s Labor Senator and Representatives have a united response:
Federal ACT Labor Representatives, Kate Lundy, Gai Brodtmann, and Andrew Leigh, have welcomed 2011-12 Budget investment in Canberra.
To mark the capital’s Centenary celebrations, the Budget delivers over $68 million to partner with the ACT Government to deliver a program of Canberra Centenary celebration for all Australians.
Labor’s responsible Budget will strengthen Australia’s economy, create more jobs, and generate training opportunities in Canberra and the region.
The 2011-12 Budget delivers for Canberrans, key highlights include:
$82.2 million for road infrastructure this financial year
$30.6 million for the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation building
$6.1 million increase in base funding for the High Court
$33.9 million increase over four years for the Australian War Memorial
$1.7 million seed funding for the Australian War Memorial to commence planning for a new permanent exhibition on the first World War to commemorate the Centenary of ANZAC
Additional $2 million this financial year for the completion of the National Gallery of Australia building refurbishments and enhancement project
$2.3 million dollars to improve critical outreach and training in health
6700 local families eligible for an extra $4200 per child between 16-19 years old to assist with the cost of living
7397 apprentices will be eligible for the Trade Apprentice bonus scheme
The Budget builds on Labor’s strong economic record and will ensure we are back in black by 2012-13.
There is a renewed focus on creating opportunities for all Australians, focusing on jobs and skills for Canberrans.
Labor also continues to support families and young people in the ACT by investing in training, education and job creation.
This budget builds on Labor’s core values, particularly our commitment to strong employment.