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Pain in store for ACT under an Abbott government: Humphries

Senator Gary Humphries.

Senator Gary Humphries. Photo: Andrew Meares

Liberal Senator Gary Humphries has acknowledged to his party that a win for Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in September’s election will mean pain for Canberra.

In his pitch to Canberra Liberals ahead of Saturday’s preselection duel with former local leader Zed Seselja, the Senator said the coalition’s policies would come at “some cost to the people of Canberra.”

In support of his nomination, Mr Seselja has reassured the party faithful that he would stick to conservative values and not “run to the left” if he wins the party’s number one ACT Senate spot.

The Canberra Times has obtained the nomination forms of the two men vying for preselection, in a contest that has divided the party in an ugly feud.

In his reason for nominating, Senator Humphries has frankly acknowledged that coalition plans to slash the Public Service workforce spelled bad news for Canberra’s economy.

“Restoring economic security and recurring budget surpluses will come at some cost to the people of Canberra,” the Senator wrote.

“The federal budget cannot be brought under control without restraint in Commonwealth spending, hence our commitment to shed 12,000 jobs from the public service.

“During this period of restructuring, Canberra will need an advocate and a champion within the ranks of the new government, a person capable of putting Canberra’s case to his colleagues in the midst of the process.

“I can play that role as I have done before.”

In his pitch to preselectors, Mr Seselja played up the gains made in his election defeat in October 2012.

“As leader I insisted that we should not sacrifice our values or run to the left in order to attract support and I believe that being true to our Liberal values, along with hard work in the electorate was key to massive swings to the Liberal Party in the outer suburbs of up to 18 per cent,” he wrote.

 

8 comments so far

  • I think it's time for Mr Humphries to gracefully retire. Time for a refreshing change within the Liberal ranks of the ACT.

    Goodbye Mr Humphries.

    Commenter
    Iranian Space Monkey
    Date and time
    February 22, 2013, 1:08PM
    • +1. The only one who has shown any dignity in this increasingly ugly preselection battle is Zed.

      Commenter
      suzy67
      Date and time
      February 22, 2013, 2:09PM
  • Rubbish, pain ahead due to excessive spending and hand outs.

    Commenter
    TheJoker1214324
    Date and time
    February 22, 2013, 1:14PM
    • ... and the rest of the country due to lack of services. Increase in Public Service is less than the increase in the CPI, therefore a reduction in real terms.

      Commenter
      KaH
      Location
      Cbr
      Date and time
      February 22, 2013, 1:26PM
      • So Seselja won't "run to the left". That could also be interpreted as "unwilling to compromise" and is exactly what he did locally and is why we still have a tired Labor/Green government in place despite all the mistakes its made in the last 11 years. How about getting practical results driven people into politics rather than those who slavishly stick to one particular ideology (of any type). If Seselja wants to stick exclusively to conservative values maybe he should leave the Libs and join Katter.

        Commenter
        No Zed Please
        Location
        Canberra
        Date and time
        February 22, 2013, 2:02PM
        • My first thought is why should the ACT reward the Libs for what we know will be a significant hit, not only to the public service, but also to small business across the region. I'm sick to death of hearing about them to be honest.

          Only a fortnight ago, Humphries was spruking that he should be elected as he could protect the ACT in the face of an incoming Coalition government. Clearly he has now thrown in the towel on that ironclad reassurance.

          It seems to me that neither Liberal option will be effective once Abbott and Hockey come to town.

          In 1997, when BHP closed its steelworks in Newcastle, costing 3,000 workers their jobs, the federal and State governments created the Hunter Advantage Fund to help that region recover from that shockwave. The loss of 12,000 jobs must have a similar or worse impact on Canberra. If John Howard thought the Newcastle experience was worthy of government support, why aren't Humphries or Seselja talking about practical measures that a Liberal government may be prepared to support, rather than simply saying the coming hit to the Canberra economy is inevitable? They are not thinking about us, the residents, at all, they are typically just thinking about themselves.

          PS Zed, are you taking credit for an 18% swing in the suburbs? LOL! The people were voting AGAINST ALP, not FOR Libs!

          Commenter
          Ngunnawally
          Location
          Canberra
          Date and time
          February 22, 2013, 2:03PM
          • Why so negative?

            For those who don't work in the public service and aspiring to buy a home this will be fantastic. We might finally be able to afford something besdies a one bedroom shoe box.

            Commenter
            Richo
            Location
            Canberra
            Date and time
            February 22, 2013, 2:18PM
            • But is it 12,000 jobs or is it 20,000 jobs? Abbott alluded to 20,000 job cuts in a speech the other day. You can't trust any of them. It seems a lot of naive people think that cuts to the public service won't affect them, but if thousands of Canberra public servants lose their jobs, the private sector will suffer as well. And it's not just Canberra, it's all the cities and town surrounding Canberra in NSW that will suffer along with the rest of us. No one in Canberra can expect Humphries or Seseljia to represent our interests properly on this front. They're all only in it for themselves and couldn't care less.

              Commenter
              Adam Newstead
              Date and time
              February 22, 2013, 2:28PM

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