NSW opposition leader Peter Debnam with his parents John and Betty from Banora Point at Twin Towns Services Club
NSW opposition leader Peter Debnam with his parents John and Betty from Banora Point at Twin Towns Services Club

Freeze out the fat cats

By GENEVIEVE ALLPASS

NSW Liberal leader Peter Debnam returned fire on the Labor government yesterday claiming millions of dollars could be directed to frontline services such as health by slicing top-heavy bureaucrat numbers.

Responding to NSW Premier Morris Iemma's accusation that the NSW Coalition had proposed more than 29,000 state public service jobs be slashed, Mr Debnam said Labor was running a scare campaign.

"Saying that the Coalition is slashing jobs couldn't be further from the truth," he said at Twin Towns Services Club during a press-the-flesh visit with the Coalition shadow cabinet.

"There are now so many highly paid bureaucrats in the NSW public sector that if you implemented a recruitment freeze on bureaucrats, you would save $2.3 million a day which you could then divert to the front line, such as health.

"It's all about balancing by directing funding to front-line services instead of the bureaucracy in Sydney where a hell of a lot of money is going at the moment."

Tweed MP Neville Newell said if Mr Debnam cut 29,000 public service jobs in NSW this translated to more than 300 positions in the Tweed electorate alone.

"The Liberal/National Party should know services and employment in the Tweed will be massively effected under a Coalition Government," he said.

Mr Debnam also used yesterday's visit, to catch up with his parents, Banora Point residents John and Betty, and to blast the government for leaving the Tweed shire in the hands of council administrators until the next state elections in 2008.

He promised that if elected premier in March 2007 he would ensure that Tweed Shire Council elections took place as soon as possible.



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