What Party is Senator Gary Humphries a Member of?

I read the following note on Facebook from Senator Gary Humphries, Liberal Senator from the ACT:
PUBLIC SERVICE PALL OVER CANBERRA

Over the weekend, Finance Minister, Lindsay Tanner said that the Government has a plan back to surplus that does not involve tax cuts in the medium term.

ACT Liberal Senator Gary Humphries said that “the only way that I see that the government can make the necessary repayments is to slash the public service and to heavily reduce departmental spending.


“With the resurrection of the Razor Gang, it now seems like a foregone conclusion that there will be massive slashes to the public service.

“With the Nation’s credit card set to reach $200 billion in debt, there will need to be substantial cuts to repay such a massive debt.

“I will be calling on other Federal Representatives of the Canberra Community over the coming days to join with me in a united opposition to further cuts to the public service.

“At a time of crisis, it makes little sense to be culling your best troops.

“I more than just call on the Government – I beg the Government to hold back on making more cuts to the public service” Senator Humphries concluded.

Yes I know he’s said similar things before, but really now.
I suspect what the ACT needs is not only a public servant razor gang, but a Liberal preselection one too… In fact, I more than just call on Liberal preselectors – I beg Liberal preselectors to hold back on making more cuts to Liberal ideology by re-selecting this man.
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14 Responses to “What Party is Senator Gary Humphries a Member of?”

  1. JaketheMuss Says:

    His position has wide support within the Party and is a position publicly put forward by the ACT Parliamentary Liberal Party.

    I find this Division frustrating at the best of times.

  2. MDMConnell Says:

    I’m surprised at this post, Tim:

    a) Canberra is the home of the Federal public service so obviously Humphries has to stick up for his constituents, at least in public. You think Humphries will get re-elected demanding locals be put out of work?

    b) Canberra is a left-leaning area so only a small-l Liberal will go down well there. A person from the right of the party would be at risk of being defeated, with a boost in the ALP vote electing either a second Labor Senator or a Green.

  3. Tim Says:

    Yes but does he have to be so blatant a bout it??? lol

  4. JaketheMuss Says:

    That’s a ridiculous misreading of the electorate MDM. Canberra is a left leaning area socially sure (although that is being too homogenous), although economically it is as mixed as anywhere else.

    I can accept that Humphries may not get re-elected if he says ‘destroy the APS’ but there is a difference between saying that and saying nothing. He actively goes out on this issue and he believes in it. What use is there of electing Humphries if he pursues bad policies. It may as well be Tucker.

    Besides, if cutting the public service equals death, why did Carnell win multiple elections doing just that?

    Howard bloated the public sector and Humphries lapped up every bit of it. He now stands charged with the mess that he helped create. If he finds himself snookered, then that is his fault not mine.

    I’d like to meet some of your public sector friends who believe the APS isn’t a repository of taxpayer funded laziness and inefficiency, because even after living in Canberra for almost 20 years, I have yet to meet one myself.

  5. MDMConnell Says:

    “I’d like to meet some of your public sector friends who believe the APS isn’t a repository of taxpayer funded laziness and inefficiency, because even after living in Canberra for almost 20 years, I have yet to meet one myself”

    Yeah, and everyone wants trimming of the APS…just as long as it’s not them that get trimmed! Being supportive of hypothetical cuts is one thing, but when it’s your department and your colleagues (or YOU) that are at risk of losing their jobs, that support magically evaporates…and very quickly too!

  6. Tim Says:

    What would a ‘no new hires’ policy be able to achieve through attrition?

  7. JaketheMuss Says:

    Well thank you for completely sidestepping all my serious points and going straight to the hyperbole at the end.

    On the weakest of my points though, despite the desperate wishes of the CPSU the local bureaucrats don’t strike me as the ‘solidarity forever’ types. You won’t lose the entire APS if you actually make an intellectual argument and have the guts to back what is right. Humphries doesn’t need 100%, he needs 33.3% and despite the stereotype we aren’t all bureaucrats.

  8. MDMConnell Says:

    Don’t you think ‘no new hires’ would be the worst of both worlds? The right would view it as the wimp’s way out, and the left would see it as ‘cuts by stealth’.

    I don’t disagree with the policy of cutting the APS by the way. My point being that obviously a rep from the ACT has to pay lip service to supporting public servants, since they make up a fair chunck of his electorate.

  9. MDMConnell Says:

    Ok then

    “That’s a ridiculous misreading of the electorate MDM. Canberra is a left leaning area socially sure (although that is being too homogenous), although economically it is as mixed as anywhere else”

    Canberra’s social liberalism outweighs it’s relative economic affluence. Otherwise how do you explain Canberrans consistently voting Labor federally for decades?

    “I can accept that Humphries may not get re-elected if he says ‘destroy the APS’ but there is a difference between saying that and saying nothing. He actively goes out on this issue and he believes in it. What use is there of electing Humphries if he pursues bad policies. It may as well be Tucker”

    Do we know whether he ‘believes’ in it or is it just a politician catering to his electorate? Do you honestly expect someone from the Right who openly pledges small government to do well in Canberra?

    “Besides, if cutting the public service equals death, why did Carnell win multiple elections doing just that?”

    Did Carnell cut the APS or do you mean the local ACT government public service? I’d imagine the latter is very small relative to the former…hence less people to upset.

    “Howard bloated the public sector and Humphries lapped up every bit of it. He now stands charged with the mess that he helped create. If he finds himself snookered, then that is his fault not mine.”

    Howard did indeed bloat the PS, which as ACT rep Humphries had to support. If- as I believe- it was simply Humphries being a professional politician then and now, the rest of this point is irrelevant.

    “Humphries doesn’t need 100%, he needs 33.3%.”

    Which on occassion he’s come close to not getting. Which is why a person who at least pretends to (a) support the APS and (b) be socially liberal, is necessary for the Liberals to avoid defeat in the Senate.

  10. JaketheMuss Says:

    Sooo you actually aren’t from the ACT?

  11. MDMConnell Says:

    Not originally. Lived there for seven years, just after Carnell departed.

  12. Jake the Muss Says:

    That’s good enough. Sorry I got the implication from your earlier post that you hadn’t lived here. I’ll post a response to your above points later tonight.

  13. Tim Says:

    What percentage of the population of the ACT are employed by the APS?

  14. Ross Grove Says:

    I think the debate in the comments section is too far focused on the principles vs pragmatism debate and what in the end is good government policy.

    Cuts to the public service are not neccessarily a bad thing depending on where they come from. If I was Senator Humphries I’d be pressuring Rudd to continue to get rid of the duplication of federal offices in every state capital – and whilst there is some justification to keep some federal outposts in local communities (such as AustraliaPost) the digital age makes the practise of six cbd head offices redundant.

    Surely making the cuts elsewhere and bringing everything together in a LEANER one-stop-shop like the ACT would be a more meritorious case for Senator Humphries.

    With the exception of states rights (which is non-core to what I’m saying here) it’s ideologically savvy and electorate savvy.

    Even in a perfect political world, you can’t out-Labor Labor by sounding like a populist douche. People don’t respect that.

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