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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 4 Hansard (16 April) . . Page.. 950..

MR DE (continuing):

recommendations in order to avoid duplication. Once again, this ACT Carnell Liberal Government is taking the lead and others are following. We are positioning ourselves to realise the opportunities that a higher level of contracting out by the Federal Government could bring and probably will bring to the ACT private sector economy. Rather than wringing our hands and talking down the Canberra economy, which is the hallmark of the Opposition - talking down, wringing their hands, opposing for the sake of opposing - we are getting on with making the ACT a place where people will want to do business.

I noted that much was said about information technology. The majority of savings on information technology will come from reducing duplication and increasing outsourcing. If the full story had been told to the Assembly, Ms Follett and Mr Whitecross would have said that. In other words, we are reducing duplication and increasing outsourcing. We are ready to analyse the results when the facts are known. In this environment, the local industry could well benefit from the changed approach of the Federal coalition Government. Let us get the whole truth out there. Any outsourcing in the IT industry will benefit local industry, and that is where most of the savings are going to happen.

The initiatives of this Government and of the Federal coalition Government will, in the longer term, result in the ACT having a broader-based and more stable economy. I recommend to those opposite that, instead of whingeing and moaning and criticising for the sake of criticising, they should, No. 1, get their facts straight; No. 2, learn their politics properly; but No. 3, and more importantly, not use this Assembly or the tabloid newspapers to whinge and moan for their own political survival.

Let us not talk down the Canberra economy. Let us get on the front foot and be positive. Let us realise that there are going to be some cuts in the Federal Public Service. There have been cuts in the Federal Public Service since 1983. There will probably be cuts in the Federal Public Service in the future, notwithstanding what government is in power federally. We can sit here and moan, groan and whinge, and talk about crises that never occur; or we can get onto the front foot, we can get positive, we can have a real look at what is out there in the community and say, "Research and development, technology, education and tourism are the things we do better than any other city in this country". Let us be positive. Let us try to enhance what we can do. Let us get on the front foot. Let us not talk down the economy. Let us, for once in our lives, get together and be positive for the sake of the future of the ACT. If we are going to create jobs, and we will, we must realise that those jobs are going to be in the private sector. Let us enhance their position to be able to create new jobs in the future.

MR WOOD (4.41): Mr De Domenico talking about getting together and being positive and talking up things does not sound like the same person I heard on this side of the house over some three years when he was in opposition. In question time earlier in the afternoon, the Chief Minister accused some people of misusing statistics. She then went on, during question time and again in this debate, grossly to misuse statistics herself. That is not an infrequent habit of the Chief Minister.

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