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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 11 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3367..


DISTINGUISHED VISITORS

MR SPEAKER: I inform members of the presence in the gallery of members of the Parliamentary Special Select Committee on Bills and Legislation visiting from the Solomon Islands. The delegation is led by the chair of the committee, the Hon. Michael Maina, MP. Welcome to Canberra and welcome to this Assembly.

QUESTIONS WITHOUT NOTICE

Unisys People Project

MR WHITECROSS: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, I refer you to the budget papers and to the reference to the joint venture that you signed with Unisys relating to the company's attempts to secure a substantial share of what has become known as the year 2000 problem. In your joint press release and media interviews with Unisys on 26 August, it was stated that the Government estimated that this initiative would generate more than 1,000 jobs in Canberra. Interestingly, the press release said that that was a Government estimate and not an estimate from Unisys. How did the Government calculate that this initiative would create 1,000 jobs in Canberra? Can the Chief Minister advise how many people across Australia will be employed by Unisys under this scheme and how many of these will be full time and how many will be part time?

MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I have to admit that it is not the question I expected today straight after the budget, but I am very happy to answer it. If Mr Whitecross had been at the press conference or had listened to the media reports, he would realise that Unisys made it very clear at that conference that Unisys People will not be employing terribly many people. I think I made that point in this house. What will happen, though, is that the Unisys People project, through subcontractors and through other options, will produce over 1,000 jobs. The figure of 1,000 jobs that we are talking about, as I think I said in this place as well, was a figure generated by Unisys itself. In fact, they suggested that the figure of 1,000 was very conservative. They believe it will be higher than that, but because we are a conservative sort of a mob on this side of the house we decided to go with the conservative figure.

When I launched Unisys People, and I think I answered a question in the house about it as well, I made it clear that the jobs that we are talking about will be all sorts of different jobs. They will be jobs in a number of different areas - in marketing, in systems analysis and, of course, in data entry. There will be all sorts of levels of expertise among the people involved. In fact, it is very interesting to note that the training programs at CIT are due to start next month, in October. We are starting right now to get that training up and running. When I launched this program jointly with the Australian managing director of Unisys Australia, I also said that the jobs would range from part time, if that is what people want, to full time, if that is what people want. The amount of work, as I think the


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