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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2000 Week 12 Hansard (7 December) . . Page.. 3841..


Mr Wood: He could have apologised to Jim, Mr Speaker.

MR SPEAKER: You will be doing that in a minute if you keep interjecting.

MR HUMPHRIES: It is funny, Mr Speaker, how you can keep improving but you still get criticism about not doing well enough, whereas if you look back to what we inherited in these sorts of areas you will find a chalk and cheese exercise between the two.

Beat Police Program

MR RUGENDYKE: My question is to the police minister, Mr Stefaniak. In the 2000 - 2001 budget the government announced details of funding to implement a beat police program. The government indicated that the beat police program would commence in January of next year. Could the minister please give the Assembly an update on progress with the implementation of the program on things such as the number of police involved, whether the suburbs to be covered have been chosen and, if so, the location of the officers within those suburbs?

MR STEFANIAK: I thank Mr Rugendyke for the question. I saw something on that a couple of weeks ago. To the best of my recollection, it was due to start at the beginning of the new year - January, I understand. The number of police involved was six. I am sorry, I do not have the information in relation to the exact suburbs, but I can get that for you.

Jobs Creation

MR HIRD: Mr Speaker, given that this is the last sitting day for the minister for business, Mrs Carnell, it is fitting that the last question is directed to her. Can the minister tell the parliament how many jobs have been created in Canberra since this government was first elected in 1995? For Mr Berry's benefit, can the minister tell the parliament how many of those jobs are full time?

MS CARNELL: Thank you very much, Mr Hird, and thank you, Mr Speaker. As members would know, unemployment figures came out today. They showed, but again, that the ACT has the lowest level of unemployment in Australia at 4.4 per cent, down from 4.5 per cent. That means that the ACT, for quite a significant period, has had the lowest unemployment rate in Australia for the last three months. That is lower than the Northern Territory. It is lower than anywhere else.

Mr Speaker, I understand that those opposite are somewhat embarrassed because they have claimed regularly for the last 51/2 years that they are there in the interests of the workers. The fact is that there are lots more workers now than there were under Labor. When we came to government there was a 7.1 per cent unemployment rate. That was the legacy that the Labor Party left us - a 7.1 per cent unemployment rate, and a participation rate of 71.9 per cent.

Mr Quinlan: Oh, rubbish! Not on your last day, Kate. This is tacky. This is truly tacky.

MS CARNELL: Yes, that was a good participation rate.


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