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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . . Page.. 3449..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

that policy direction, and we saw that again in question time. We encouraged companies such as EDS and BHP IT to set up here in the ACT and to employ people. We heard that criticism again today.

Well, Mr Speaker, the jury has returned its verdict on each of these two approaches today. The Bureau of Statistics reported today that the ACT is currently leading the nation in private sector employment growth. I repeat, we are leading the nation. Mr Speaker, I brought in two copies of this so that Mr Quinlan will be able to read the good news as well. Between May 1998 and May 1999 the number of private sector wage and salary earners in Canberra grew by 22 per cent, or 15,300 people.

Mr Hird: Twenty-two per cent.

MS CARNELL: That is right; 22 per cent between May 1998 and May 1999. This compares with a rise of only 6.2 per cent across Australia. The next largest increase was in the Northern Territory, and that was 13 per cent.

Members interjected.

MR SPEAKER: Order, please! Excuse me, Chief Minister. I did not hear the last percentages that you quoted. Would you mind repeating them.

MS CARNELL: That is because those opposite were talking too much.

Mr Wood: Give us a balanced thing.

MR SPEAKER: If you keep interrupting I shall simply have to keep asking the Chief Minister to repeat things if I cannot hear them.

Mr Wood: We have about half the outsourced contracts. That is what it tells us.

MR SPEAKER: Just take your time, Chief Minister.

MS CARNELL: When they are quiet I will start again.

Mr Osborne: Incorporate it in Hansard.

MS CARNELL: I am pleased that Mr Osborne is here. I know he is interested in jobs and will want to listen. Mr Speaker, this compares to a rise of only 6.2 per cent across Australia. The next largest increase was the Northern Territory at 13 per cent. Ours was 22 per cent, Mr Speaker. Over the same period of a year there has been a fall of some three per cent, or 2,000, in the number of public sector workers. Overall, Mr Speaker, the total number of wage and salary earners in Canberra increased by nearly 10 per cent, or more than 13,000 positions, over a 12-month period. Across Australia the overall increase was less than five per cent. Put simply, our growth has been more than double the national average increase over the past year. That is clear evidence of the improvement in our economy. This Government is achieving real benefits for the people of Canberra. They have jobs.

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