Page 293 - Week 01 - Thursday, 14 February 1991

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MS FOLLETT: My question is to Mr Kaine. Mr Kaine, I refer you to the Australian Bureau of Statistics data which was released this morning and which indicates a 30 per cent increase in unemployment in the ACT over January. That figure, of course, is well in excess of the national increase. Mr Kaine, as Minister for economic development, do you now accept that the ACT does have special problems which deserve special attention from your Government, or are you going to continue to keep your head in the sand and blame the Federal Government?

MR KAINE: I have to say, in answer to the question: No, I do not believe that we have special problems that need special treatment. In terms of unemployment, the ACT is still better off than the rest of the country. The unemployment rate is lower here than it is elsewhere. Certainly, there has been a change in the last couple of months. Some of that reflects school leavers who have not yet started other training courses, and I expect that the unemployment rate, particularly amongst youth, will show a reduction when a lot of those young people take up training courses, whether at university or at TAFE or at other institutions. The fact is that our local economy is performing better than that in the rest of the country, and to assert that there is something peculiar and unusual here shows, I suggest, a complete lack of understanding on the part of the Leader of the Opposition as to the factors that drive this economy.


MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, my question is directed either to the Treasurer or to the Minister for Finance; I am not quite sure who is going to answer it. It is a question of raising revenue and rates. I would be quite happy for either of them to answer the question, but in the initial instance I will direct it towards the Treasurer. As the economy, at times, makes it more and more difficult for ordinary people to find their next dollar, I wonder about the double penalty people incur for not paying their rates on time. In the initial instance, failure to pay the rates means paying the full year directly, but on top of that there is also, I note, a 20 per cent per month interest rate penalty - - -

Mr Duby: That is not correct.

MR MOORE: It is written on my rates notice.

Mr Duby: That is not correct. It is 20 per cent per annum, and you know it.

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