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Ms Follett: It is not exactly the foreshore.
Mr Connolly: It is a little bit back. The tide would have to be very high for it to be on the foreshore.
MR SPEAKER: Order!
MRS CARNELL: What we are talking about here is a number of groups; people saying that they want to be part of this approach. The former Chief Minister was involved in a land swap. The fact is that she could not make a decision. We have gone ahead and made a decision. We have Aboriginal groups, we have arts groups and we have the business community saying, “Thank you, thank you, thank you”.
Government Service - Senior Positions
MR KAINE: I have a question for the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, last week - I think it was Tuesday - I was watching television, and, without giving anybody a plug, I think it was Channel 10, and I heard the Leader of the Opposition say, in connection with the ACT public service, “The number of SES positions has fallen since self-government”. Chief Minister, that does not coincide with my understanding of the facts. Can you tell the Assembly whether or not the Leader of the Opposition was stating the facts when she made that statement?
MRS CARNELL: Interestingly, Mr Kaine, again Ms Follett was wrong. In 1993-94 the annual report of the Head of Administration showed that at the commencement of self-government there were 73 senior executive positions. On 30 June 1994 there were 83 positions. That is an increase of 10. These figures do not include statutory office holders such as agency heads. I asked the Department of Public Administration to examine SES and senior officer numbers since the data was first accurately kept. We find that in March 1993 there were 1,185 senior officers grade A through to grade C. In December last year - - -
Ms Follett: The question was about SES. They are not SES officers.
MRS CARNELL: Just wait. In December last year there were 1,285 SOGs - an increase of 100 in less than two years. In March 1993 there were 99 SES officers, bands 1 and 2 and equivalent positions, in the ACT Government Service. In December last year there were 109. That is an increase of 10, Ms Follett. There was an increase of 10 in SES positions, and an increase of 100 in SOG positions.
This is interesting, Mr Speaker, because, in the same time, the number of government employees has fallen. What we have ended up with is an increase in SOGs, an increase in SES officers and a decrease in the overall ACT Government Service. During that time the ACT Government's wage bill has increased by 30 per cent, or $141m, since self-government started. We have a situation where wage bills have gone up $141m, or 30 per cent, average weekly earnings have gone up 14 per cent -