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It is quite significant that that has occurred in the first few months of a Liberal government - a Liberal government that has as one of its claims to fame the faith of business. Okay, we saw a new government elected in February. One would expect just a little blip of support out there, a little wee blip. I will give you credit for 28 more jobs being advertised from one month to the other, but the trends are still flowing against you because business does not support what you are up to. It is a government of show and no substance.

Business Confidence

MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Business, Employment and Tourism) (5.45): Mr Speaker, I thought we were going to have an early one; but whenever Mr Berry stands up and speaks it is very tempting, especially when he does not know what he is talking about. As Minister for Business, I have to say that, over the 100 days we have been in government, Mrs Carnell and I have been moving around speaking to the business community, and when I say that I mean speaking to a couple of hundred people at a time at a function. Not one person has come to me or Mrs Carnell, as far as I am aware, and said, “Our chins have hit the floor. It is very gloomy out there”. In fact, the opposite has happened. They have said, “What a breath of fresh air this Government has been”. Is it any wonder that 42 per cent of the Canberra community has said, “We need change. This is what we want. We need some progressive change.”? Progressive change is what they have got.

Mrs Carnell obliterated Mr Berry's argument - not that it needs much to do that, mind you - by saying that full-time employment is up, not down. He said that it was down, but the truth is that full-time employment is up. Mr Berry also said that the trend rate was down, but the truth is that it is 8 per cent up. From May last year to May this year, the truth is that it is up - not what Mr Berry said, but the truth. We know that from time to time Mr Berry finds it very difficult to understand the way business works. We saw that about 18 months ago with what happened to VITAB. Once again, this shows us that Mr Berry still has not learnt what the truth of the matter is. The truth of the matter is that the business community out there is delighted with the change in government because they can see that business will flourish in the ACT under this Carnell Liberal administration.

When we get up here in this place, please, if we are going to quote figures let us quote the right figures. I know that we can make figures tell us whatever we want them to from time to time; but, when you are talking about something like unemployment figures, tell the truth. It is a fact that from May 1994 to May 1995 there has been an 8 per cent increase - not a downturn, but an 8 per cent increase. Those figures do not lie; that is what the figures are. Quote them properly, please. Full-time employment has gone up. Mr Berry said, “Yes, but by only 28”. I am sure that those 28 people and the families they have to support are absolutely delighted. We know that you are in here to have a quiet political shot, as Mr Berry does from time to time, and that is fine; but when we are talking about something as important as unemployment, please, let us make sure that we get it right.

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