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I would like to draw members’ attention to a few key points from the bulletin itself. First, we are now reporting what are known as full-time equivalent staffing levels. This places our data on a similar basis to other jurisdictions and improves our capacity to use statistics for comparative purposes. Secondly, there were a total of 20,489 ACT Government employees as at 31 March 1995. This is not comparable with the previous figure of 21,541 because of the exclusion of AFP officers and the more accurate counting of casual employees that I have already mentioned. This new benchmark figure of 20,489 provides a more accurate measure of ACT Government employment, as does the new statistic of 17,410 employees on a full-time equivalent basis.

Finally, and purely by way of example, the latest report shows that some 42 per cent of ACT Government employees are employed in professional classifications, while a further 30 per cent are employed in administrative classifications. I trust that the new work force statistical information will be of assistance to members and others, in the interest of good government in the ACT.

Debate (on motion by Ms Follett) adjourned.


Ministerial Statement

MR HUMPHRIES: (Attorney-General and Minister for the Environment, Land and Planning): Mr Speaker, I seek leave of the Assembly to make a statement on planning.

Leave granted.

MR HUMPHRIES: I thank members. Mr Speaker, when Canberrans voted on 18 February, many indicated that they desired a change in the way our city was being planned. They sought changes from the ad hoc, directionless decisions taken for political expediency by the Labor Government in favour of a regime which was more focused on certainty, which was more responsive to the community's needs and which set an attainable strategic direction for Canberra. Today's statement is the first step among many that will be taken by this Government to respond to the challenge the people of Canberra set this Third Assembly. Canberra is a growing and developing city. In order to best manage that growth, to preserve what is best about our city, we need to map a strategic plan to evaluate what we expect the Canberra of the future to look like. That means that we need to substantially renew and review and reassess the way our city is planned, and how it is developing as a part of the wider region of south-east New South Wales.

Mr Speaker, I want, for a few moments, to talk about the Canberra region and its importance to the development of our city. On 30 May I participated in the joint launch of the draft ACT and subregion planning strategy - a document which, for the first time, evaluated Canberra as a centre of our region, not just a city within the ACT borders.

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