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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1995 Week 9 Hansard (23 November) . . Page.. 2431 ..

MS TUCKER (continuing):

Another serious issue in this section of the budget is the cutting of labour market programs by over $2.7m. The same Government that say they want to create jobs have washed their hands of the most needy in the community by taking this course of action. They have even ignored the Estimates Committee recommendation in relation to labour market programs. Even Mr Hird drew attention to recommendation 18 in the estimates report, which calls on the Government to develop a strategy for addressing unemployment in the ACT, particularly for the long-term and youth unemployed, and noted the importance of this issue; yet his own Government will not agree with this recommendation. We can leave it all up to the market again, but it is this same market that has left us with the high unemployment we have in this country.

The other argument they try to use is that the needs of long-term unemployed people rest squarely with the Commonwealth. I will bet Mrs Carnell and Mr De Domenico did not use this line when they were on the opposition benches, and their own budget papers do not even say this. I will read out the objectives of the employment subprogram, since we keep hearing how funding is based on the objectives and outcomes as expressed in budget papers and annual reports. The first part of the objectives of the employment subprogram reads:

to provide a flexible range of services and programs to unemployed people and those at risk of long-term unemployment, especially:

. identified target groups, which are disadvantaged in the labour force, and to those who are not adequately provided for by Commonwealth services and young people under 25.

By disagreeing with this recommendation, which calls on the Government to develop a strategy to deal with these people who are not provided for by the Commonwealth services, they blatantly contradict their own budget. As I said before, Commonwealth labour market programs are not necessarily tailored to meeting the needs of residents in the ACT. We are interested in this Government taking its social responsibilities seriously, not wiping its hands of the issues and shifting even more costs to the Commonwealth.

MR DE DOMENICO (Minister for Urban Services and Minister for Business, Employment and Tourism) (8.52): Let me once again comment and enlighten Mr Wood. Mr Wood very conveniently says that an expenditure of $1.85m to improve the Visitor Information Centre in Northbourne Avenue is a routine capital expenditure. Mr Wood once again is wrong. The Government committed $5m before the election to spend on the area of business, tourism, economic development and promotion of Canberra. In fact, we are spending $5m. Mr Wood conveniently omitted to tell us about the $1m extra for CanTrade. That is in there and Mr Wood knows it is in there.

He glibly passed over the expenditure of $737,000 for Kingston foreshore. He called it a planning issue. Mr Wood was in government. Who was the Minister for Planning for the previous four years? Mr Wood. Did Mr Wood spend one cent on the development of Kingston foreshore? Of course he did not, and he could not, because his Chief Minister,

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