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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 4 Hansard (16 April) . . Page.. 924 ..

Ms Follett: She might like to apologise.

MR SPEAKER: Order! Ms Reilly might like to ask her supplementary question.

MS REILLY: We are talking about a similar 12 months period, from February 1995 to February 1996. We are still talking about a youth unemployment rate of 40.7 per cent, which is a disgrace. You have talked about the various things that you are going to do; but what can young people believe? When you have a freeze on in the ACT Public Service, there is no opportunity for jobs there.

MRS CARNELL: I think it is interesting to put on the record now, Mr Speaker, that there was actually one month under the Follett Government when youth unemployment peaked at, I think, over 50 per cent. The areas where youth can be employed in the ACT are ones that we know well. They are areas such as R and D, information technology, tourism, education - all those sorts of areas that require a government and an Assembly that are interested in ensuring that those industries can grow in the ACT. Yes, it is true that the level of teenage unemployment in the ACT is higher than the national average and, yes, it is true that it is unacceptably high; but the only way that we can - - -

Mr Berry: It is higher than anywhere else in Australia.

MRS CARNELL: But it has been higher than anywhere else in Australia under you as well, and you simply have not done anything about it.

The difference with us is that we are addressing the problem. We are looking at industries that will employ young people in this city. We are creating business incentive schemes. We are not just looking at them; we are putting in place business incentive schemes. So far, since we took over government 14 months ago, I personally have opened, I think, over 25 new businesses. Those are just the ones that I personally have opened. It is still not good enough; but it is up to this Government and this Assembly to get behind employment and to get behind the private sector.

Australian International Hotel School

MR OSBORNE: My question is to the Minister for Education and Training, Mr Stefaniak, and it is in regard to the Australian International Hotel School. Minister, considering the recent problems at the school, does the current management enjoy your full support?

MR STEFANIAK: I thank the member for the question. As the member would no doubt be aware, as a result of some publicity in relation to that hotel school, the Government has asked the ACT Auditor-General to conduct a detailed inquiry into the school. That is now being undertaken, and the Auditor-General will be reporting back to the Government and, indeed, to the Assembly in relation to that inquiry. So, I think, Mr Osborne, what we do need to do is wait until we see the results of that most comprehensive inquiry into the hotel school.

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