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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 11 Hansard (24 September) . . Page.. 3271 ..


Debate resumed from 5 September 1996, on motion by Mr De Domenico:

That this Bill be agreed to in principle.

MR BERRY (10.38): I rise to oppose this Bill. This is a seriously flawed Bill. It is flawed in the reason for its development; it is flawed in the process it entrenches; it is flawed in the way it is to be executed. The Government's involvement in the development of this Bill is to be condemned. The Minister, in his speech, said:

At the heart of the amendments lies a Government commitment to employment ...

Just have a look at the record of this Government. It was not five minutes into its term when it cut $6m from job programs. It cut them out of the budget. Mrs Carnell sits there laughing. She thinks it is a big joke to cut $6m worth of job programs from the ACT budget. What a joke you are! How dare you laugh at cuts you made in jobs programs just a few minutes after you came into office! Supposedly, this is the Government that is committed to jobs. What did they do next? You remember, Mr Speaker, as does everybody else.

Mrs Carnell: We created 6,800 jobs.

MR BERRY: Mrs Carnell says, "We created another jobs crisis. We stopped recruitment. We should be applauded for that". You made a cut of $6m in job programs as soon as you came to office; in the next breath. Shortly thereafter was the recruitment freeze. That has hit young people the hardest. Mrs Carnell claims - of course, they are hollow claims - that employment of young people is a crisis area. This Government has presided over rising unemployment. It has done nothing to stem that rise - 3,400 more people have joined the unemployment list since the Carnell Government came to office and 4,000 fewer people have been employed in the last year alone. This Government has stifled employment.

Mr De Domenico is personally responsible for less money being spent on training in the building and construction industry. It was Mr De Domenico who pushed for the reduction in the money available from the fund for training. It was Mr De Domenico who moved and strenuously argued to reduce the levy from 2.5 to 1.5 per cent. Of course, now it is even less than that. Mr De Domenico himself forced the reduction in funding for training. Shame on you, Minister, and shame on all your colleagues for supporting you.

Mr De Domenico: And the Assembly supported it, Mr Berry.

MR BERRY: Do not blame the Assembly. You are the one who moved it. You are the one who tried to pull the wool over everybody's eyes, Minister. Shame on you! Having reduced training funding, Mr De Domenico has the hide, a hide as thick as an elephant's, to come in here and claim that he stands for the creation of more opportunities. Now, under the guise of creating employment, the Minister plans to bleed

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