Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 11 Hansard (25 September) . . Page.. 3370 ..
MR MOORE: Mr Speaker, my question is also on jobs. It is for the Chief Minister. I note that the budget theme is jobs for Canberra. In your enthusiasm this morning, Chief Minister, you said in debate that you would pursue jobs at any cost. You said that the cost does not matter; that the only thing that is important is jobs. Does this mean that you are prepared to decimate the environment for more jobs? Does it mean that you are prepared to ignore any sense of morality for more jobs? Does it mean that you will be prepared to sell off all assets just to get some more jobs? Does it mean that you will forgo the promise of full consultation if it means more jobs? Does it mean that you are prepared to borrow to create more jobs? Does it mean that future generations of Canberrans will have to pay for the mistakes and mess you are creating with your jobs-at-any-cost philosophy, or did you mislead the Assembly this morning when you stated "jobs at any cost"?
MR SPEAKER: You are skating very close to the hypothetical.
MRS CARNELL: It was an absolute hypothetical, but I am very happy to use it to answer the question about jobs and how much this Government cares about jobs. Thank you very much.
Mr Moore: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Chief Minister has the gall to stand here in front of you, Mr Speaker, and say that she is going to be irrelevant. She said, "It does not matter about the question. I am going to talk about our policy on jobs". There is a question before her about whether or not she really believes in jobs at any cost or whether she misled the Assembly.
MR SPEAKER: Give her a chance to answer the question and you might find out.
MRS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I think those who have a look at the Hansard report of this morning will know that I said that I believe in jobs at any cost, taking into account, obviously, environmental issues, which is exactly what I said this morning. That is what I stand by, Mr Speaker. I think that one of the most important things here is one word that Mr Moore spoke about, and that is morality. I do not think it is moral to have 8.9 per cent of Canberrans out of work. I believe that a moral government is a government that will do everything in its power to make sure that young people and Canberrans have jobs, and that is what we will be doing.
That is what Jobs for Canberra is about. That is what the 270 jobs in the ACT Public Service are about. That is what the 2,700 full- and part-time jobs and the 3,000 training jobs are about. They are about a government that does not believe that it is all right to sit on its hands and allow our unemployment figures to continue to rise. What our budget figures show is that what this whole budget strategy is about is stemming the tide, stopping the approach that the Federal Government has taken, stopping the slide in employment that we have seen over the last six months. This is a budget that attempts to, and I believe will, turn that slide around.