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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1996 Week 14 Hansard (10 December) . . Page.. 4607 ..

MR DE DOMENICO (continuing):

Mr Berry has partners in crime in the Opposition. Yesterday, the Opposition spokesman on economic matters - not Mr Berry but Mr Wood - accused this Government of incompetence in the way it was handling the Territory's economy. He went on to say that we have to stop relying on hype and put real measures in place to get the economy moving - a typically ill-informed comment that we have come to expect. Did Mr Wood go on to say which real measures? Does he know what real measures he is talking about? The answer is "Of course not", because, from page one of the Labor Party manual, when you are in opposition you just disagree for the sake of disagreeing and hope to God that if you disagree long enough someone is going to report what you have to say.

What Mr Wood refers to when he mentions hype is what the rest of us in the real world realise is the importance of being confident in the future, of talking up the economy. When Mr Wood talks about putting real measures in place to get the economy moving, I assume he is referring to initiatives such as, for example, the temporary traineeship scheme which places in temporary traineeship positions in the government service young people who are aged between 15 and 19 years and have been unemployed for at least six months. Mr Wood, the target for this year was 50 places, but we have been able to make 54 placements. We target 50 places, we place 54 people, and Mr Wood says that we have not done anything. That is one thing. Another example Mr Wood might care to take notes about is the women's work force development scheme. This scheme aims to place in temporary positions in the government service women seeking to re-enter the work force and has already been highly successful. That is point two. Point three is that Youth Joblink, run in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce - shock, horror! - has recently placed its 500th young unemployed person into a job in the private sector. But that is the business community. We should not take that into account; is that right? These are all called initiatives.

Ms Follett: Mr Speaker, I raise a point of order. I know it is difficult to take a point of relevance in such a blatant dorothy dixer, but my recollection of the question asked by Mr De Domenico's colleague some 15 minutes ago is that it related only to job advertisements - or, as he would put it, adverTISEments - not to anything Mr Wood may or may not have said. There is a point of relevance.

MR DE DOMENICO: Mr Speaker, on that point of order: Can I suggest that Ms Follett, had she been listening to the question, would have heard Mr Hird ask also about confidence in the future of the ACT economy. I am answering on what the Government has done in terms of jobs initiatives in a budget that was passed by this Assembly. I suggest that there is no point of order.

MR SPEAKER: No, there is no point of order.

MR DE DOMENICO: While those in the Opposition spend their time plagiarising catchy slogans from movies - by the way, you are no Robert Redford, Mr Whitecross, but that does not matter - this Government continues to work with the business community to put in place policies that will directly lead to further increases in employment opportunities.

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