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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1998 Week 1 Hansard (30 April) . . Page.. 224 ..


Employment - Private Sector

MR STANHOPE: Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. The Chief Minister has claimed that the number of private sector jobs in the ACT has grown by 20 per cent over the past two years - from 75,000 to 90,000. Can she explain why the document she tabled yesterday in support of this claim shows only a 4 per cent growth in private sector jobs - from 83,800 to 87,400? Why has the Chief Minister misstated the extent of growth of private sector jobs in Canberra?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, I do not even know when I made the statement that Mr Stanhope is talking about. I do know that one of my staff, when speaking to a member of the Canberra Times staff, as I understand it, made a comment along the lines that the changes in employment in the ACT have moved it from about fifty-fifty to about sixty-forty. What the Canberra Times might do with that information is really in the hands of the Canberra Times, Mr Speaker. So, I have to say: Mr Stanhope, wrong again!

MR SPEAKER: Do you have a supplementary question, Mr Stanhope?

MR STANHOPE: Yes, Mr Speaker. In question time yesterday the Chief Minister said, and I shall quote just part of it:

That means that the private sector employment was 87,400. I have to say that maybe the Canberra Times got it wrong. It was not 60,000 : 90,000; it was 68,000 : 87,000. I do not think that is a huge difference.

Could the Chief Minister explain her previous answer in which she claims that she has never made such a statement?

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, that is exactly what I said. Mr Speaker, I understand that Mr Stanhope said that a member of my staff - - -

Mr Stanhope: You agreed yesterday.

MS CARNELL: Mr Speaker, the figures that I tabled yesterday showed that, as I remember. Mr Speaker, the Canberra Times quoted a staff member of mine as saying, I think, that there were something like 60,000 people in the public sector and 90,000 in the private sector. The figures that I tabled yesterday showed that the reality is that we - - -

Mr Berry: I take a point of order, Mr Speaker. I think the supplementary question goes to the issue of the Chief Minister's statement yesterday that it was 68,000 : 87,000. I would ask that the Chief Minister address the subject of the question.

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