Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .

Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 2 Hansard (11 March) . . Page.. 568 ..



In the section on support for participants and staff, the majority report has reached new lows in the distortion and misrepresentation of the evidence of departmental officials. If the committee members wish to call into question evidence given by officers they should do so directly, during the conduct of an inquiry, not by the use of innuendo or by selective presentation of evidence in the final report.

Mr Speaker, the majority report takes up nearly five pages on the issue of insurance. This is despite the fact that the Chief Minister has given an unequivocal commitment, and I quote:

The Australian Capital Territory accepts the financial responsibility for any requirements to effect and have specific insurances in place in respect of this project.

Does the majority report suggest that the Chief Minister is giving false evidence? It could appear so.

Mr Speaker, many persons in this place make much of the issue of the provision of job opportunities and of the return to the days of higher employment levels. At the same time they espouse political and ideological fantasies which favour the principle of choosing to live on the dole as a correct and proper lifestyle choice. Those members should take a long, hard look at the people of our Koori culture and at the way they adopt the notion of "sit down money". To them it is seen as proper that if you are getting paid you should offer some service in return. It is a pity we all cannot believe in that and follow that principle.

Mr Speaker, the negativity which has been displayed during the hearings, during the discussions, and in the preparation of this report is symptomatic of the attitudes of some members of this place. This Government is, and always will be, proactive, particularly when it comes to recognising opportunities which will create employment for Canberra and the surrounding region. An example of our ability to come to grips with the employment issue was our full support for the $90m redevelopment at Woden Plaza. Mr Speaker, I remind you that certain members of this place were against this project. They were against the creation in one area of 1,100 jobs during the construction phase. They were against the creation of 300 permanent and part-time jobs once the new redevelopment was opened, and it opened today, or one section of it did. They were against the estimated 700 jobs which will flow from this project, and I am only talking in respect of the new Woolworths store in the Woden Plaza. There are other stores also involved in this project, such as Coles who have also created another 200 to 250 permanent and part-time jobs. Certain members seem to have a negative rather than a positive attitude, and now, Mr Speaker, they once again demonstrate their true colours by coming out against another project designed to assist the unemployed in this Territory.

Mr Speaker, the committee has presented a majority report which, despite its protestations, is clearly ideologically based and does not endeavour to find any solutions to the problems of youth unemployment. In appending my dissenting report I would like to give due praise to the Minister for Education, Mr Stefaniak, and his department for having the foresight and initiative to recognise the opportunities presented by this project,

Next page . . . . Previous page . . . . Speeches . . . . Contents . . . . Debates(HTML) . . . .