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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 1999 Week 11 Hansard (21 October) . . Page.. 3450 ..

MS CARNELL (continuing):

Mr Speaker, that is not all. When we look at the ratio of private sector workers and public sector workers in the ABS figures, it makes for very interesting reading. Back in May 1995, shortly after we came to government, about 46 per cent of wage and salary earners were employed in the private sector. As I mentioned, under Labor, there was clear evidence of a work force dominated by the public sector, with more than 50 per cent of people in the public sector. Therefore, the ACT was really at the mercy of the Federal Government. In May 1999 there were more than 56 per cent of people employed in the private sector. In other words, there has been a massive turnaround over the last 41/2 years under this Government, to the extent that less than half of our wage and salary earners are now public employees.

Mr Speaker, what is more, because the ABS statistics do not include self-employed persons in the private sector, the ratio will almost certainly be much more heavily tilted towards the private sector. So 56 per cent is just the wage and salary earners, not the self - employed people. Since we came to government there are now 20,000 more people working in the ACT private sector. That is an increase of 31 per cent. At the same time the number of public sector wage and salary earners has fallen by 7,400 in Canberra, or roughly the same number that was shed by the Howard Government.

If ever anyone needed proof that our policies were the right ones to follow in face of reduced Commonwealth spending, you need look no further than this particular ABS publication. Mr Speaker, according to this publication, or according to the ABS, between May 1992 and May 1995, roughly the time Labor was last in office, the total number of wage and salary earners in Canberra fell by 3,900. This was made up of a fall of 7,100 in the private sector and an increase of 3,200 in the public sector. So you can compare that with the situation under us where there are 20,000 more people working in the private sector, an increase of 30 per cent. Remember, under Labor, there was a decrease in the number of wage and salary earners in this city. This proves without any shadow of doubt that the efforts we have taken have produced greater diversity in our business base. The business incentive approach and the business marketing approach have reaped real dividends for Canberra.

Mr Corbell: What about Bruce Stadium?

MS CARNELL: And what about Bruce Stadium, Mr Speaker? Boy, it created lots of jobs.

Bruce Operations Pty Ltd

MR CORBELL: Chief Minister, that is not the only thing it created. Mr Speaker, my question is to the Chief Minister. Notes to the 1998-99 accounts for Bruce Operations Pty Ltd reveal that the company is facing claims, which it disputes, with a maximum possible liability of $1.2m. Can the Chief Minister tell the Assembly the nature of these claims and who has lodged them?

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