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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 1 Hansard (14 February) . . Page.. 132 ..

MR HUMPHRIES (continuing):

We have invested heavily in advanced technology and tourism. I have heard those opposite claim that the government has only recently acquired an interest in IT. My recollection is that every second time Mrs Carnell opened her mouth in this place or outside it was to talk about technology, to talk about jobs and growth in the IT industry in particular. You would almost be tempted to say she was obsessed about it. The figures are there to reinforce that. Ninety per cent of telecommunications employees in the ACT intend to hire new staff in this territory in the next quarter.

In 1995, 50 per cent of jobs in Canberra were in the private sector. In 2000 that figure had risen to 58 per cent. The advanced technology sector has generated considerable job growth in the territory. There are now 800 advanced technology companies operating in the ACT. A large proportion of those have come to the ACT in the last six years. The ACT has 11/2 per cent of the Australian population, but we have 6 per cent of the Australian IT industry in this city. That growth has manifested itself in growth in employment.

In the years we have been in office we have increased funding for tourism and regional promotion by more than 80 per cent. The government is working hard to continue that job growth. The budget initiatives announced today and the capital works program announced this week further support that work. Mr Quinlan might be bored by this and yawning about it, but a lot of people are pretty happy about the fact that job growth has taken place in this city and are not taking this for granted.

The real irony of this statement "Where's the plan?" is that it comes from a party which palpably has no plan in this area. All we have heard from the opposition, an opposition which has been there for six years now, is that you do not agree with what we are doing. You are opposed to what the Liberal Party is doing.

Mr Smyth: No, they agree with health, with Mr Moore.

MR HUMPHRIES: From day to day it changes. You say, "Where's the plan?" You have not produced a plan of any sort since "Working Capital" more that three years ago. I understand you asking, "Where's the plan?" Your last plan was not a great success. The plan you put on the table for job growth in this city, entitled "Working Capital", was described by Chris Richardson of Access Economics as magic pudding financing.

I resent being accused by a person who quite obviously has no plans for jobs growth in this city that we do not have a plan. Our plan has created 17,000 new jobs in this city in the last six years. "Working Capital", thank goodness, never got the chance to produce a single job, although I note from looking back over the clippings that a then Labor election candidate and accountant, one Ted Quinlan, said that he fully backed the opposition's economic policy, which of course was "Working Capital" at that time. No doubt, Mr Quinlan was part of the working party sent out shortly after the 1998 election in a truck to the back of the Brindabellas to find a very deep hole and bury "Working Capital" there.

The fact is that our record speaks for itself. Our record is one of achievement of job growth in this territory, and I do not think anybody needs to look past those figures. The record of the past three years speaks for itself. It has been a proud record of jobs growth.

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