Page 491 - Week 02 - Wednesday, 13 February 2013

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MADAM SPEAKER: No, could you just withdraw—

MR BARR: Do you withdraw without qualification?

Mr Smyth: I withdrew without qualification.

Members interjecting—

MADAM SPEAKER: Just for the record, could you withdraw without qualification?

Mr Smyth: To keep the precious ones happy, I withdraw without qualification.


Members interjecting—

MR SMYTH: Without qualification I withdraw. Don’t you understand? Goodness me, they are precious.

MADAM SPEAKER: Ms Berry, do you have a point of order?

Ms Berry: No. I was just going to ask a supplementary question. I was waiting for the apology.

MADAM SPEAKER: I think we are not finished this bit yet.

MR BARR: Thank you, Madam Speaker. Well, I must say that was like pulling teeth, wasn’t it, Madam Speaker. I am glad you did not have to use your “mother’s voice” on Mr Smyth on that occasion.

MADAM SPEAKER: I like to keep it in reserve.

MR BARR: You keep it in reserve. I am sure Mr Smyth can look forward to it being deployed on him, as it will be equally deployed from time to time. To be clear, the impact and the greatest threat that this economy and this community faces is having 20,000 jobs ripped out of our economy. It is so serious that our incumbent Liberal senator has warned us of this and said that only he can stand between us and that fate.

MADAM SPEAKER: A supplementary question, Mr Smyth.

MR SMYTH: Minister, why has ACT Labor policy seen the private sector decline from 60 per cent of employment in 2001 to 49 per cent of employment in 2012?

MR BARR: Firstly, I do not accept Mr Smyth’s figures. I understand that a more recent analysis shows that non-government employment in the territory is in fact over 50 per cent. Now, we can have an argument over definitions, but I would also point out that what has happened is that there has been growth in both private sector jobs and public sector jobs; it is just that the growth in public sector jobs has been faster in

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