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Thursday, 18 September 2003
Page: 20521

Mr CREAN (Leader of the Opposition) (3:29 PM) —Mr Speaker, I wish to make a personal explanation.

The SPEAKER —Does the Leader of the Opposition claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr CREAN —Yes, I do.

The SPEAKER —Please proceed.

Mr CREAN —Today in question time the Minister for Employment Services misrepresented my record as employment minister. He argued that, in that time, I had been responsible for the loss of a million jobs. The minister walks out now. But in my 26 months as Minister for Employment, Education and Training, 542,000 jobs were created—at a rate of nearly 21,000 jobs per month. This compares with 13,340 jobs per month under the Howard government.

The SPEAKER —The Leader of the Opposition will be well aware that, in terms of a personal explanation, while the first part of the explanation was entirely in order, the latter reference to the government is beyond the normal bounds.

Mr CREAN —In the 26 months that I was minister for employment, 61 per cent of the jobs were full-time jobs—or 331,000 full-time jobs created, at a rate of 12,735 full-time jobs per month. While I was employment minister, in just 26 months, the unemployment rate fell by two per cent.