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Thursday, 10 November 1983
Page: 2594

Mr WILLIS (Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations) —I wish to make a personal explanation.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Does the honourable member claim to have been misrepresented?

Mr WILLIS —I do, Mr Deputy Speaker.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —He may proceed.

Mr WILLIS —In the document to which the honourable member for Bradfield (Mr Connolly) referred there is a summary headed 'Main Features of Catalogue No. 6301' which contains the average weekly earnings preliminary figures for the September quarter of this year. A small table is highlighted. The figure which is given for the increase in earnings in the September quarter in heavy dark print, the highlighted figure for full time adults, is one per cent. That was the figure I quoted; it is the most obvious figure in the document and the one which--

Mr Connolly —Look at page 3.

Mr WILLIS —Give me a chance. Look at the figures.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER —Order! The Minister's chance is very restricted indeed. I ask him to state where he has been misrepresented.

Mr WILLIS —I have been accused of misrepresenting figures to the House, and I have a right to defend myself. The honourable member is saying that a figure of 2.1 per cent is contained on the frontispiece of this document. That is true. So too are a number of other figures. The highlighted figure, which relates to persons who are earning an income, is one per cent. The figure for all persons working all hours, not just ordinary hours, is 1.5 per cent. If there is any feeling that I should move away from the one per cent, I would say that 1.5 per cent is the appropriate figure. The figure which the statistician highlights in his document is the one per cent which I quoted to the House.