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Interest rates and employment figures.

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We have heard this week about the importance of strong economic management to Australia’s future prosperity, and the threat a Labor government would pose to ongoing growth.

Prime Minister John Howard said

“We have…entered a new and more challenging period and a more complicated period of economic management in Australia. There is the drought. There is the fluctuation in world fuel prices. There is the appearance…of different levels of economic activity in different parts of the country and there is also the upward pressure on interest rates now being exerted by the fact that some state governments are going into deficit.

…the Labor Party will both opportunistically and politically attack this rise…But they have to explain how they would do better. The truth is that the Labor Party has not developed a credible alternative policy concerning interest rate rises in this, and in so many other areas, they have wasted their 10 years in Opposition.”

The Howard Government is committed to getting on with the job of implementing the reforms and polices which will lock-in prosperity, secure Australia’s economy and ensure jobs and wages continue to grow.

Also this week we heard news that Australia's unemployment rate has dropped to a 30-year low of 4.6%

The result further underlines the continuing strength of the Australian economy and the benefits of strong economic management.

More than 1.9 million jobs have now been created since the Howard Government came into office in 1996.

Yesterday’s result also highlights the threat to future growth posed by Kim Beazley and Labor, who have opposed all of the necessary reforms of the past ten years and have no plan to take Australia forward.

The Howard Government will continue to get on with the job of implementing the reforms and policies necessary to lock-in prosperity, secure Australia's economy and ensure jobs and wages continue to grow.