John Kobelke

John Kobelke

Minister for Police and Emergency Services; Community Safety; Water Resources; Sport and Recreation

    Barnett should stop bagging the State, when business investment is growing

    20/01/2005 5:35 PM

    Opposition leader Colin Barnett has been talking the State down again, by misusing industrial disputes data to paint a negative picture of Western Australia.

    Consumer and Employment Protection Minister John Kobelke said Mr Barnett was sending signals that could only harm business investment confidence.

    “Business investment has been growing every year since the Gallop Government was elected, after declining for the last three years of the Liberal government in which Colin Barnett was a senior Minister,” Mr Kobelke said.

    “By claiming WA might recently have been the strike capital of Australia, he not only puts the State down, he also conveniently ignores the fact that industrial disputation for the same period of the previous Liberal government was significantly worse.

    “Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data shows that on average, during the Liberals’ first term, there were 33.7 per cent more working days lost (per 1,000 workers) than under the Gallop Government.”

    Mr Kobelke said not only had industrial disputation been lower during the Gallop Government’s term, but about 80,000 jobs had been created, unemployment was at a record low of 4.4 per cent and WA had achieved the highest productivity of any State for the past three years.

    “The economy is booming in WA, with 7.5 per cent growth in 2003-04, which is a huge turnaround from the declining economy left by the Liberals,” he said.

    “Mr Barnett is whingeing again and obviously he was embarrassed today, when he was caught out trying to misuse statistics to have a go at the Gallop Government’s record.”

    ABS data showed there had been just three quarterly periods for the Gallop Government, where the number of working days lost (per 1,000 employees) was above 20, compared with 13 quarterly periods under the previous Liberal government, during which the number of working days lost was above 20.

    Minister's office: 9222 9211