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World's biggest Luddite bares teeth in IT jobs spat

The Not so Lucky Country

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Senator Richard Alston, Australian folk hero and the world's biggest Luddite, is squabbling again, this time with the Australia Computer Society (ACS). Last week the organisation said the jobless rate was 11.9 per cent.

Wrong, according to Senator Alston, the country's pugnacious minister for Communications, Information Technology and the Arts. The real figure is 3.8 per cent, he claimed. Only, being an Australian politician, he did not put it quite so politely, accusing the ACS of "'blatant grandstanding', using false figures. 'While some might like to claim otherwise, the fact is that it is not all gloom and doom for the ICT sector in Australia.'"

So everything is rosy in the Australian IT jobs garden, then? Err, doesn't seem like it from the soundings taken by the Australian Financial Review.

Alston has fallen out with the ACS before, recently over Australia's IT deficit, which he thinks is a good thing, and which the ACS thinks is bad. Here is the ACS defence against what it calls senator Alston's "stinging criticism".

Here is Alston's well-reasoned (yes, really, when you consider what it could have been) response. ®

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