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2:22 PM, 18 May 2012 Last update 2:22 PM, 18 May 2012

Prime Minister Julia Gillard says people can have confidence in the Australian economy, as other countries fight high levels of unemployment.

Ms Gillard attended a ground-breaking ceremony in Darwin on Friday for the start of a $34 billion LNG project by Japan’s Inpex, saying it was a “fantastic” opportunity for the Northern Territory and part of the resources boom that is changing the economy.

 “We can be confident about the Australian economy because there are so many investments like this one in the pipeline – more than $450 billion of investments,” she told reporters.

She said Australia came out of the global financial crisis strong, and continues to grow with low unemployment and low inflation. Her comments came as the local share market plunged around two per cent amid a global rout as investors panicked over the growing crisis in Europe after reports of a run on Spanish banks.

She understood that many Australians would be concerned by the news from Greece, and the high levels of unemployment in places like Spain – 25 per cent – and even the United States at more than eight per cent.

She conceded there were also “stresses and strains” from a high Australian dollar that is having an impact on manufacturer and tourism. “But even in manufacturing and tourism we are seeing companies compete and hold their heads up in the world, and continue to make good profits an keep people in jobs,” she said.

http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Gillard-talks-up-Australian-economy-UE6SP?OpenDocument&src=pm&utm_source=exact&utm_medium=email&utm_content=42138&utm_campaign=pm&modapt=news

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