House debates

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Questions without Notice

Carbon Pricing

2:23 pm

Photo of Julia GillardJulia Gillard (Lalor, Australian Labor Party, Prime Minister) Share this | Hansard source

I thank the member for this question. Of course I am aware of the aluminium industry in Victoria, which he refers to. I am sure that he would freely acknowledge that it is there in Victoria because of the work of Labor Premier John Cain. His administration ensured that regional Victoria had the benefit of those jobs. I am sure the member acknowledges to his constituency every day the leading role of former Labor Premier John Cain!

What I would say to the member who has asked the question is that I am all about Australian jobs. That requires us not to freeze our economy in time, not to look to the past, but to build for the future. I say to the member who has asked me the question: presumably he could have got up in this parliament many long years ago, if he had been here under the Hawke government, and he could have asked a similarly phrased question about an industry that was having its tariffs reduced. He could have asked the Prime Minister then, ‘Will you guarantee no job losses?’

What is the history of tariff reform, economic reform, floating the dollar, and trade liberalisation in this country? All of these reforms have built our modern economy. The legacy of those reforms is the prosperous economy we have today. If we had said, in the 1970s, 1980s or even the 1990s that we were going to freeze our economy in time we would be poorer today than we are now.


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