House debates

Monday, 20 August 2018

Questions without Notice


2:30 pm

Photo of Julia BanksJulia Banks (Chisholm, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Will the minister update the House on what the government is doing to keep Australia's economy internationally competitive and prosperous? What are the risks of pursuing alternative suggestions?

Photo of Ms Julie BishopMs Julie Bishop (Curtin, Liberal Party, Minister for Foreign Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Chisholm for her question and for her support for businesses in her electorate. The Australian economy is growing at 3.1 per cent. This is faster than all of the G7 nations—the largest, most advanced economies in the world. But this growth can't be taken for granted, because Australia has to compete on the world stage. Our companies have to compete in the international marketplace. That's why the coalition government has an economic plan to keep our economy strong, growing, resilient and competitive. That's why we have provided tax relief for businesses and employers, while we're putting downward pressure on electricity prices, while we're finding new markets for our goods and services and while we're ensuring that Australia is still an attractive destination for foreign investment.

And our plan is working. In the 12 months to last July, over 300,000 more Australians were in work, and we were creating over 1,000 new jobs a day. So it is working.

But we have to ensure that we remain an attractive destination for foreign direct investment, because data released last week by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that one in 10 Australian jobs is supported by foreign direct investment. Let me give you an example.

Today I met with the CEO of Japan's INPEX Corporation, Mr Ueda. They are developing one of the largest LNG projects in the world in Australia. It is the largest Japanese investment outside of Japan, ever. This will have enormous ramifications across the economy. Already they're employing, directly, 11,000 Australians. There are over 1,000 businesses engaged in just this one project. And already—

Mr Conroy interjecting

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

The member for Shortland will leave under 94(a).

The member for Shortland then left the chamber.

Photo of Ms Julie BishopMs Julie Bishop (Curtin, Liberal Party, Minister for Foreign Affairs) Share this | | Hansard source

$16 billion has been generated for the local economy. Over the life of this one project, it is estimated that there will be $73 billion in tax revenue generated. So that's what the coalition government's policies are aimed at developing—more foreign investment.

I'm asked about alternative approaches. Well, the Labor Party's policies are anti-investment, anti-economic-growth and anti-jobs. The Labor Party believes in higher taxes and higher prices. They are so against business that it is having a deadening effect—the mere thought of a Labor-led government would have a deadening effect on investment.

So the coalition stands for jobs, for workers and for investment. Labor stands for higher prices, higher taxes, lower investment and fewer jobs. We are fighting for the Australian worker. (Time expired)