House debates

Thursday, 14 February 2019

Questions without Notice


2:55 pm

Photo of Ben MortonBen Morton (Tangney, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Minister for Industry, Science and Technology. Will the minister inform the House of how the government is able to create jobs and opportunity for investment in industry, science and technology? How would this investment be put at risk by different approaches to budget management, including recklessly unravelling Australia's border protection regime?

2:56 pm

Photo of Karen AndrewsKaren Andrews (McPherson, Liberal Party, Minister for Industry) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Tangney for his question. I know how passionate he is about making sure that Australia has a strong economy. By having a strong economy, we can actually grow the jobs that we have already, and build on our economy into the future. We are absolutely committed, on this side of the House, to growing jobs in industry, science and technology. We understand that, in order to do that, we must have a strong economy. We know that, without a strong economy, families and businesses will suffer, and, when they suffer, that has a direct impact on jobs.

We are committed, on this side of the House, to manufacturing, and there are some interesting statistics that I'd like to share at this point. When Labor was last in government, one in eight manufacturing jobs disappeared. In the last 12 months alone, the Liberal-National government has created more than 74,000 new manufacturing jobs. We were able to do that for a number of reasons, including that we have worked hard and we have built a strong economy. Through doing that, we have been able to inspire confidence in small businesses and medium enterprises to invest in their businesses and to invest, of course, in their workforce and to grow those jobs.

We do know that, under Labor, there was a multibillion-dollar blow-out when they had a weak border protection policy. What could those billions of dollars have been spent on? Clearly, they would've made a significant impact in industry, science and technology. But let me just concentrate on science to begin with.

We have injected $1.5 billion into our science capability. We have put more money into science than Labor did when they were in government. We have invested, including $97 million more into the CSIRO, $126 million more for ANSTO and $53 million more for the Australian Institute of Marine Science. If billions of dollars have to go back into making sure that our borders are strong, it will have a significant and potentially devastating impact on our scientific research. I don't want to see that happen, and I am absolutely committed to making sure that we continue to grow our science, our technology and our manufacturing industries in this country, to make sure that we have the jobs for the future.

One thing is absolutely clear, and that is that the Liberal-National government stops the boats. Labor stops the jobs.