Wednesday, 17 June 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia. Will the minister please outline to the House how the Morrison government's JobMaker plan is supporting our resource export markets and how this approach is working to secure new jobs? Importantly, is the minister aware of any alternative approaches?
I thank the honourable member. As we all know, the honourable member is very public in his support of the resources sector. The government is committed to the sector. We are committed to the resources sector because the sector continues to deliver for Australia tonne after tonne, job after job. The resources sector is helping us through this very difficult period. They are on track to deliver almost $300 billion worth of GDP to the Australian economy—$300 billion!
The industry in this period, in the first three months of this year, created over 3,000 new jobs. That is a fantastic effort. The copper and gold sector continues to grow. Places like OZ Minerals at Carrapateena in the member's electorate produced its first coper concentrate in December of 2019. We remain committed to the resources sector, to the projects that it brings, to the jobs that it brings, because it's a jobs pipeline, a jobs pipeline of projects for Australia. Places like BHP's Olympic Dam will continue to provide jobs into the future. We're driving development through critical minerals in the Critical Minerals Facilitation Office. We continue to work with our major trading partners: India, South Korea, Japan, the US, China. All of these trading arrangements are good for this nation. They are good for jobs and good for the economy.
But I'm asked about alternatives. I speak very often with the member for Hunter, my shadow counterpart, as you'd expect. He's always been very supportive in private, I have to say, of the resources sector. Imagine my surprise when on the weekend I read in The Sauce, which is very informative, by Annika Smethurst, that there's a group of pro-coal Labor MPs—they call themselves the Otis group—and they have defied the opposition leader, Anthony Albanese, holding a secret meeting in Canberra. It's a secret faction. Shadow ministers: there are some who support the coal sector publicly, but it's not those opposite. They've had to take it underground. I just find this incredible. Where is the public support for what is one of the greatest sectors in this country?
We will continue to support the resources sector, because on this side we understand what it takes to deliver jobs for this country and for continued growth. We will continue to grow it, to mine it and to make it. We will continue to provide opportunities, because on this side we are the job makers. Those opposite are job takers! They want to take away from the resources sector the opportunity for Australia's youth to have more jobs, more opportunities and more apprenticeships.
I'll say to those opposite again: be public in your support of the resources sector. It is critical to the Australian economy and long may it be so!