Senate debates

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Questions without Notice


2:07 pm

Photo of Chris EvansChris Evans (WA, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Government in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator Urquhart for the question and her constant advocacy for Tasmania and employment opportunities in Tasmania. The Australian economy remains strong and continues to grow. Despite some of the toughest global conditions in decades, we have continued to grow and, more importantly, continued to provide jobs for working Australians. Since we have come to office we have seen more than 700,000 jobs created. It is a fact that more Australians are in work today than ever before, and our unemployment rate is among the lowest in the world.

While things are going well, there are obviously structural adjustment issues in the economy, and we accept that there is always more to do as a government. Government always has to focus on what else needs to be done. That is why we are so focused on delivering a budget surplus in 2012-13. We know that that enormously fast fiscal consolidation is in the best interests of Australians and in the best interests of those paying a mortgage and that it will set us up economically for the years ahead.

We are also making investments: record investments in infrastructure, record investments in skills—all the things that spread the benefits that flow from the mining boom. But also, by distributing those taxation benefits into things like superannuation and tax reform, they benefit working Australians and benefit companies. The mining tax which has passed this parliament will allow this government to ensure that all Australians benefit from the use of Australia's resources—that all Australians will get a share in the wealth being created. Mining companies will continue to make profits. They will continue to employ and grow. But other Australians will get improved superannuation benefits, and companies, some of which are doing it tough in the slower areas of the economy, will get tax cuts, provided that we can convince the parliament of these important tax reforms. (Time expired)


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