Senate debates

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Questions without Notice

Regional Australia: Employment

2:28 pm

Photo of Michaelia CashMichaelia Cash (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator Davey for her question and I acknowledge the commitment of all of us on the government side of the chamber to rural and regional Australia. Supporting rural and regional Australia, in particular through the COVID-19 pandemic, has been a fundamental priority of the Morrison government. Our government has stood with rural and regional Australia through its most difficult times, and we are putting in place the right policies and the right investments to ensure that those in rural and regional Australia have the opportunity to emerge even stronger on the other side of COVID-19.

When we look at the contribution of rural and regional Australia, we see that it produces our nation's most valuable export, it supplies our energy and, I think all of us in this chamber would agree, it certainly provides us here in Australia with some of our most attractive tourist destinations. When we look at the breakdown of the workforce, over 32 per cent of the workforce in New South Wales and over 50 per cent of the workforce in Tasmania and Queensland is actually located in our regions. That's why our $74 billion JobMaker plan is such an investment in regional Australia, as is, importantly, the creation of regional jobs. Certainly the Morrison government are all about putting in place the right economic policies so that all Australians, but in this case rural and regional Australians, are able to prosper, grow and create more jobs for Australians. Research by the National Skills Commissioner shows that 51 per cent of the 260,000 resources jobs are in regional areas and over 40 per cent of these workers received their qualification via vocational education and training. Again, that is why the government puts in place policies to support our communities, to support rural and regional Australia to prosper, grow and create more jobs for Australians.


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