Thursday, 15 February 2018
Questions without Notice
Yes, I can. Colleagues, you will recall that when we were elected to govern in September 2013 we said to the Australian people that we would be a job-creating government. Well, jump forward to 2018, and guess what? We are delivering on that commitment.
I'm pleased to advise senators that 2017 was the best year for jobs growth since records began in 1978. On this side of the chamber, we created in excess of 400,000 jobs. Colleagues, 300,000 of those jobs were full-time jobs. Let's compare that to the record of those on the other side in their last 12 months in government. Let's have a look. Well, in their last 12 months they created less than 90,000 jobs, and the economy went backwards in terms of full-time job creation.
I'm delighted to also inform the Senate that this growth is now continuing. The number of jobs in Australia has now increased for the 16th straight month. This is an Australian record. It has never happened before in Australia—the longest consecutive run of monthly jobs growth ever. Senator Bushby, you're from Tasmania. You might like to know that in Tasmania this month the unemployment rate has fallen to 5.3 per cent. You might also be very worried to know that, when Bill Shorten was employment minister, the unemployment rate in Tasmania was—
On this side of the chamber we understand these record figures do not happen by accident; they are the result of strong economic policies we put in place as a government. We are creating a strong economic framework and providing direct assistance to Australians looking for work. We're delivering personal tax cuts, and small and medium business tax cuts. We're delivering trade deals. Those trade deals result in more exports and more jobs. We have delivered record infrastructure and defence industry investment. Not only are we creating jobs but we're also focused on getting people off welfare and into work. All our policies are also directed towards doing that: the PaTH program for our youth, ParentsNext to assist young parents, and policies to assist the mature-aged. When we say that the best form of welfare is a job, we mean it.
) ( ): Unfortunately the answer is very obvious. I think we all know what I'm going to say. It is those on the other side. Bill Shorten and the Labor Party are the biggest threat to Australian jobs. Instead of job creation—I think this is the latest policy they have dreamed up along with Sally McManus—they're complaining that Australian workers are not striking enough, and they want to change the laws to encourage more strike action. Guess what? That is not how you create jobs; that is how you close employers down. That's Labor's plan for jobs. That will not help any business in Australia grow. Those on the other side don't have one policy that would create a job, but they have plenty of policies that would close businesses down. On this side of the chamber we know that a business that has to close employs no-one.
I have a point of order as to ministerial arrangements. The Prime Minister has just informed the House of who will be acting Prime Minister next week. I think, as a matter of courtesy, the government should inform the Senate.