Wednesday, 21 March 2018
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister representing the Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, Senator Scullion. Can the minister please outline how the coalition government's recently announced Regional Jobs and Investment Packages for Wide Bay—that's on the central coast up there in Queensland, Senator Watt—and the Bowen basin, which is a bit further north and to the west, are unlocking jobs and economic opportunities for communities across Central Queensland?
I thank Senator O'Sullivan for his question. Senator O'Sullivan, the whole coalition team are focused on delivering secure jobs and greater opportunities for everyone who calls regional Australia home. One of the key planks in the coalition's job-creating agenda is the Regional Jobs and Investment Packages. Through RJIP, the coalition is partnering with other levels of government and the private sector to deliver job-creating projects in regional Australia.
In Wide Bay and the Bowen Basin, the coalition will support 29 projects with almost $50 million worth of Commonwealth funding. Importantly, we are levering another $100 million, so there is $150 million worth of jobs going into this area. We are supporting projects like the Wallaville cane railway expansion via the Isis Central Sugar Mill. We're contributing $2.5 million to build 36 kilometres of new railway track, which will create more than 40 new jobs at the mill. In Yeppoon we are supporting the new $11.6 million fruit-processing plant being delivered by Tropical Pines. This new plant will give local growers more opportunities to ensure that their fruit is able to be processed when it's fresh and at its best and, importantly, will create another 25 jobs when it's operational. In Gladstone, we're getting behind the Gladstone Regional Council to deliver the community health precinct on Philip Street. This precinct will help bring health and social services together in a one-stop shop that will provide better outcomes for the local community and ultimately employ more than 250 people in different roles. All up, the 29 projects supported across Wide Bay and the Bowen Basin are expected to create more than 800 jobs during construction and 1,500 ongoing jobs when they're complete. This is the kind of support from the coalition for the Australian economy that delivered over 400,000 jobs in the last year. (Time expired)
The coalition is delivering real jobs growth by putting in place the policies that support our economy. We're committed to reducing the company tax rate to 25 per cent for all Australian businesses to ensure that we remain competitive around the world and continue to drive local investment and local job creation. We're also supporting job-creating projects like the Rookwood Weir, which will provide a huge boost to Central Queensland. We've been urging the Queensland Labor Party to join us in supporting the job outcomes from the Rockwood Weir, so those on the other side can have a crack; that'd be really handy. We want them to deliver the business case and deliver this vital piece of infrastructure. Of course, we support the Carmichael mine—the thousands of jobs that it will bring to Central Queensland. These are real jobs. Already Adani is employing about 800 people, contributing $7.2 million worth of wages every month. Each and every one of those jobs means an income, a livelihood and a better standard of living for Australian families. (Time expired)
Well, the answer is of course that the opposition is a block. The opposition might parrot the lines 'regional jobs for regional Queensland' but the coalition is the only party that has actually delivered jobs and is delivering jobs now for regional Queensland. The opposition has absolutely no credibility when it comes to regional jobs. Regional Australians are tired of the opposition leader's fake gestures and tired lines. They have told us they can see right through this bloke. He is laying the groundwork to walk slowly away from projects like the Carmichael mine and the 10,000 jobs it will create for Central Queensland. The opposition leader should explain why keeping his job is far more important to him than creating jobs for regional Australians who are desperate for a secure future for themselves and their families. We're delivering more, better-paid jobs for Central Queensland, and I know Queensland is lucky to have candidates like Senator O'Sullivan and Senator Canavan. (Time expired)