Wednesday, 22 August 2018
Questions without Notice
My question is to Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Senator Cash. I refer to the minister's answer in question time yesterday. Can the minister further update the Senate about how the Turnbull government's policies are helping the manufacturing sector in Australia, with particular reference to my home state of Victoria?
I thank Senator Hume for her question. Yesterday I was pleased to advise the Senate about the Turnbull government's strong job creation record, in particular in relation to manufacturing jobs. Since we came to office in September 2013, almost 1.1 million jobs have been created. In relation to the number of manufacturing jobs in Australia, we saw, in the 12 months to May, an increase in the number of manufacturing jobs by 47,700. This is a good result, but it is only a result because of the policies put in place by the Turnbull government. In relation to growth across the manufacturing sector, we've seen particularly strong growth in food product manufacturing. This actually had the largest increase in jobs, up by 12 per cent, or 23,100. This was followed by machinery and equipment manufacturing, which had in excess of 21,700 more jobs created, up by 20 per cent.
Senator Hume did ask about her home state of Victoria. Senator Hume, through the policies of this government, every manufacturer can rise to the challenge and become an advanced manufacturer if they choose to. An example in Senator Hume's home state is a business by the name of Quickstep Holdings. They were the recipient of a $250,000 grant under which they have developed and commercialised carbon fibre composite technology. This company is a great example of advanced manufacturing in Australia. They have actually relocated, Senator Hume, their research and development function from Germany all the way to Geelong in Victoria. They have also worked with Deakin University researchers to refine the technology, including hiring 11 PhD students. This is good news for manufacturing jobs in Australia. (Time expired)
This government's approach is in stark contrast to the approach taken by those opposite when they were in government. In fact, the approach taken by those opposite—in particular, Senator Carr, obviously, who was the relevant minister—was disastrous for Australia. It is a fact that the former Rudd-Gillard government oversaw one in eight manufacturing jobs being lost in this country—under Labor. That equates to more than 127,000 manufacturing jobs lost under the former Labor government. Compare that to the last 12 months to May this year, and what we see is 47,700 manufacturing jobs created under the Turnbull government. Again, if you put in place the right economic policies, you will see businesses prosper and grow and create jobs for Australians. (Time expired)
Honourable senators interjecting—
Yes, I am, and they are the stated policies of those on the other side, the Labor Party. What they don't understand is that you cannot implement policies that will actually tax businesses out of prosperity. If you increase taxes on business, they are not able to prosper, they are not able to grow. When a business is not able to prosper and grow, it is not able to create additional jobs for Australians. It is a very simple proposition: an employer that has to close employs no-one. But those on the other side don't understand this. In relation to manufacturing jobs—as I said, if in Australia we were ever to return to the destructive policies of those on the other side, when we saw, last time, one in eight manufacturing jobs being lost—what more do they want? On this side of the chamber, we will always put in place job-creating policies. (Time expired)