Tuesday, 11 February 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator Cash. Can the minister please update the Senate on how the Morrison government is building a stronger economy and is delivering initiatives that are creating more Australian jobs?
I thank Senator Hughes for her question. On this side of the chamber, the government side of the chamber, we understand that the government has put in place the policies that employers are able to lever off to create jobs. And that is exactly what this government have been doing since we were elected to office in 2013. What we also acknowledge and put in place, though, are processes and procedures to ensure that people who are looking for work are actually connected with local jobs near where they live.
Last Friday, I was able to join the member for Lindsay, Melissa McIntosh, at a jobs fair in Penrith. As Senator Payne would know, there was much-needed rain in Penrith on Friday, but I'm delighted to say that, despite this, over 2,400 people came along to the jobs fair. These are 2,400 people actively looking for employment, putting their hands up and saying, 'We are ready, willing and able to undertake work.' Jobs fairs are a practical way of connecting jobseekers not only directly with employers who have jobs there on the day but also with employment service providers for any questions that they might ask. It also gives the jobseekers the ability to ask questions face-to-face and, in particular, to have their resumes looked at. Do they have the most up-to-date resume? They can also undertake a practice interview. We have a number of workshops running throughout the day, and these are always well attended. Since we were elected into office, the economy itself has now created in excess of 1.5 million jobs. In the last two years we've held a number of jobs fairs around the country, and we've now had over 26,000 jobseekers attend. We have a commitment to get more people off welfare and into work, and this is exactly what we're doing. (Time expired)
As a government we understand the benefits of work. We as a government are focused on growing our economy, on getting more people off welfare and into work and also on delivering well-targeted social security. That is funded, of course, through a strong budget. A strong economy and a strong budget allow you to do so many things. As I've stated, since we were elected to office more than 1.5 million jobs have been created. But, on top of that, our strong economic management, led in particular by our Treasurer and also by the Leader of the Government in the Senate, the Minister for Finance, has now seen welfare dependency hit its lowest level in 30 years. In fact, Department of Social Services analysis shows that the proportion of working-age Australians receiving welfare benefits has fallen to 13.5 per cent. This is a decrease of 100,000 working-age people in receipt of income support from June 2018— (Time expired)
Again, on this side of the chamber, the government side of the chamber, we understand that, as a government, we need to put in place the right policy framework so that businesses can prosper, grow and create more jobs for Australians, which is exactly what business is doing under this government. We have put in place a number of policies that are allowing job creation, including lowering taxes. Why are we lowering taxes? So that both working Australians and small businesses are able to keep more of what is theirs. We are also focused on reducing red tape, cutting through it by deregulation, and also on access to finance—ensuring, in particular, that small businesses are getting paid on time. We're also ensuring that Australians have the skill sets that employers are telling us they need. We've also expanded—and I acknowledge the work that the minister for trade has done—our trade borders to make more markets and to create more jobs. We are focused on jobs and we will continue to put in place— (Time expired)