Thursday, 13 February 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator Cash. Can the minister inform the Senate how the Morrison government's consistent policies are delivering more Australian jobs and getting more Australians off welfare and into work?
I thank Senator Molan for the question because, since we were elected to government, this side of politics has ensured that the economy has created in excess now of 1.5 million jobs. As of December 2019, we now have a record number of Australians in employment: almost 13 million Australians are in employment because the Morrison government, the coalition government, has put in place the policies that are ensuring that employers out there are able to prosper, grow and create more jobs for Australians.
Additionally, we now have record high male employment in Australia: 6,814,300 men. We have record high female employment, and I acknowledge the Minister for Women and the great work that she is doing to increase women's workforce participation—in particular, in light of International Women's Day coming up. We also have record high youth employment in Australia: almost two million young people in Australia are in employment because of the policies that this side of politics, the Liberal-National side of politics, have put in place.
Over the calendar year to December 2019, employment increased by over 260,000 jobs. That is above the decade average growth but also, in terms of those jobs, almost 60 per cent of them were full-time jobs. That's right: the policies that we're putting in place on the Liberal-National side of the government are able to ensure that all types of jobs are created but, in particular, full-time jobs growth is high under this government.
As a senator for Western Australia and also the senators for Queensland in particular, we understand the benefits of the resources sector to Australians and rural and regional Australia. At the last election—in fact you just have to look at the result in the state of Queensland—what did Queenslanders do? They emphatically endorsed the Morrison government's commitment to mining.
What was that, Senator Cormann? How many? Seventy-seven per cent of the seats. What did they also do in Queensland? They rejected the Labor opposition's pandering to inner-city elites and the Australian Greens. Why did they do that? Because they understand that the resources sector in Australia creates jobs for Australians. We, the coalition government, the Morrison government, support mining because the resources sector accounts not just for employment but so much when it comes to the contribution to our GDP.
There are! It will be a little surprise to the Senate today that they are ably led by 'the Godfather' himself! That's one of the wines, I understand, Senator Farrell, on the wine list—a cabernet. It's $110 a bottle, colleagues, but we don't hold that against you, Senator Farrell!
Can I just say, though, colleagues, what former Senator Doug Cameron, who cannot get over the fact that he was unceremoniously retired from this place, said. Senator Farrell, you have even gone up more in my esteem, as have the other members in the Senate of the Otis group, because this is what your good friend—I would say that, but he's clearly not—and former colleague has said about you: 'Given the names associated with this group, I'm not surprised. Not the sharpest tools in the shed.' That was said by former senator Doug Cameron. He cannot help himself!
Senator Farrell, what we say to you and what we say to Senator Sterle, Senator Kitching, Senator Chisholm, Senator Polley and Senator Ciccone is: welcome to the world of jobs!