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Wednesday, 10 October 2012
Page: 11824


Ms GILLARD (LalorPrime Minister) (14:34): The member's question is misrepresentation based on misrepresentation: a misrepresentation of my words and the context in which they were delivered, and—far, far worse—a misrepresentation to the Australian people and the people of his electorate about what is happening with jobs in our economy and what is happening in the resources sector. I would ask the member for Grey, who asked the question, one simple thing: is Whyalla still on the map today? And, if Whyalla is still on the map, then he knows the Leader of the Opposition has been involved in a reckless, destructive, negative fear campaign in relation to carbon pricing—

Mr Pyne: Madam Speaker, I raise two points of order. The first point of order is that the question was about people losing their jobs, and the Prime Minister is straying far from the question. The second is that the Prime Minister referred to the Leader of the Opposition as 'he' and, as I understand it, that is unparliamentary—

The SPEAKER: The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat—

Mr Pyne: given the sensitivity of the Leader of the House! It is a sexist remark, apparently.

The SPEAKER: The Manager of Opposition Business will not abuse points of order at the dispatch box. The Prime Minister has the call and will refer to the question before the chair.

Ms GILLARD: I described the member's question as misrepresentation based on misrepresentation, with the biggest misrepresentation in it, the most important misrepresentation, being the misrepresentation about Australian jobs. Since we made the announcement about a carbon pricing scheme, 73,500 jobs have been created in our economy. That is what is happening with jobs in our nation: the number of jobs is going up.

Now, that does not mean that, even as the number of jobs within our nation continues to rise, there are not some businesses, there are not some projects, that are under pressure in the current economic circumstances. We have a high Australian dollar. We have seen some falls in commodity prices. Businesses, obviously, make commercial decisions—that happens in our economy every day—and those commercial decisions can really impact on Australian families. My heart always goes out to anyone who has lost their job—

Mr Dutton: Like Kevin!

Ms GILLARD: But what you should not do is add to that misery and heartache through misrepresentation. What you should not do is pretend to those people who are already dealing with a major lifetime event, the loss of a job—

Mr Dutton: Like Kevin!

Ms GILLARD: is peddle a mistruth to them.

The SPEAKER: The member for Dickson is warned!

Ms GILLARD: The question being asked here peddles a mistruth, and that ought not to be done. So, let us be very clear about carbon pricing. Jobs have continued to grow, with a carbon price. Our economy is strong, with a carbon price. We have low unemployment, with a carbon price. We have low inflation, with a carbon price. We have a record pipeline of investment, with a carbon price. And the list of the strengths of the Australian economy goes on. Now the opposition, for its own reckless purposes, constantly misrepresents these facts, but the Australian people are entitled to them.