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Wednesday, 2 March 2016
Page: 1612

Employment


Senator LINDGREN (Queensland) (14:35): My question is to the Minister for Employment, Senator Cash. Will the minister update the Senate on the government's record on job creation?


Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, Minister for Employment and Minister for Women) (14:35): I thank Senator Lindgren for the question. Yes, I can. Since being elected in September 2013, this government has overseen the creation of 421,400 jobs. This is an increase of 3.7 per cent from when we came into office. One of the figures that we need to compare is the last 12 months of this government compared to the last 12 months of the former Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government. There is one ratio that the Australian people need to remember. That ratio is three to one: we have created three jobs for every one job that Labor created. Under this government in the last 12 months we have seen the Australian economy create almost 300,000 jobs. That is more than three times the rate of job creation under those opposite when they were last in government.

I am also pleased to advise Senator Lindgren that the rate of growth in the Australian jobs market over the last 12 months is higher than any other G7 nation. In signs that the Australian people have confidence in the job market, the participation rate has now risen to 65.2 per cent, and female employment—as the Minister for Women, I am pleased to advise—has risen by 163,200. Simply put, more Australians are out there and are willing to get out and look for work. We are also fostering the conditions for job creation because we understand the government is able to set the framework in which business can create jobs. That is why, under this government, we have signed three free trade agreements—because that is how you create jobs in the long term. (Time expired)


Senator LINDGREN (Queensland) (14:38): Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. Will the minister advise the Senate what the government is doing to further boost jobs and growth?


Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, Minister for Employment and Minister for Women) (14:38): We understand on this side of the chamber that Australians expect their government to implement the necessary policies to ensure that our economy can grow. That is very much why, on this side of the chamber, whether it is restoring law and order to the Australia building and construction industry, whether it is promoting innovation or whether it is securing our defence, every single lever that we are able to pull is being pulled in the direction of investment, in the direction of growth, in the direction of innovation and in the direction of jobs and promoting our direction towards the new economy. Under this government, employment has been growing strongly and it has risen by 2.6 per cent over the last year. That compares with the decade average of 1.8 per cent. So, again, we will continue to implement policies that ensure we create jobs. (Time expired)


Senator LINDGREN (Queensland) (14:39): Mr President, I ask a further supplementary question. Will the minister advise the Senate what the government is doing to ensure job seekers are job ready?


Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, Minister for Employment and Minister for Women) (14:39): On this side of the chamber, we believe that the best form of welfare is a job. Under this government and its jobactive program, job seekers are able to get tailored assistance from jobactive providers not just to get them a job but to ensure that the job that they get they hold onto—because on this side of the chamber we do not just believe in a placement; we believe in sustained and ongoing employment. I am pleased to advise the chamber that, since commencing on 1 July 2015, jobactive has recorded placements into 214,422 jobs across Australia. Again, this is a government that understands you need to have the necessary conditions to ensure job creation, which it is doing, but then you need to ensure that Australians have the skills to get those jobs—and, again, that is what we are focused on.