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Wednesday, 2 March 2016
Page: 1649

Senator RYAN (VictoriaMinister for Vocational Education and Skills) (16:35): Mr President, I seek leave to make a short statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator RYAN: The government opposes the motion—even if I do appreciate the comedic nature of it. Twenty years ago today, John Howard was elected Prime Minister, and his government began the job of building a stronger, more prosperous Australia.

The Howard government led Australia through one of the most successful periods in our history, helping to take Australia to the forefront of the world's leading economies. Its economic policies rebuilt Australian prosperity after yet another period of Labor mismanagement, which had resulted in the worst recession—which, apparently, 'we had to have'—and the highest unemployment in 60 years. Labor's $96 billion government debt was eliminated, and over two million jobs were created.

The economic prosperity achieved by the Howard government meant that people had more money to invest in savings for their future. Australia's strong position allowed the government to invest in new roads and rail, as well as in environmental projects across the country. We pay tribute to John Howard and the enormous contribution of his government to our nation.

The PRESIDENT: The question is that the motion moved by Senator McEwen be agreed to.