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Tuesday, 24 May 2011
Page: 4405

Mr LYONS (Bass) (21:20): Our budget is about opportunity. As Treasurer Swan said in this place on 10 May, this budget is built on our firmest convictions. Our plan begins with a new approach to training. In my opinion, this is long overdue. We are putting industry at the heart of a $558 million National Workforce Development Fund that will deliver 130,000 new training places over four years. For businesses in my electorate, as well as for kids who are hoping to gain apprenticeships when they leave school, I am sure this is welcome news.

We are also better meeting the needs of industries in regions with a $101 million national mentoring program to help 40,000 apprentices finish training. We know that at the moment only half of those who start an apprenticeship actually finish it, so this move is very important. We are also accelerating apprenticeships, letting apprentices progress as they acquire the right skills, by investing $100 million in more flexible training models. People learn at different paces, so this is a solid move. We are investing $1.75 billion in addition to our existing $7 billion investment to leverage ambitious reforms to the vocational education and training system.

I am pleased to note that we are also funding 30,000 more places in language, literacy and numeracy programs to provide the basic skills essential for a job. We believe our economy cannot afford to waste a single pair of capable hands. All Australians should be afforded the dignity of work. In my electorate of Bass, there are at present 1,793 very-long-term unemployed people who have not worked for two years or more. This budget offers opportunity for these individuals and their families. Our strong economy is boosting incomes and creating jobs.

Mr Baldwin: Mr Deputy Speaker, I need to draw your attention to the state of the House.

The bells being rung—

Mr Albanese: Mr Deputy Speaker, it is the view of the government that if the opposition do not wish parliament to continue then that is their decision. If they want to shut down the parliament, that is a decision they can wear. There is no intention on the part of the government to continue the parliamentary sitting this evening if that is the view of the opposition.

Mr Baldwin: On that point of order, Mr Deputy Speaker: it is not the intention of the opposition to shut down the parliament. The intention is to abide by the standing orders, and the standing orders say that if at any time attention is drawn to the level of a quorum—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr S Georganas ): Order! The member for Paterson will resume his seat. A quorum has been called. When there is no quorum in the House we can call a quorum. I inform members that, once you have entered the House to form a quorum, you should not leave the House.

(Quorum formed)

Mr ALBANESE: Under standing order 32(a), I move that:

The House do now adjourn.

Question put.

The House divided. [9.32 pm]

(The Speaker—Mr Harry Jenkins)

Question agreed to.

House adjourned at 21:40