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Tuesday, 3 December 2013
Page: 1413


Mr WYATT (Hasluck) (14:59): My question is to the Assistant Minister for Employment. I remind the minister the Productivity Commission released its report today Geographic Labour Mobility. How is the government supporting long-term unemployed Australians, in particular young job seekers who want to move to take up a job?

Mr HARTSUYKER (Cowper—Deputy Leader of the House, Assistant Minister for Employment) (14:59): I thank the member for his question. The draft Productivity Commission report made an interesting observation with regard to labour mobility in that it noted the contribution of labour mobility to productivity. The government is very focused on that. That is why we have committed to introduce a relocation assistance program to ensure that job seekers, particularly young job seekers, have the opportunity to move from an area of low labour market demand to an area of higher labour market demand. That makes total sense, to give job seekers, particularly young job seekers, every opportunity to get a job.

We propose providing a $3,000 bonus for young job seekers, and job seekers more generally, to relocate to a metropolitan area and $6,000 to relocate to a regional area. But for those job seekers with dependants there is an additional $3,000 payable. I would note, though, this is not just a cash payment; it is a payment that reflects the actual cost for the job seeker to move.

In addition, we have the job commitment bonus, to encourage young job seekers to get and keep a job. A young person, who is long-term unemployed and who gets a job and keeps it for 12 months, will get a $2,500 bonus. If they remain in employment for two years, they will get an additional $4,000 bonus. These are important programs that help young people to get into work, to enjoy the benefits of work and to spread those benefits of work to the entire community.

These job programs certainly have a place. But the most important thing that we can do to support job seekers right around the country is to grow the economy. A strong economy creates more jobs and more opportunities for all job seekers and all Australians more generally. That is why we are axing the carbon tax, we are axing the mining tax and we are getting rid of $1 billion worth of red tape. If members opposite were serious about supporting job seekers in need of opportunity, they would get on board with the government and assist us in passing this legislation so that we get these much-needed reforms through the parliament to create opportunities.