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Monday, 2 March 2015
Page: 1628

Employment


Mr KATTER (Kennedy) (14:21): My question is to the Prime Minister. Before the next federal election, 55,000 jobs in motor vehicle construction will vanish, 20,000 in the coal seam gas industry, 15,000 in the coal industry and 3,000 in the sugar industry. On the three-for-one rule 300,000 jobs will vanish. Would the PM address the reconstructing task force's government purchasing policy proposals and consider financial guarantees enabling superannuation investment into the Galilee rail line and the UBURIS irrigation project proposals, creating 70,000 jobs?


Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:22): I do not share the member for Kennedy's despair. I just do not share his despair and his pessimism about the Australian economy. I know that we can expect a contraction in the motor industry. I know that. But there are many, many businesses in the motor industry that will continue because Australians will keep driving cars and the world will keep making cars. And Australian businesses will continue to contribute to making cars right around the world.

As for jobs in the coal industry and in the resources sector, this government abolished the mining tax and we abolished the carbon tax. That will be good for employment in the coal sector and it will be good for employment in the resources sector. I know that sugar has certainly had its difficulties in recent times, but right now sugar is in a reasonable state. My intention is to try to ensure that through ongoing free trade negotiations, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, we do a better deal for the sugar producers of Australia. We know members opposite were not able to do it, but we are determined to ensure that we get the best possible deal for the sugar producers of Australia, particularly the sugar producers of Queensland.

Let us look at the facts; let us not peddle councils of doom and gloom. Last year, there were more than 200,000 new jobs created in the Australian economy. Job creation in 2014 was three times the job creation in the last year of the Labor government. That is what you get when you have a government which delivers for business, which delivers lower tax, which delivers less regulation and which actually takes business seriously. That is what we do—we take business seriously. We are open for business, and that is why employment in this country should improve in the weeks and months and years ahead.