Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Wednesday, 29 November 2017
Page: 9215

Employment


Senator HUME (Victoria) (14:52): My question is to the Minister for Employment, Senator Cash. Can the minister update the Senate about how the Turnbull government is working to create more job opportunities for Australians?


Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, Minister for Employment and Minister for Women) (14:52): Thank you, Senator Hume, for your question. On this side of the chamber, we believe that the best form of welfare is a job.

Senator Cormann interjecting

Senator CASH: In that regard, we are committed, as Senator Cormann well knows, to implementing policies that promote growth, encourage investment, stimulate job creation and, of course, support business. I'm very pleased to advise the chamber that our policies are working.

October labour force figures show that the number of jobs in Australia has increased for the 13th month straight. This is the largest consecutive run of jobs growth since 1994. Since we on this side of the chamber were elected to office, more than 831,000 jobs have been created. That's what the Australian people want to hear. Approximately 200,000 jobs each year are being created because of the Turnbull government's policies. Employment in Australia is currently at a record high of in excess of 12.2 million. At present, under this government, Australia's economy is creating approximately 1,000 jobs per day.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells interjecting

Senator CASH: Quite frankly, Senator Fierravanti-Wells, that's what the people of Bennelong want to hear. They want to hear about a government that is out there creating jobs. There are now 355,700 more Australians in work than a year ago, but, critically, 80 per cent of these jobs are full-time jobs. Here's a statistic the people of Bennelong might like to hear about: the growth in full-time jobs in the first nine months of 2017 represents the largest increase in the first nine months of a calendar year on record, and job creation under this government in the last 12 months is more than four times the jobs growth of the last 12 months of the former Labor government.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Hume, a supplementary question?





Senator HUME (Victoria) (14:54): I thank the minister for her answer. That is indeed good news. Can the minister please further update the Senate on how the Turnbull government is working to create more job opportunities for Australian women?


Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, Minister for Employment and Minister for Women) (14:55): As I was saying, jobs growth under this government over the last 12 months is more than four times stronger than Labor's last year in government. In relation to getting more women into the workforce, this is something that we on this side of the chamber are committed to. That is why we're putting in place the policies to encourage, in particular, more flexible and affordable child care, as Senator Birmingham has been talking about today, and, of course, to support more women to become job ready. We're assisting women to get back into the workforce through programs like ParentsNext. I am pleased to advise the Senate that in Australia today, under this government, colleagues, there is a record number of women in the workforce. Female workforce participation stands at a record high of 59.9 per cent. Again, when you're a government focused on implementing policies that promote growth, you ultimately encourage the economy to create jobs. (Time expired)

The PRESIDENT: Senator Hume, a final supplementary question?



Senator HUME (Victoria) (14:56): I thank the minister for her second answer. Can she also please further enlighten the Senate—what are the benefits to the Australian community of getting unemployed Australians off welfare and into work?


Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, Minister for Employment and Minister for Women) (14:56): As I travel around Australia, like so many on this side, and talk to people who have got off welfare and got into a job, they tell me things like: 'Getting a job has increased my self-esteem and my wellbeing,' and, 'It is providing me with the opportunity to become a role model for people in my family, for friends, to show them what I can be.' Ultimately, for the taxpayer, getting people off welfare and into work means we pay out less in social security payments.

When it comes to getting youth off welfare and into work, the Turnbull government has invested in our Youth Jobs PaTH program. Again, I am pleased to advise the Senate that since January of this year more than 14,000 young people previously reliant on welfare have had the opportunity to move into employment, thanks to youth bonus wage subsidies. Again, we believe that the best form of welfare is a job, and these figures reflect that.

Senator O'Neill interjecting

The PRESIDENT: Order! Senator O'Neill, your colleague's on his feet.