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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 13258


Mr PASIN (Barker) (14:33): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on global growth targets and the need for strong economic growth strategies? How is the government building a strong national platform for economic growth and jobs?

Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:33): I thank the member for Barker for his question and for his keen interest in jobs and growth, not only in his own electorate of Barker but across South Australia and across the country. In addition to the very serious national security issues that were addressed by the Prime Minister in the recent round of G20 meetings, there was also—as you have just heard from the Prime Minister—a very strong focus on the economic task ahead of all of those leaders and here at home in Australia as well. They confirmed again their commitment to growth and jobs, as we have as a country. The G20 is calling for ambitious and comprehensive structural reforms that offer the best opportunity for strong, stable and balanced economic growth. Australia is delivering on all of these things through the platform for strong growth and jobs that we are providing with the combination of policies. Despite the headwinds that our economy currently faces and the transition that we are moving through, we had year-average growth last year of 2.3 per cent—around two per cent on year end. That is twice what comparable economies like Canada are achieving. We are doing twice what they are doing in those like economies.

Equally, on the front of jobs, we are now growing jobs at a rate of more than 10 times what we were at the time of the year of the last election.

Opposition members interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Gorton and the member for Wakefield.

Mr MORRISON: We have had 315,000 additional jobs added over the course of the last year. Youth unemployment today is lower than it was at the time of the last election.

Mr Champion interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Wakefield is warned.

Mr MORRISON: Our economy is also transforming and transitioning as our services sector also improves, with a growth in exports of some 7.3 per cent. The strong platform for growth that we are putting in place encompasses opening new markets through free trade agreements, our $50 billion national infrastructure plan, ensuring an even more resilient financial system, improving competition, a stronger budget and a better tax system that is going to reward Australians and back Australians who are out there working, saving and investing.

What I am encouraged by is that the Australian people are responding to this. They are responding to this with optimism. They are realistic optimists. They know and understand the challenges that we face as a country, but they are backing themselves and they are pleased that this government is backing them with strong policies that will support them being out there working, saving and investing. As I noted last time in this House, we now have more optimists about our economy than pessimists. There are certainly optimists on this side, but on that side we only see pessimism. But we will remain committed to the strong growth policies and the strong jobs policies that are putting in place the necessary reforms to ensure that Australians are getting ahead.