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Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Page: 4335

Economy


Mr EVANS (Brisbane) (14:01): My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister advise the House how this government's plan for a strong economy is delivering more jobs and better services as well as tax relief for hardworking Australians, including in my electorate in Brisbane? Is the Prime Minister aware of any alternative approaches?


Mr TURNBULL (WentworthPrime Minister) (14:01): I thank the honourable member for his question. He knows very well, from his previous life, the importance of small business. He knows very well that the small businesses that he used to represent are the ones that are driving the record jobs growth in Australia: 415,000 new jobs last year, 1,100 jobs a day, more than one million new jobs in less than five years. That's what happens when businesses have the confidence to invest and to grow.

Ms Chesters interjecting

Mr TURNBULL: That is what the nation needs to ensure that we can live within our means and bring the budget back into balance a year earlier and that we can deliver and guarantee the essential services that Australians rely on—spending more on health, on education, on the NDIS and on infrastructure every year.

Ms Chesters interjecting

The SPEAKER: The member for Bendigo is warned.

Mr TURNBULL: Those commitments depend on a strong economy. Today I was with Senator Seselja and the trade minister visiting an innovative company in Canberra, iSimulate, which is a health technology business that has 80 per cent of its sales in exports. They are benefitting from the big trade deals that we've done in our region, including, of course, the Trans-Pacific Partnership to come. They're looking forward to a free trade agreement with the European Union. As honourable members know, the EU has approved its mandate, and the negotiations for that free trade agreement will begin later this year.

We know that free trade—open markets—creates jobs, and yet it has been the Labor Party that has opposed free trade. It's Labor that's said, 'The Trans-Pacific Partnership should be abandoned.' It's Labor, with the CFMEU, that campaigned in a manner that was disgraceful and racist against the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement. We all remember those advertisements. I can well understand honourable members opposite wanting to forget them, but they ran them. They ran against that free trade agreement, which has been so important.

We have an economic plan that is encouraging businesses to invest with lower taxes, that is ensuring that hardworking Australian families keep more of what they earn and that is opening up more and bigger markets for Australian businesses, and that is why they are creating jobs. iSimulate is one of thousands of businesses today whose prospects would be threatened by a Labor government.