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Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Page: 4338

Health Care

Ms BANKS (Chisholm) (14:13): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on how the government's plan for a stronger economy will create new jobs and economic opportunities in medical research? How will our plan work to improve the health of Australians, including those in my electorate of Chisholm?

Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:14): I thank the member for Chisholm for her question. The budget is once again, as I said, a plan for a stronger economy. It's a plan that so far, in the years we've been in government, has delivered more than a million jobs in less than five years. More than a million jobs in less than five years is the product of the stronger plans for a stronger economy that this government has been delivering and will continue to deliver, based on what's in the budget that I announced in our last sitting.

That plan includes backing business to invest to create more jobs. That plan includes more competitive taxes for business. It includes the congestion-busting and market-accessing infrastructure that we have as part of our $75 billion rolling infrastructure plan—rolling out across Australia, ensuring that products can get to market, that our cities are decongested and that our economy can continue to improve. It's about securing access to export markets, whether it's for our farmers, where we're putting more technical experts into the field; for our markets, to ensure that those farmers can get better access for their produce to the markets; or right across the other suite of free trade and export trade deals we've been able to put in place.

It's about investing in technology and science. I note that, in a letter from the Chief Scientist to me, Alan Finkel has said: 'Your budget's initiatives give the community reassurance that the government is serious about sustained support for science and innovation.' That's from the Chief Scientist, Mr Speaker, because we are delivering support for science and technology. We're backing new industries and supporting industries, including the defence industry plan, which has now committed to the Land 400 project some $10.2 billion and 170 jobs in Victoria in the member's electorate.

We're also backing a 21st century medical industry. As the Prime Minister was referring to companies here in the ACT, Planet Innovation is a wonderful company in Box Hill that has now clicked over the $50 million in turnover mark. They have 250 employees. They are a medical technology company. They are participating in a joint project which has $1.4 million invested from the Commonwealth government to create and drive a future industry in medical technology and the medical industry. The health industry; seven per cent of the economy and 14 per cent of jobs. There is $500 million in the budget to support genome research, including for Mackenzie's Mission.

This is about investing in the future industries; that's what this government is focused on. We don't have to wear a miner's hat to understand that the entire economy benefits from our mining industry. You don't have to wear a white coat in a lab to understand that investing in creating a dynamic medical industry is good for the Australian economy, good for small business and good for jobs. The Turnbull government has an exciting future-focused plan for our economy that will continue to deliver jobs, because in less than five years this government has delivered a million jobs.