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Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Page: 4344

Employment


Mr DRUM (Murray) (14:36): My question is to the Minister for Defence Industry, representing the Minister for Jobs and Innovation. Will the minister update the House on how the government is supporting workers and our economy through the creation of more jobs? Is the minister aware of any alternative approaches?


Mr PYNE (SturtLeader of the House and Minister for Defence Industry) (14:36): I thank the member for Murray for his question. As the Prime Minister has just said, the government have created record jobs—the most jobs in history, in fact, in one calendar year—and we've reached our one million target of jobs that we promised to create, in 2013 when we got elected, five months early. We said it would take five years when former Prime Minister Abbott was elected as Prime Minister on that promise for the election, and we got there 4½ years after we were elected—one million new jobs in the economy. No wonder the Labor Party have fallen silent. It's embarrassing for them to criticise it.

How have we done it? We've done it through the government's economic plan—through delivering lower taxes, investing in our people's skills and their education, investing in our industries like the defence industry, agriculture, infrastructure and construction, and delivering on the free trade agreements for exports, which are actually driving much of our economy and many of our jobs.

All of this would be put at risk with the election of a Shorten-Setka government, or a Labor-CFMEU government. A Labor-CFMEU government would put all this at risk—a government led by the Leader of the Opposition and John Setka. We need to know what the opposition's secret agreement with the CFMEU says. The Leader of the Opposition should try transparency for a change—it would be a cathartic experience for him—and he should reveal the terms of his secret agreement with John Setka of the CFMEU.

No other recent Labor leader has felt the need to have a secret agreement with the CFMEU. In fact, all of them have rejected the CFMEU. Paul Keating said that the unions had taken on too much power in the Labor Party. Bob Hawke kicked the CFMEU out when he was the Prime Minister and Leader of the Labor Party. Kevin Rudd did kick Joe McDonald out of the ALP, and the Leader of the Opposition brought him back in. And Peter Beattie very recently said that they should not take the donations from the CFMEU. So there are sensible people on the Labor side who are calling for the Leader of the Opposition to dissociate himself from the CFMEU and from John Setka. It's very important that he does so. He needs to reject the CFMEU's donations and give back the $2.5 million that has been given to him—not to him, to the Labor Party—since he was the Leader of the Labor Party by the CFMEU. He needs to reject their donations, he needs to kick them out of the ALP and he needs to reveal his secret agreement with the CFMEU that, if he was elected, would mean that he was in coalition with John Setka.