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Wednesday, 23 May 2018
Page: 4433


Mr IRONS (Swan) (10:11): When the coalition government came to office in 2013, it made a strong commitment to set the right conditions to help businesses create jobs and invest. This coalition government set a target for one million jobs in five years. After just 4½ years, thanks to this government, one million more people are in work. Many people forget that it's not the government that creates jobs; it is businesses of all sizes—small, medium and big business—that employ people and allow individuals to strive towards the high standard of living that this country has to offer. Governments should not be the main employer, nor should they ever regulate businesses to the point that they cannot grow.

Our job in this House is make sure we get out of the way of business owners and let them do what they do best—run businesses and, as they grow, create jobs. We on this side of the chamber understand this. Many of us have business experience and understand what the pressures of running small and medium businesses mean for you and your family. I see the member for Moore and the member for Fadden in the chamber; they are both ex-business operators, along with me. A hundred per cent of those on this side of the chamber today have run businesses. This government understands the role and the needs of business, and we know what we need to do to support them to grow and employ Australians. Our plan for a stronger economy has seen a record rise in employment, with 12.5 million Australians in work. This is the highest level of employment this country has ever seen. We have seen the participation rate across Australia rise to 65.6 per cent. Last year alone, this rose by one per cent, and I will add that a rise of that size has not been seen in Australia since 2005.

Those opposite don't want to talk about jobs; they want to talk about a casualisation of the work force, and that is why the unions should not be allowed the keys to the Treasury. Unfortunately for Sally McManus and those opposite, the rate of casualisation has been steady for the last two decades, at 25 per cent. The Fair Work Commission agrees that the level of casual employment has not significantly changed since the enactment of the Fair Work Act. I remind the Labor Party that they set up the Fair Work Commission.

There is a clear choice coming up for the Australian public at the next election: you can vote for the anti-business, anti-jobs, anti-aspiration and anti-worker Bill Shorten's Labor Party, or you can vote for the coalition. You can vote for Bill Shorten—a man who wants to take Australia back to the times of Gough Whitlam and Chifley, a Labor leader who wants to see our borders go back to the mess they were in under the member for McMahon as immigration minister. Or you have the choice of strong borders, a government that supports aspiration, rewards hard work and enterprise, and supports workers of all stripes, be it in the mining industry, with the removal of the carbon tax and the mining tax or in new industries like a space agency. This government remains steadfast in helping businesses create jobs and helping Australians get into work, like we have with the one million new jobs.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: In accordance with standing order 193, the time for constituency statements has concluded.