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Monday, 13 February 2012
Page: 852


Mr ZAPPIA (Makin) (14:47): My question is to the Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and Minister for Industry and Innovation. How is the government promoting jobs across Australian industry and what are the risks to the government's support?

Mr COMBET (Charlton—Minister for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and Minister for Industry and Innovation) (14:48): I thank the member for Makin for his question. It is a fact that Labor always puts jobs and economic growth as a priority in its economic policy settings. It must never be forgotten that Labor managed the economy to support jobs during the global financial crisis and, as a result, our economy is outperforming most industrialised economies. Since we came to office we have, in fact, created 750,000 jobs.

This government will continue to manage the economy, to deliver prosperity for all Australians. We have low unemployment, low debt, solid growth, moderate inflation and massive business investment. The government is focused on making the economic circumstances in the future good for business investment and boosting jobs. We are making record investments in skills, education and infrastructure. We are improving productivity, boosting savings, cutting the company tax rate and assisting small business. All of these elements will support jobs growth in the economy. But given the scaremongering by the opposition it is important to point out, mindful of some of the recent announcements, that it is always important not to be talking down the economy but to be pointing to some areas where we also have strong jobs creation in our economy.

Last week the job advertisement survey, which is published, and the NAB business survey showed an improvement in the employment outlook, with over 190,000 jobs being advertised each week. When the other side talks down the economy they conveniently ignore a number of very important jobs announcements that have been made by particular companies. What might they include? Woolworths plans to open dozens of new stores this year, which will create more than 10,000 jobs; the investment go-ahead that has been given for the Ichthys LNG project, which will create 4,000 jobs at its peak—four major projects in the Queensland LNG industry that have the potential to create 18,000 direct and indirect jobs; and GlaxoSmithKline's announcement earlier this month of a $60 million investment at its Boronia site, which will create 58 jobs.

You have here people on the other side who undermine confidence. They talk down the economy, they want to directly slash jobs, with their $70 billion in budget cuts. Those on that side want to put up company tax; on this side, we want to bring down company tax. We want to stimulate investment. Those on that side want to destroy the auto industry and destroy the steel industry; on this side, we support people's jobs. (Time expired)