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Monday, 19 October 2015
Page: 11555


Ms SCOTT (Lindsay) (14:18): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on the recent meeting with state and territory Treasurers. How is the Turnbull coalition government working cooperatively with those who are genuinely committed to growing Australia's economy?

Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:18): The government is working collaboratively with all those who want to grow our economy and support jobs growth. That is what we are doing. We are working with everyone who has an investment in that, has a share in that and has a commitment to achieving that goal. The Australian people are responding to that with confidence—business confidence, consumer confidence and more general confidence in the government because they want to see the government continue to work with those who want to grow our economy and grow jobs. The government is establishing a strong platform, as we have over the last few years, to grow our economy and to grow jobs. We are promoting innovation for an agile economy and building infrastructure that unlocks our economic potential. We have a strong budget that protects our AAA credit rating and ensures that we can provide the services that Australians rely on. We are working to change our tax system so we can encourage Australians and reward Australians who want to work and save and invest to grow our economy, and we want to set up a strong competition policy agenda that will drive productivity and deliver greater choice for Australians.

This is a strong plan. It is a platform to grow our economy and to support jobs. We cannot achieve all of these goals without working collaboratively with those who have a key role to play in these outcomes. That is why we are working collaboratively with the states and the territories and their Treasurers, who are fully engaged in this agenda for economic growth and for jobs. We saw the statements from the Queensland Treasurer, the South Australian Treasurer and others showing that they are interested in working with the Australian government to grow jobs and to grow the economy. Those opposite have the opportunity to get on board with this collaborative approach, to be part of the plan to ensure that we can have a strong economy and we can grow jobs in this country. At the moment they, sadly, are being left behind—they are being left behind with their very small and negative approach to the government's agenda. They continue to frustrate the initiatives that we know are necessary to support our economy and to support jobs.

Last week we saw them take a very diminished view—they diminished themselves in the way they came into this House and were unable to deal with the big issues facing Australia. We saw their very small attacks on the Prime Minister. But the Prime Minister has big shoulders. What is disappointing is that they have a very small attitude about the aspirations of Australians. They think the answer to the country's economic challenges is to jump into bed and pull the doona over their head. That is not what this side of the House or what the state and territory Treasurers think. We are working with Australians in business, in government, in local government and in the community to grow jobs and to grow our economy. Those opposite should stop their negative old politics attacks and get involved in the collaborative agenda to grow jobs and to grow our economy.