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Monday, 19 October 2015
Page: 11556

Economy


Mr HUTCHINSON (Lyons) (14:22): My question, an important question for the people in my electorate of Lyons, is to the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science. Will the minister update the House on the importance and benefits of innovation across the Australian economy?


Mr PYNE (SturtLeader of the House, Minister for Industry and Innovation and Science) (14:23): I thank the member for Lyons—

Mr Perrett: Mr Speaker, I must have misheard. I did not actually hear the question that he was asking.

The SPEAKER: Well, I heard the question; the rest of the House heard the question. The member for Moreton can resume his seat.

Mr PYNE: I would like to thank the member for Lyons for his question, and I will talk about a couple of businesses in his electorate very shortly. The Australian Food and Grocery Council released their report State of the industry 2015 today, and it has very good news for the food and beverages industry in Australia, which is our largest manufacturing sector. It shows a surge in food and beverages exports, in 2014-15, of 28 per cent. Now, this is particularly good news because it was not so long ago, if we cast our minds back, that there were closures and downsizing in the food and beverages sector across Australia—during the Rudd and Gillard governments.

The sector is recovering, increasing by 28 per cent to $26 billion and creating over the last 12 months an extra 3,200 jobs across Australia—and 40 per cent of jobs in food and beverages manufacturing are in rural and regional Australia. So this is a good-news story. It shows that, through the use of innovation, our firms can compete with the best in the world and can export. That is why the new government is so excited about innovation as a transformative driver of the economy to create jobs and grow the economy.

In the member for Lyons' own electorate, Tassal have recently established a state-of-the-art fish rendering and oil refining facility at Triabunna, on the east coast of Tasmania, built with $3.85 million.

Opposition members interjecting

Mr PYNE: Well, that is how the member for Lyons pronounces it. It is not a ski resort! It is not a snow ski resort! You certainly know the names of all of those, all the lodges at Mount Perisher—definitely!

The SPEAKER: The minister will resume his answer.

Mr PYNE: As for Tasmania, I will take the advice of the Tasmanians. This business, Tassal, established this refinery on the east coast of Tasmania with a $3.85 million grant from the Commonwealth Tasmanian Jobs and Growth Package. Through innovation, it is working with Australian pharmaceutical companies like Blackmores to develop new products that are innovative, traceable, sustainable and of high value, and that will lead to exports all around the world. It is through things like Tassal and their innovation that new jobs are being created. Yesterday, there was an example from the member for Bass's electorate which I cannot get to in the time available to me today.

This is a government that is determined to create jobs and growth, using innovation and industry to do so, while the Labor Party of course stands in the way of the government's policies to grow jobs and create a better economy.