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Thursday, 1 March 2018
Page: 2499


Mr CREWTHER (Dunkley) (14:22): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on recent economic data releases and how this reflects the continued strength of the Australian economy, including in my electorate of Dunkley? Is the Treasurer aware of any approaches that would risk this economic strength?

Mr MORRISON (CookTreasurer) (14:22): I thank the member for Dunkley for his question. I know the member for Dunkley is proud to be part of a government whose plan for jobs and growth is working in this country. As we see from the recent data releases, which we've often referred to in this House, those results include over 403,000 jobs created in the past year, with more than 1,100 jobs per day and three-quarters of those jobs being full-time positions.

I note that in Tasmania jobs growth has been running at 3.2 per cent. That's almost five times the average of the past decade. That's a great reason to re-elect the Hodgman government in Tasmania. Nationally, jobs growth has been positive now for the last six months—the longest consecutive run of jobs growth in recorded Australian economic history. ANZ says job ads are at their highest level in almost seven years. Confidence levels of consumers have risen eight per cent in the past six months. Business conditions are close to the highest level on record, and they are highest in Tasmania where, I note, business confidence is twice the long-run average. Capital expenditure expectations, according to the National Australia Bank survey, is at the highest level in over a decade. Today's capex data for the December quarter showed non-mining capital expenditure grew by 10 per cent in 2017. That's the strongest pace in three years and it's the fifth consecutive increase in non-mining investment, the first time that has happened since 2002. Overall, new capital expenditure growth of four per cent in 2017 is something that has been the result of a government that understands the importance of driving investment. It's driven by a party that is focused on growth.

But, sadly, not all political parties are interested in growth. I refer to that great tome Hearts and Minds by the shadow Treasurer. It's still available for others if they want to borrow it. I seem to be the only one. In the foreword from Paul Keating it says this:

… not all parties embrace economic growth and instances the manifesto of the Greens in turning its back on it.

How things have changed, because the shadow Treasurer has now become the very thing he warned against in being a party, and in a party, that is more focused on the politics of envy than in the economics of economic growth. Bob Hawke is known for being able to chug things down, but if he was forced to chug down the almond-latte Left economics, if he had to chug that down in the way that the leader of the Labor Party is today, he would be spewing.