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Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Page: 5997

Mr NEUMANN (Blair) (19:14): When I was a young boy growing up in Ipswich, my dad was a cleaner at the meatworks and my mum was a shop assistant. They were very proud of the fact that Bill Hayden, our local member, the member for Oxley, was the Treasurer in the Whitlam Labor government. Bill was a very well respected person in the local community. I remember that my mum and dad were always very pleased about the fact that, when there was a Labor government in power—sadly enough, there were not too many Labor governments in power when I was growing up—the budget would say what a Labor government really stood for, what a Labor government meant to the working people in Ipswich, and what it meant for jobs, apprentices, skills, the local economy and the national economy.

In my area at the moment we have a high unemployment rate. Our local employment coordinator, Samantha Wilson, works in the Ipswich and Logan areas and does a good job. I was pleased that there was an extension in the budget of the $45.2 million over two years to support the 20 priority employment areas in south-east Queensland and other places. This is very important for my area because, traditionally, Ipswich has been a manufacturing area. When the economy goes down, unemployment rises in the area, particularly among the Indigenous community and the low-skills area. From dealing with local employment providers and organisations that assist young people get into employment, I know that is important. The jobs expo that we saw at the Ipswich Showgrounds was really important. Hundreds of people got jobs as a result of that venture.

I will defend the BER. Those opposite will not support the BER. There was $109 million of investment in my area. As I understand it, jobs were created in this budget and assistance was given to apprentices as well. One of the proudest things I have seen is the jobs created in south-east Queensland, at places like the Ipswich Motorway, which is a $1.95 billion investment by the federal Labor government in south-east Queensland, linking Ipswich and Brisbane. That was extremely important and up to 10,000 jobs were created. I was extremely pleased to see the jobs created in the last three years and pleased to see the opportunities for young people through places like the Ipswich Trade Training Centre at St Edmund's College. I was also pleased to see $2 million invested in Bremer TAFE. Bremer TAFE has been a wonderful vocational institution. We have seen that operating in the Ipswich area for over 100 years and training young people, many for the mines in North Queensland and Central Queensland. We have seen jobs created through partnerships between Bremer State High School and the University of Queensland's Ipswich Campus. We have also seen a vocational focus at USQ, the University of Southern Queensland, with business training at Springfield.

I am pleased to ask the Assistant Treasurer some questions. I think this is very important for my area. Those opposite can sneer and whinge, but I think these considerations in detail are very important. I think it is good to get both national and local information. Queensland is a growing state. It has grown so much in the last 10 or 15 years. You can see that with the number of representatives we have. Sadly, there are not enough on this side and there are too many on the other side. Certainly, Queensland has big mining projects and big infrastructure. We have seen double the amount of funding for infrastructure in Queensland under this government than the previous government. I am pleased to support what we are doing. I ask the Assistant Treasurer these questions: how is the government investing in the jobs that we need in south-east Queensland and nationally; how is the government creating more apprentices and giving the skills to the Australian workforce that we need, particularly in a growing state like Queensland; how will the budget keep the economy strong; and how will it do that for Queensland and nationally?