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Thursday, 5 December 2013
Page: 1796


Mr SHORTEN (MaribyrnongLeader of the Opposition) (14:34): My question is to the Prime Minister. I refer to the Prime Minister's promise to create one million new jobs over the next five years. Given that the jobs of tens of thousands of workers at Holden, Simplot, Electrolux, Gove and the CSIRO are now in doubt, isn't this the complete opposite of what the Prime Minister promised?

Mr ABBOTT (WarringahPrime Minister) (14:35): The government appreciates that these are not easy times for many Australian manufacturers. We appreciate that some iconic businesses such as Qantas are under significant competitive pressure. We appreciate that, and obviously we grieve for every worker whose job has been lost. We grieve for them, and we appreciate just how difficult this is for them and for their families. The best thing that we, as a government, can do for the workers of Australia generally—and particularly for the workers whose businesses are in trouble—is do our best to create a strong and prosperous economy. I do not say that that is easy, and I do not say that there is any one measure which is some kind of magic wand. But there are things which good governments can do purposefully, carefully and methodically which will improve things. We have to get taxes down. We have to get regulation down. We have to have predictability and consistency in decision making. That is what this government is determined to provide. We have made a very good start and it would be even better if members opposite would not constantly try to oppose the policies that we took to the election.

Honourable members interjecting

Mr ABBOTT: The Leader of the Opposition, who never shuts up, is sitting in that chair there saying, 'I know how you feel.'

Well, there is this difference. When the coalition were in opposition—

Mr Shorten interjecting

The SPEAKER: The Leader of the Opposition will desist.

Mr ABBOTT: When the coalition were in opposition, we fought to prevent a government from breaking its commitments. This opposition is fighting to prevent a government from keeping its commitments. That is the difference.