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Monday, 2 March 2015
Page: 1627


Ms SCOTT (Lindsay) (14:15): My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer outline to the House how the government is building jobs, growth and opportunity for the people of western Sydney and all around Australia?

Mr HOCKEY (North SydneyThe Treasurer) (14:15): I thank the honourable member for Lindsay for her question. I thank her for inviting me to her electorate recently where we met with a range of business people who were very supportive of the construction of Badgerys Creek Airport. They were absolutely determined to create more jobs and more opportunities for all the people of western Sydney, but for those particularly in and around Badgerys Creek Airport as a result of this government's commitment to get on with the job of constructing the airport but also investing $2.8 billion in the roads around there, up-front and immediately. This is what it is about; it is about creating jobs.

Residential construction work done in the December quarter indicates that residential construction activity in New South Wales was nearly 20 per cent higher over the 12 months to the end of last year. We went to a magnificent housing estate that is being built. That is real evidence that jobs are being created as we speak.

In 2014 business investment in the services sector of our economy hit a record high of $62 billion, the strongest calendar year gain in seven years. I might add that services represent around 70 per cent of our economy. So as the massive investment in mining infrastructure and new resources projects comes off, as was expected under the previous government and as is expected under us, we have got to fire up the rest of the economy, particularly in services. Now that we have got record levels of investment in services, that means we have got record opportunities to grow the economy. Do you know what is the best thing we can do for the services sector? Build new markets because, whilst it represents around 70 per cent of the Australian economy, it represents around 20 per cent of our exports. So if we can lift services exports in a range of different fields, health care, education and IT and ensure they are on the same path and in the same ratio as it relates to the Australian economy, we are going to see billions of dollars flood into the Australian economy and tens of thousands of new jobs. That comes about because we expand the market. We have already got the strong base in the services sector. Now we have to expand the market, getting aged-care services into China, getting health and education services into Korea and getting into a range of services exports in Japan. This is what we are delivering now and it will end up in delivering more jobs for Australians and greater prosperity.