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Thursday, 21 June 2018
Page: 3606

Tasmania: Employment

Senator DUNIAM (Tasmania) (14:06): My question is to the Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Senator Cash. Can the minister update the Senate about what the government is doing to create jobs, particularly in the great state of Tasmania?

Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister for Jobs and Innovation) (14:07): I thank Senator Duniam for his question, a job related question. As we know, the Turnbull government is a job-creating government. Since the coalition was elected in September 2013, because of the policies that we have put in place, the economy has created in excess now of one million jobs.

Senator Watt: Where were your lawyers yesterday?

Senator Wong: The serial misleader is on her feet.

Senator CASH: Those on the other side don't like that. They don't like the fact that we on this side, the coalition government, know that if you put in place the right economic framework, personal income tax cuts giving Australians the opportunity to keep what is theirs, you will ultimately create jobs. Senator Duniam, you'd be interested to know that back in September 2013, because of the job-destroying policies of the former Labor-Greens government, the Braddon region had an unemployment rate of 9.2 per cent. Under Labor 490 jobs were lost in Braddon. That's right: we saw a loss of jobs. Tasmanian senators on the other side are quiet at the moment. That's a loss of seven jobs every month. Since the coalition was elected in September 2013, Senator Duniam and the Tasmanian team have seen 1,530 jobs created in the Braddon region. That's 28 jobs every month. Brett Whiteley, our candidate in Braddon, wants to be part of that job-creating team. Let's compare the two candidates: Labor, seven jobs lost every month in the Braddon region; 28 jobs created every month under the coalition. It's a clear choice: more jobs if Brett Whiteley joins the Turnbull team, or a loss of jobs under those opposite.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Duniam, do you have a supplementary question?

Senator DUNIAM (Tasmania) (14:09): I sure do. I thank the minister for that answer. How is the Turnbull government working with the very effective Hodgman government in Tasmania to ensure job creation?

Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister for Jobs and Innovation) (14:09): It's a fact: the Hodgman government and the Turnbull government are on a job-creating unity ticket. Last month the Prime Minister announced $30 million in funding, combined with $51 million in funding from the Hodgman Liberal government, for a Cradle Mountain cable car and master plan to upgrade and improve the Cradle Mountain precinct. Why did we do that? It's because this project is all about creating jobs and attracting more tourists to the region. It's estimated that approximately 60,000 additional tourists will now come to what is a spectacular region. It is all about job creation. The project is estimated to create an additional 160 jobs in the construction stage and an additional 140 jobs in implementing the Cradle Mountain master plan. Again, Brett Whiteley wants to be part of the Turnbull job-creating team.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Duniam, a final supplementary question.

Senator DUNIAM (Tasmania) (14:10): Finally, why is it important for the people of Braddon to be represented by a local member who actually supports job creation?

The PRESIDENT: Senator Wong, on a point of order?

Senator Wong: I'm not sure, but is that something in Minister Cash's portfolio—a decision about Braddon? The question was not: why is job creation important? It was: why is it important for the people of Braddon to elect someone? I am happy to—

The PRESIDENT: Senator Wong, as I understand it, ministers are allowed to be quizzed on public statements they have made and matters that are not just directly their portfolio responsibility. I will encourage colleagues to carefully word questions, and I'll allow the minister to answer that part of the question she considers relevant.

Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister for Jobs and Innovation) (14:11): On this side of the chamber, the Turnbull government, with Senator Duniam and other Tasmanians, are happy to debate job creation all day. Let's remind those opposite why. Under them, in the electorate of Braddon, seven jobs were lost every single month. Under the coalition government, 28 jobs have been created every single month. Why? It's because we have put in place the right policy framework. You need a team, a Tasmanian team, fighting in Braddon for personal income tax cuts. Why? It's because we on this side of the chamber want Australians to keep what is rightly theirs. We will continue to support small businesses and we will put in place those policies which will allow businesses to prosper and grow. Under those opposite, the unemployment rate in Braddon was 9.2 per cent. Jobs were lost every month. Under the Turnbull government, we're turning that around and we are creating jobs.