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Wednesday, 5 June 2013
Page: 5503

Dr EMERSON (RankinMinister for Trade and Competitiveness, Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Science and Research and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Asian Century Policy) (16:12): What you can take from me is that the minister—who has just arrived—oversaw the preparation of, I think, a landmark innovation-in-industry statement. It is a statement that has very widespread support. It also has support from the automotive industry, in which we have invested heavily and which the coalition would rip out half of its funding in 2015 alone—a fact that the shadow minister has acknowledged. Why? Because her shadow expenditure review committee rolled her. She has to go around the nation saying, 'We support auto workers' but in truth what they are doing is saying to the auto workers of Victorian and, more broadly, all the component manufacturers, 'Vote for us and we will cut your jobs; we will cut half your assistance by 2015 and that is coalition policy.'.

Mrs Mirabella: On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker, the question was not about the auto sector but specifically in regard to the involvement of CSIRO in the government's announcement. But he does not know the answer.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Member for Indi, please resume your seat.

Dr Emerson: On the point of order, the question was about the industry statement. The industry statement establishes innovation precincts. It supports a range of industries including the automotive industry. That is why I was answering the question. It was entirely relevant and, given that the shadow minister has no sensible questions to ask and that she has come here simply to try to score some points at the expense of the government, that is fine. But at the expense of Dr Megan Clark, that is not fine and at the expense of the CSIRO, that is not fine. I think you will find that time has expired.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms Hall ): Yes, thank you, Minister, you are correct there. The time for the debate has expired.

The Federation Chamber will now consider the climate change, industry, innovation and small business segment of the Industry, Innovation, Climate Change, Science, Research and Tertiary Education portfolio, in accordance with the agreed order of consideration. Minister, do you want to make a statement?