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Wednesday, 27 February 1985
Page: 340

Mr CHYNOWETH(7.27) —I wish to discuss the importance of Federal and State governments working together for the benefit of this nation. In my State of Victoria, this partnership has been vital in the resurgence of Victoria's economy. The results speak for themselves. More than 100,000 jobs have been created. Days lost due to industrial disputations have declined by 80 per cent. Housing approvals have increased by 50 per cent over the last three years. The figures demonstrate a turnaround in Victoria, one that has its origins in the close working relationship that Victoria and Canberra have with each other. For our part, the Hawke Labor Government has set the national scene for the recovery.

In 1983, all sections of the economy were brought together to form a common purpose and a common goal. That purpose, of course, was the reconstruction and the recovery of the Australian economy. The Victorian Government, over its three year term, has worked diligently to assist us in this task. The Cain Government has restructured the public sector to make it more accountable to the community so that each tax dollar is spent more efficiently and wisely. Diversion of funds into employment generating capital works has had a significant effect in Victoria. The formation of an industrial relations task force has been another outstanding innovation. The task force, comprising of officers who have a solid industrial background, has the responsibility to seek out industrial trouble spots and to assist in the resolution of problems by bringing together both sides in the conflict. The result of this action has been a decline by 80 per cent in the number of days lost due to industrial disputation. This is quite a remarkable achievement. It has greatly assisted us in our task of restoring business confidence. Without a doubt, it has contributed to a Victorian growth rate which is higher than the national rate.

A major project of the Cain Government over the last three years has been its investigation of the economic strengths and weaknesses of the State. From this has come an economic strategy for the next ten years. The strategy seeks to develop the comparative strengths of Victoria, to achieve more employment growth and to improve the living standards for all Victorians. The development of our brown coal, our oil reserves in Bass Strait, our tourism and an agricultural base form an important part of this strategy. It is a blueprint for Victoria's development that will work well with our national policies. Premier Cain and his Ministers must be applauded for their foresight.

The alternative government in Victoria has no such policies. Its policies seems to have been made on the run. It has promised to spend an extra $731m, yet it is going to cut State taxes and charges by $441. Mr Kennett has not told the public where he will find the $200m he would need to carry out this program. Mr Kennett's public sector policy is equally ill-conceived. He would cut the Public Service by 3.5 per cent each year, or 13 per cent over a four-year term. Despite those cuts, he has promised to increase the number of nurses and police in the State. Where is all this money coming from? Mr Kennett's youth employment scheme is equally unworkable. It seeks to cut youth wages by 50 per cent. The effect of this policy would be to depress the spending power of a whole generation of young people and give employers a weapon to use against other workers. Far from increasing employment, Mr Kennett's youth employment scheme, together with the other policies I have mentioned, would work against recovery and discriminate against young people in society. I have no doubt that Victorians will not support these policies and will return a government that has a proven record of achievements, one that is able to work with the national government in its task of achieving recovery and a more equitable society for all Australians. While I am on my feet, I mention the fact that my friend Bruce over there has mentioned that the Franklin Dam did not have an effect on the election. He has only to ask Peter Reith, sitting on his back bench, whether it affected him or not.

Mr SPEAKER —Order! The honourable member knows the custom of referring to members by their electorates.

Mr CHYNOWETH —I am sorry, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER —I have allowed him, in the spirit he was presenting it, to do what he has done.