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Tuesday, 14 June 2011
Page: 6017

Mr STEPHEN JONES (Throsby) (20:37): I thank the minister for her answer to my previous question. When I have been out in my electorate since the Treasurer's speech talking about this budget, I have described it as a Labor budget—

Mr McCormack: It certainly was!

Mr STEPHEN JONES: because it is a budget that goes to the issue of jobs and has identified the importance of jobs. The member for Riverina might not appreciate this issue, but this budget identifies the issues of jobs and skills for the future. What has been in the front of my mind is that, as Australia takes off for mining boom mark 2 and as the centre of global gravity for the next wave of economic development shifts south, Australia is certainly in the pilot seat for a take-off for our next economic boom.

Mr McCormack interjecting

Mr STEPHEN JONES: Perhaps if the member for Riverina sat quietly and listened for long enough, he might understand where I was getting to. There are many regions of Australia that will not enjoy the fruits of this boom unless there is positive government intervention. My questions are: what is the thinking behind those 10 regions that have been identified as a part of our place based initiatives; why and how have they been identified; and what is the government going to do to ensure that the people in those regions are not going to be left behind as we move into the next phase of our economic growth?