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Thursday, 26 October 2017
Page: 12277


Mr HOWARTH (Petrie) (12:46): We saw some great news in relation to jobs and growth last week—some 371,500 more people employed, more jobs, than there were just 12 months ago. That's a 25-year record. At the last election the coalition government made jobs and growth an election commitment. This commitment is becoming a reality right now, and it benefits people in my electorate of Petrie. When I'm out and about talking to people in the electorate, job creation locally is often brought up—permanent jobs but also casual, part-time and subcontract positions. We have jobs of the future—where do people go with the changes in technology—and financial education is also important. I don't think we do enough of that. This is great news locally. I want to thank the local schools for what they're doing in relation to jobs for the future and financial education. I've been out in a number of different schools in my electorate and spoken to them about that.

Our plan is focused mainly on the advanced defence manufacturing plan, and NISA—the National Innovation and Science Agenda. There are our free trade agreements, and with a population of 24 million or so free trade exports are really important for us when we can export to Asia, where there are billions of people, and then there is reducing company tax and the benefits of that. Reductions in company tax are now in place for businesses with up to $25 million in turnover, which means that after dividends are paid and after expenses are covered and after assets are bought, whatever money is left in the business is only taxed at 27.5 per cent—it will go down to 25—rather than 30 per cent, which means there's more money left for them to re-invest. The instant asset tax write-off is of great benefit to many businesses in my electorate. In Petrie over 2,900 businesses have taken advantage of the instant asset tax write-off in the last financial year. That means that local solar companies win, because businesses are investing in solar on their roof, which is important given that most businesses use their energy during the day, when solar energy is being created. Also, the purchase of any second-hand or new vehicle under $20,000 is instantly written off. IT and computer systems can be instantly written off. You might want a new coffee machine for the office—I guess Harvey Norman benefits, or other retailers. This is great news because those 2,900 businesses in Petrie that are using the instant asset write-off are spending locally with these different businesses. It's all part of the 371,500 jobs created in the last 12 months alone—and over 300,000 of those have been full time.

We know that the defence manufacturing plan is now under construction. It includes nine future frigates, which haven't started yet, 12 Future Submarines, which haven't started yet, 21 Pacific patrol boats, which are under construction now, and 12 offshore patrol boats that start next year. The 21 Pacific patrol boats have now started in Western Australia. They're underway right now, which is fantastic. That is a $306 million spend. There are local people working on those. They are using Australian steel. They are being built locally. We also know that a couple of hundred billion dollars will be invested in defence capability over the next 10 years, but the Pacific patrol boats have started since the election. Companies in my electorate are also benefiting from defence procurement. Pacific Health Solutions has a $320,000 contract with the Department of Defence for medical waste.

Free trade agreements are really taking off. We've seen the China-Australia Free Trade Agreement and the Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement, and the Indian agreement is being worked on. We've seen sales of skimmed milk powder go up 99 per cent, sales of bottled wine increase 86 per cent in the last 12 months and sales of hay and chaff increase by 50 per cent. There's a whole lot happening there. The other week I had Assistant Minister Craig Laundy up looking at the National Innovation and Science Agenda and awarding some grants. It is great news for Petrie.