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Wednesday, 25 October 2017
Page: 11982


Mr GEE (Calare) (15:45): It does beggar belief that the member for McMahon can come into this House with his pious bleating about inclusion and inclusive growth on the very day those opposite try to sabotage full funding for the NDIS. It beggars belief and just epitomises those opposite. They talk a good game on inclusion and inclusive growth but they just can't deliver. They can't fund the NDIS. The NDIS was never funded and they were never able to fund Gonski either. But over on this side, on the government's side, we have plans to fully fund the NDIS and fully fund Gonski, backed by David Gonski himself. As you walk around these corridors, you'll see all the Gonski posters those opposite had up in their rooms have all come down because they know we deliver on all of these inclusive policies.

At the core of inclusive growth is giving Australians a shot at a job. And as Deloitte Access Economics has recently stated, Australian job growth is a thing of beauty. Why wouldn't Deloitte Access Economics say that? Over the past 12 months, 371,500 Aussies got a job, the strongest jobs growth since before the global financial crisis. I think I'd know what the Treasurer would say about that. He would say the better days are arriving. Twelve months of consecutive jobs growth is the best result in over 23 years—that's better days ahead. Annual jobs growth is now running at over three per cent—that's 15 times greater than it was in 2013 when the coalition government was first elected. And since then, 825,000 jobs have been created and almost two-thirds of those jobs have been secured in the past two years. Better days ahead there, better days indeed.

Nowhere have the better days economically been felt more so than in country Australia. If you look at the economic growth figures for regional Australia, you see they are quite astounding. Agriculture is now Australia's fastest growing economic sector and was the largest contributor to national GDP growth in 2016 and 2017. Growth in agriculture, as you would know, Deputy Speaker Coulton, is up 23 per cent, proving the sector is the fastest to grow of all of the 19 industries. The nation's economic growth is at 1.9 per cent, and Australian agriculture contributed 0.5 per cent of that. So it just keeps getting better and better in terms of inclusive growth, because our young farmers can finally see a future on the land. That's giving everyone a share and a part in that great Australian vision.

In more good news: in 2016-17, agriculture contributed over $500 billion in exports, compared to $41 billion just five years ago. So you can see how the better days have indeed arrived. In contrast, those opposite have turned their backs on working Australians, working families. They have turned their backs on miners. I know in our neck of the words, in the Central West, in Lithgow, the miners are very disillusioned about the whacky energy policies of those opposite. The miners out at Mudgee, the miners out at Ulan, they know. You go into the pubs and clubs and they'll tell you how disillusioned they are at being cut loose by those opposite.

Of course, the Productivity Commission spoke about better health and better educational outcomes, which of course we all support. The Treasurer has said that universities need to focus on teaching, to get those practical outcomes going. Out west, we're certainly pushing hard for that Murray Darling Medical School to train doctors in the bush for practice in the bush. So out west, where we are, we're already working on those key recommendations of the Productivity Commission, and I know that that project is something that the communities of the west support wholeheartedly.

But, if you go right across the economy, right across the sectors, you'll see better days and inclusive growth. According to the NAB, business conditions have risen to their highest levels in almost a decade. If you go to manufacturing activity, AiG has stated that it's at its highest level in 15 years. There are better days ahead. And we've also seen that new private business investment has increased in each of the past three quarters in the national accounts, following 12 consecutive quarters of decline. Better days have arrived. Inclusive growth is here. (Time expired)