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Thursday, 21 February 1980
Page: 198

Mr HYDE (MOORE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) - I ask the Minister for Employment and Youth Affairs whether he is aware that some people argue that because the major resource-based industries are capital intensive rather than labour intensive they will not create many jobs. Can the Minister inform the House of the employment creating potential of major projects that are currently in prospect and why an open economy will generate both development projects and more jobs?

Mr VINER (STIRLING, WESTERN AUSTRALIA) (Minister for Employment and Youth Affairs) -I thank the honourable gentleman for his question because, coming from Western Australia, he knows, as I do, of the massive job creating potential of major project development. It also gives me an opportunity to inform the House of the massive -

Mr Scholes - What about the taxpayers' money Court is spending for the Liberal Party on television?

Mr SPEAKER -Order! The Minister will resume his seat. The honourable member for Corio has continually interjected this week. I ask him to remain silent or I will have to deal with him under the Standing Orders.

Mr VINER - It also gives me the opportunity to inform the House of the massive investment which is about to come to Australia as a result of the economic policies of this Government and, furthermore, of the rapid acceleration of the level of such investment. I simply give these figures to the House: By April of last year investment totalling $12, 400m was either firmly committed or in the feasibility stage. Six months later that figure had increased by 3 1 per cent and had reached $ 16,300m. Some 44 per cent of thatand this is very important for the House to appreciate- representing $7,200m, is to be invested in manufacturing projects. We know of the devastation of the manufacturing industry that occurred during the Whitlam years of 1974-1975. When one converts that kind of investment, true enough into capital intensive investment and direct employment creating potential, one sees that at a minimum some 60,000 jobs will be created by 1985. 1 say 'at a minimum' because some of the job creating potential of these projects has not been finally estimated.

The honourable gentleman also raises another very important question which really answers the critics. I note that when the former Manager of Opposition Business was in Perth recently he sought to denigrate the job creating potential of major project development in Western Australia. It stands to reason that any given level of investment in either labour intensive projects or capital intensive projects will, by the effect of the money invested in the economy, be reflected in jobs. As the economy grows as a result of these projects, so too will there be employment growth. In fact, this is what we have seen happening in Australia in the last 12 months, with a growth in employment of some 122,000.

Mr SPEAKER -I ask the Minister to draw his answer to a conclusion.

Mr VINER -When one translates that to the scene in Western Australia, with an investment magnitude of some $7,000m in the early 1980s, one sees the massive job creating potential for that State.

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