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Thursday, 13 September 2018
Page: 8967

Economy


Mr FALINSKI (Mackellar) (14:26): My question is for the Minister for Jobs, Industrial Relations and Women. Can the minister update the House on how the government is working hard to keep the Australian economy strong by driving job creation? Is she aware of any threats posed by alternative approaches?


Ms O'DWYER (HigginsMinister for Jobs, Industrial Relations and Women) (14:26): I thank the member for Mackellar for his question. Like the rest of this side of the chamber, he is absolutely committed to making sure that more Australians in his electorate of Mackellar can get a job and can keep a good job. He wants to see our economy grow and, of course, he wants to make sure that we can lower taxes across the board for those hardworking Australians.

We have seen some very good news today. The latest ABS labour force figures reveal that there are more Australians in work than ever before and more Australians in full-time work than ever before and that the full-time employment of women is at record highs. Since September 2013, employment has increased by 10 per cent—or, to put it another way, there have been 1,144,000 jobs created since the election of a coalition government. We know that having a job leads to greater financial security and choice for those people who get a job. We want those people who want a job to get a job. We are creating the right economic environment for that to happen, because we know that, if they can do that, it means growth and productivity gains for all of the small businesses and businesses that employ them.

The member asks: are there any threats? Yes, I'm afraid to say that there are, and they are those sitting right opposite. They not only want to hike taxes on small, medium and family-sized enterprises, hurting job prospects in the process; they also want to send industrial relations in this country back to the Dark Ages. They will allow militant mega-unions to squeeze the lifeblood out of small business. They will introduce pattern bargaining across the board and they will scrap the construction regulator, which means that there will be no more oversight and no more court-ordered penalties for lawless behaviour. So those people opposite, who say that they do not like outsourcing, will gladly outsource industrial relations to the militant mega union, the CFMEU.

We know that they are going to do this, because the Leader of the Opposition has admitted this himself. He says:

As Labor leader, I still think like an organiser.

And, of course, we all know what that means. It means looking the other way. It means secret backroom deals that dud workers and boost union coffers. It means job-destroying and destructive strike actions. It means allowing mega militant unions like the CFMEU to walk into any small business and disrupt them and wreak havoc right across the country. We will not stand for that. (Time expired)