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Tuesday, 27 February 2018
Page: 2062


Mr BUCHHOLZ (Wright) (14:23): My question is to the Minister for Defence representing the Minister for Jobs and Innovation. Will the minister outline what threats exist to the delivery of long-term job creation in the economy, and how the government is ensuring that businesses thrive and help grow the economy?

Mr PYNE (SturtLeader of the House and Minister for Defence Industry) (14:23): I thank the member for Wright for his question. The member for Wright knows that the government in the last 12 months has created 403,000 new jobs in this economy, almost 80 per cent of which are full-time jobs. It is a tremendous achievement, and, with 16 consecutive months of net jobs growth, we are well on track to pass a million new jobs in the five-year time period that the member for Warringah promised in 2013 when we were first elected. We are ahead of schedule in creating those million jobs. We are almost there. It is a real achievement of this government.

But I was asked by the member for Wright about threats to this job creation model and to a growing economy. Sadly, the Left of the Labor Party have recently published a manifesto that calls for higher and new taxes, and softer border protection, so we can return to the bad old days of the Labor government. But, even worse than that, it is about empowering the CFMEU and giving more power to the unions on worksites. We can usually dismiss the Left, because they don't have the power in the ALP—that's usually been held by the right wing—but, sadly, the Left are growing in power and threatening to take over the national conference this year, so their manifesto has to be taken very seriously.

What is worse than that, the Left are threatening the shadow minister for defence—who I very much care about, as my shadow ministerial opponent—who is apparently a right-wing powerbroker. Now, I know it strains credulity that Mr Nice Guy of the frontbench is apparently a knife-wielding factional warrior, but my strong advice to him, because I want him to stay safe, is to stay away from butterknife-wielding state ALP members of parliament or to carry his own butterknife. If he carried his own butterknife into a fast-moving butterknife fight, I would back the member for Corio because, despite his looks, he's quite fast moving. I believe people underestimate the member for Corio. In a fast-moving butterknife fight, I'd back the member for Corio. But I digress.

More seriously, the second great threat to this job creation model is of course the Leader of the Opposition himself. At the Oaky mine protest he said to the CFMEU that he would rip up the industrial relations laws in this country. He wants the CFMEU to have more power. He not only wants the CFMEU to make donations to the ALP, to make the preselection decisions, to make the policy decisions; he wants to rip up the IR laws and give them more power on the worksites of Australia. (Time expired)