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Monday, 18 June 2018
Page: 3049

Employment


Senator FAWCETT (South AustraliaDeputy Government Whip in the Senate) (14:04): My question is to the Minister for Jobs and Innovation, Senator Cash. Can the minister update the Senate about recent ABS labour force statistics, including the number of jobs created in recent years?


Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister for Jobs and Innovation) (14:04): I thank Senator Fawcett for his question. Recently job creation in Australia hit a significant milestone—that is, the creation of one million new jobs under the coalition government since we were elected to office in September 2013. When we were elected to office in September 2013, we said to the Australian people that we would put in place the right policy framework to ensure businesses in Australia could prosper and grow. We also said to the Australian people that we would ensure the economy created one million new jobs within five years. Colleagues, as you know, the economy under the Turnbull government has done that in fewer than five years: just over 4½.

Mr President, on this side of the chamber we know that job creation doesn't happen by accident. As a government you have to put in place the right policy framework. That's exactly what we're doing. We are delivering personal and business tax cuts. We've signed numerous free trade agreements. We've invested billions of dollars in job-creating infrastructure. We're also investing in the jobs of the future by building a world-class defence industry and with the announcement of the very first Australian Space Agency. Job creation under this government continues to be strong. The labour force figures were just recently released, and confirmed that in excess of 1,030,000 jobs have been created since September 2013. The number of jobs in Australia is now at a record high of 12.5 million. The number of women in jobs in Australia is also at a record high of 5.8 million. Again, it doesn't happen by accident; it happens because this government puts in place the right policy framework.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Fawcett, a supplementary question.



Senator FAWCETT (South AustraliaDeputy Government Whip in the Senate) (14:06): Why is having a strong economy so important to continuing this record of jobs growth in Australia?


Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister for Jobs and Innovation) (14:06): Those of us on this side of the chamber understand that the key to creating jobs is having a strong private sector and, in particular, supporting our small businesses. It is a fact understood by those of us on this side. When businesses are paying less tax, they can employ more Australians. When as a government we open up more export opportunities through free trade agreements, Australian businesses hire more workers to keep up with the demand for their services. When we, by way of our personal income tax cuts, ensure that Australians keep more of what is, of course, their money, they can go into a shop and spend more money. What does that do? It creates economic activity, resulting in demand for more jobs. Again, none of this happens by accident; it is due to the hard work from this side of the chamber.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Fawcett, a final supplementary question.



Senator FAWCETT (South AustraliaDeputy Government Whip in the Senate) (14:07): How does this jobs growth under the Turnbull government compare with previous years?


Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister for Jobs and Innovation) (14:08): It's a very good question, because this is where the Australian people will need to make a choice: do they want to back a government that's putting in place the right policy framework to create jobs, which those of us in this part of the chamber side with, or the alternative, those on the other side, who will put in place job-destroying policies? It is a fact that, in the last 12 months under the policies of this government, the economy has created in excess of 178,000 full-time jobs. That's out of a total job creation of in excess of 300,000 jobs. Let's compare that figure to what happened under the last 12 months of the former Labor government. Colleagues, under the last 12 months of the former Labor government the economy shed almost 17,000 full-time jobs. The economy under us has created in excess of 178,000; under those opposite, it shed almost 17,000.