Doorstop, Melbourne - ABS labour force figures for November 2018

Transcript
  • Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations
  • Minister for Women

E&OE

Subjects: Jobs growth; Government support for businesses; Victorian Liberal Party

KELLY O’DWYER:

Over the last month, we have seen jobs increase by 37,000. Around two-thirds of all of the jobs that have been created – and there have been over 280,000 new jobs created over that 12-month period – around about two-thirds of those jobs have been full-time jobs. So these are strong results and are a demonstration that the Government’s economic plan is working. We know there are global headwinds and we know there are risks; and the biggest risk is a Bill Shorten-led government. We know that Bill Shorten has got a plan for more than $200 billion worth of new or increased taxes. Taxes on everything from housing through to people’s savings. We know that they have announced that they will have a strike first, ask questions later policy. This is something that was recently endorsed by Bill Shorten and his team at the Labor conference. This will cripple small business; this will directly impact the services that Australians rely on, whether it be schools or hospitals. Or also our farmers who have got their produce that will be rotting on the wharves if we see an increase in industrial disputation back to the 1970s where it was 40 times higher. So, the news is good, but there are risks, and the biggest risk is Bill Shorten.

JOURNALIST:

Just on businesses in trouble – for instance, it sounds like Redstar Transport is maybe going into administration. The TWU is claiming the Federal Government is putting a financial squeeze on companies like this. What’s your response to that?

KELLY O’DWYER:

Well, look, I don’t have any direct information in relation to that specific matter. But what I would say is that there will be a whole host of businesses at risk under Labor; a whole heap of small businesses at risk with a Labor-led government. We have the CFMEU who will be in charge of the industrial relations policy. They will abolish the regulator that has currently put a stop to the bullying, the thuggery and intimidation of small businesses and their employees that will run riot if we see a change to industrial laws – and that will happen under Bill Shorten.

JOURNALIST:

Could you bring back – would you consider a road safety watchdog?

KELLY O’DWYER:

The Government’s been very clear, the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal was nothing more than a membership drive for the TWU. It’s no wonder they’re advocating so strongly for it, because of course their membership and their fees rely upon it. We saw many, many small businesses say that they would be put out of business if there was a Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal. Of course, we want people to be safe on the road, and of course we believe in strong safety laws, but this was nothing more than putting independent contractors out of business and handing over their contracts to big business and big unions. 

JOURNALIST:

If that Redstar company is going under is there any role for the Government to help those affected workers?

KELLY O’DWYER:

Well, look, as I said, I don’t have information in relation to that specific case, so I’m not willing to give you a comment. But I’m very happy to have a look at that particular issue that you’ve raised. But, as I said, the real risk for businesses out there is Bill Shorten and Labor. Their industrial laws, the strike first and ask questions later, industrial-wide disputation, which they have agreed will be part and parcel of a Shorten-led government. These are the things that will actually concern hardworking Australians that not only want to have a good job, not only want to be paid well for that job, but want to be able to create a better life for themselves and their families. And that is again why the Government's economic plan is working. We want hardworking Australians to have more money in their pocket. When Labor talks about a wages policy, they never mention tax. They never talk about how much money will be left in your pocket. Well, it's going to be very, very clear, the sharp contrast between us and Labor when it comes to how much money will be in your pocket. We have got a tax policy that will actually reduce the tax burden on individuals whether it be their personal income tax or on small or medium-sized family businesses, reducing their tax burden. Under Labor, people will be paying $200 billion worth of new or increased taxes.

JOURNALIST:

What's your view on the derogatory text messages [indistinct]?

KELLY O’DWYER:

Well, look, I read the reports of those comments and, frankly, I'm pretty disgusted by them. I don't think that those comments have any place in the modern Liberal Party, and I think that those individuals who have been named need to examine their behaviour and need to examine their next steps.

JOURNALIST:

Would you go as far to say they should resign from – or at least one of them – from the admin committee?

KELLY O’DWYER:

I'm sure that the senior Victorian who’s also Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party, Josh Frydenberg, I'm sure that he will have something to say about this at the administrative committee meeting that I know will occur this week and I'm sure it will be pretty strong. I have heard the comments that have been made by Ted Baillieu and Jeff Kennett, and frankly they're two party elders who don't always agree on everything but they certainly agree on this.

JOURNALIST:

Do you think that as part of the post-election review here in Victoria that it should be wider than just the election and actually look at the culture of the party and the administration of the party so that situations like this may not happen?

KELLY O’DWYER:

Well, I'm greatly encouraged that in Victoria we have a new president, someone who will be a new broom in the Victorian Liberal Party. We need to make sure that people have confidence in not only our elected officials but also in our party officials. We are a modern Liberal Party. We believe in lower taxes, we believe in smaller government, and we believe in people being free to create their own path in life. We also strongly believe in having a strong social safety net for those people who need a hand up. You know, as I said, I'm very confident that there will be a full review and full examination. That is entirely appropriate, and I look forward to hearing the results from that. 

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