Release type: Transcript


Press Conference - Geelong, Victoria


Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash
Minister for Jobs and Innovation
Senator for Western Australia


SUBJECT/S:  March job figures, UFU comments on the new MFB CEO.

SARAH HENDERSON: Well good afternoon, I’m here with the Minister for Jobs and Innovation Michaelia Cash, at Air Radiators which is an extraordinary manufacturing business in Geelong doing amazing work producing air radiators not just locally but all around the globe and fifteen air radiators are produced every single day for Kenworth trucks and is part of a very strong jobs growth story that we have in this region and of course across Australia. So Minister great to have you here.

MINISTER CASH: Look it’s absolutely sensational to join my very good friend and colleague Sarah Henderson the sensational Member for Corangamite here in Geelong but in particular Sarah at a business Air Radiators that employs 132 people and has recently just taken on another four employees and has said to us they have the capacity to employ more, because as a Coalition Government that’s what we’re all about. And of course today we’re here to look at the jobs figures that have come out today. I’m very pleased and the Government is very pleased that the economy continues to create jobs. The labour force figures released today show that the economy has created, for the month of March, almost 5,000 jobs. Employment for the last twelve months is at 3% growth. That is almost twice the decade average of 1.6%. In relation to the last twelve months we have seen the economy create approximately 367,000 jobs and in terms of full time employment growth, of those 367,000 jobs approximately 230,000 of them are full time jobs. This is in stark contrast to the last twelve months of the former Labor Government, where the economy actually lost almost 17,000 full time jobs. I’m also very pleased that in terms of participation of women in employment; that is at a record high. The unemployment rate remained steady at 5.5 per cent and participation, in other words, people putting up their hand up and saying “I'm ready, willing and able to undertake work” remains very, very strong.

Since the Coalition came to government in September of 2013 the economy has created approximately 997,000 jobs. And as a government, we know governments themselves don't actually create jobs. That's what businesses like Air Radiators do. But what we do is put in place the policies that ensure that businesses like Air Radiators can prosper and grow. And that as a government is what we're all about. So we are pleased that the economy continues to create jobs - approximately 5,000 jobs for the month of March - but we're not going to stop, we're going to continue to put in place the right policies so that businesses like Air Radiators here in Geelong, or Lara, Geelong, can continue to do what we need them to do, which is create more jobs and become more productive.

SARAH HENDERSON: And Minister, can I also say across the Geelong region, we have seen an increase in jobs since we were elected of 16,500, against some pretty dramatic head winds including in the manufacturing sector. And in the Corangamite electorate we have gone from 4.3 per cent unemployment to 3.4 per cent unemployment. So our investment in local job creation programs, the regional jobs and investment package, the extensive support we’ve provided for manufacturing, and the Geelong Regional Innovation and Investment Fund are just some of the ways that we are continuing to invest in jobs, give businesses the confidence to invest, and of course, support wonderful businesses like Air Radiators.

MINISTER CASH: And of course, we were at- we saw Luson Aged Care earlier today, where we were delighted to hear about their Launch into Work project, which is all about getting women who may not have the skills or the confidence to enter the workforce, giving them that opportunity. And it was a great conversation, and 10 women will now be the beneficiaries of the program that Luson Aged Care are putting into place. So, we get another good news story for you as a member of Parliament.

Any questions?

QUESTION: Senator, what is your response to the unemployment rate being on hold at 5.5 per cent for the third straight month?

MINISTER CASH: Well again, it's remained steady. But you need to look at the participation rate which obviously is also remaining steady. And Australians are out there putting up their hands and saying: I'm ready, willing and able to work. You also need to look at the trend figures over the last 12 months. As I said, employment continues to grow in Australia. Last month, the economy created 5,000 jobs. Employment is growing at a rate of 3 per cent, that's almost double the decade average of 1.6 per cent but you also need to compare the figures in terms of the last 12 months of this government, the Turnbull Government, and the last 12 months of the former Labor government. We are creating jobs…the economy is creating jobs under the Turnbull Government at four times the rate of the former Labor government. But the stark contrast is in relation to the creation of full-time jobs. Almost 230,000 of the jobs created under the Turnbull Government in the last 12 months were full-time jobs. In the last 12 months of the former Labor government, the economy actually lost almost 17,000 full-time jobs. And certainly, in terms of job creation, in the last 12 months, businesses are out there, and they are creating in excess of 1000 jobs a day. That is good news for Australians.

QUESTION: What is your response to Daniel Andrews today, the Premier, denying allegations from the United Firefighters Union of secret tape recordings of secret deals?

MINISTER CASH: Again, I'm very concerned by what has been alleged today. Obviously, the Coalition has always been of the belief that the members of the MFB, or the CFA, must come first. As you know we took action in 2016 to protect the fantastic volunteer firefighters in Victoria's CFA, from a hostile union takeover. But to see today allegations that the UFU and the Daniel Andrews’ Labor Government have a secret deal so that the UFU are able to veto the appointment of the MFB’s new chair, they are very, very concerning. And certainly, Daniel Andrews needs to come clean and tell the people of Victoria whether or not he yet again has been out there, doing secret deals, doing deals with Peter Marshall and the UFU, that are at the expense of those fantastic people who put their lives on the line, every day, and particular, Sarah, you know, in summer, when you have some pretty horrific conditions.

SARAH HENDERSON: Well that's right. And across Corangamite, which is a very high bushfire-prone area, the CFA volunteers working right across Corangamite, and of course there's 60,000 across Victoria, are so valuable, and they have done an extraordinary job recently in the south-west Victoria bushfires, and also of course at Wye River, and it's very, very concerning there's this push by the Labor Government to diminish, and I think, frankly, smash the volunteer work force of the CFA, in this very concerning secret deal.

MINISTER CASH: Great, thank you very much.