MPI – Government delivery

Tuesday, 8 February 2022

Mr PITT: The Leader of the Opposition always wants to talk about ‘pretenders’, but he wants to pretend that facts don’t exist—that it’s all about feelings and not about facts. So here are a couple of facts that we can put on the record—the last three years of delivery by this government, by the numbers: 1.1 million jobs since the pandemic hit; 11½ million Australians benefiting from tax relief; 700,000 jobs saved through JobKeeper; 71.3 per cent of trade and exports now covered by free trade agreements; 815,600 female business operators, as at August 2021; 220,000 trade apprentices—a record high, the highest since records began in 1963; a 20 per cent reduction in emissions; electricity bills down five per cent; 1,213 major transport projects, supporting 100,000 jobs; over 99 per cent of homes and businesses—more than 12 million—with NBN access; over 1,200 mobile black spot base stations now funded, with over 900 already built. There are 135,000 new home projects backed by HomeBuilder. Ninety-three per cent of Australians are protected with vaccines, and we are ranked second in the world for pandemic preparedness, according to the Johns Hopkins index. Seventy defence vessels and 700 vehicles are being built in Australia—and the list goes on and on and on.

But we should come back to the government’s focus—that is what this MPI is about—and it is our focus that is helping to deliver those results. In my own portfolio, the results are outstanding—outstanding! I spoke earlier about the 220,000 trade apprentices. The resources sector has put on almost 6,000 of those. That is more than they’ve put on, combined, for a number of years. They are doing what they need to, in the height of the pandemic. They are doing what they need to, to deliver training and skills for Australians. For all of those mums and dads out there looking for somewhere for their kids to get jobs—well, there is a job for them in the resources sector.

If we want to look at what the results are, the most recent Resources and Energy Quarterly will have them. We’ll simply go to coal, a major contributor, to start with: exports totalled $23.8 billion in the three months to December 2021—nearly $24 billion in just 12 weeks, for just one export product. That is 156 per cent higher than for the same period in December 2020. And what is the result? Even with just that one product, that is a massive increase in royalties for state governments and that is an increase in taxes being paid. This is how we pay for the essential services that Australians rely on—schools and roads and hospitals. It’s how we meet our commitments. In Queensland, it was reported they got $2½ billion that fell out of the sky! They didn’t even expect it. So the Queensland Labor government’s got an extra $2½ billion to play with that they didn’t have before. That is off the back of the hard work of the men and women in the sector. Liquefied natural gas or LNG exports were $18.3 billion in the three months to December 2021. Once again, that is 148 per cent higher than in the same period last year.

There are risks involved. We have the Leader of the Opposition proposing that there’s a change of government: that we—or not ‘we’, but the people—put the opposition into government and that the Leader of the Opposition becomes Prime Minister Albanese. Clearly, we are opposed, because what will happen is very, very clear. We have seen the member for Melbourne, the Leader of the Greens, out in the press in recent days claiming they will shut down these future projects in the resources sector. They have a target of over 100 projects. I will speak briefly about just a handful. There’s Scarborough in WA: roughly $15 billion of investment, of FID, taken by Woodside. This means jobs for Australians; it means more money into our economy; it means more export dollars; and it means more reliability of supply for our domestic gas. There’s the Barossa, up in the north, for Santos; it means an upgrade for the Darwin LNG project, for backfill; it means an extension of life; it means more jobs; and it means that we maintain those assets for Australia’s benefit. Those are just two projects. I can go on and on and on. We could get across to the Beetaloo and the thousands of jobs for the Northern Territory. What this government is trying to do is bring those jobs forward—bring forward that economic activity; bring forward those opportunities for Australia and its people.

Those opposite, in combination with the Greens, will stop those projects; those projects won’t be delivered if they are in government. It is a seamless transition and alignment with those opposite. It should be absolutely dismissed; that should never happen. We need to act in our nation’s interest, and that is what this government will do.

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