MR PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (14:13):

It gives me great pleasure to update the house on the growing improvement in consumer and business confidence right across the state of Victoria.

And can I say that this is a direct result of the efforts of Victorians, who have turned up in droves to get vaccinated. The latest figures that were released by Westpac actually show that the Victorian consumer sentiment index rose by 1.2 per cent, the equal highest of all the states.

Westpac attributed this to increased vaccine coverage reaching globally competitive rates, leading to an optimistic outlook about the state’s future. Recent data released by Seek showed that Victorian businesses are hiring, and they are hiring in droves and in volume. In the past month in Melbourne hospitality job ads have gone up by 204 per cent, retail job ads have gone up by 48 per cent and manufacturing job ads are up 33 per cent. Deloitte Access Economics has forecast that next year Victoria’s gross state product will grow by 7 per cent, the best in the nation, which Deloitte described as a function of vaccinations.

Victorians have done the hard yards to slow the spread of the virus and get vaccinated. They have done their bit, and we are seeing that businesses, who have done it particularly tough over recent times, too are now doing their bit. As we head into the recovery, Victorians can have the confidence that this government’s record on job creation is second to none. Since coming to government we have created almost 530 000 jobs. Since September 2020 we have created 165 000 jobs, the best in the nation, and while those opposite managed to create—get this—only 39 000 full-time jobs in their entire time, we created 85 000 jobs in regional Victoria alone.