MINISTERS STATEMENTS: ECONOMY
Mr PALLAS (Werribee) (16:03:16): There are so many words that will be required to extol the virtues of the Victorian economy. I rise to update the house on how the Victorian economy is leading the nation again. CommSec’s State of the States report, released yesterday, found that Victoria is in fact again leading the nation. We are leading the country on jobs growth, on economic growth, on retail trade and on construction work. In fact, Victoria leads the nation in five of CommSec’s eight criteria. This strong record comes on the back of the Andrews Labor government’s record pipeline of infrastructure investment. We are doing all of this despite a woeful underinvestment in Victoria’s infrastructure by the commonwealth government. Unfortunately the federal government again dudded Victorians in its latest budget: for every dollar the commonwealth is spending on infrastructure in Victoria over the next four years the Andrews Labor government will spend eight. Victoria will receive only around half of the federal infrastructure funding going to New South Wales over the next four years, despite the fact that Victoria, and Melbourne in particular, is growing 50 per cent faster than Sydney. So the commonwealth government has failed Victorians on infrastructure. They have also cut penalty rates for Victorian workers. This week the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia basically said the cuts to penalty rates had not created a single job. What a failed policy. Let us not forget that the federal government’s cuts to take-home pay cost tens of thousands of Victorians—a very substantial return. Whether it is cutting wages, cutting infrastructure spending or cutting funding for schools and hospitals, the Sydney-centric government in Canberra is not on Victoria’s side.