MINISTERS STATEMENTS: EMPLOYMENT
Mr PALLAS (Werribee) (11:15:35): I rise to update the house on the jobs boom happening right now in the great state of Victoria. Since the government was elected in 2014 we have created over 455 000 new jobs. That is because we have invested in skills, we have invested in jobs and in the projects that matter. This budget continues that work, investing in Victoria’s Big Build. Government infrastructure investment will reach $14.2 billion in the 2019–20 budget year and average $13.4 billion over the budget and forward estimates, nearly tripling the long-run average. There are now $107 billion of state capital projects commencing or currently underway—that is more than the commonwealth plans to spend across the entire nation over the entire decade. This budget funds a $27.4 billion suburban transport blitz, delivering the North East Link and more level crossing removals and upgrading train lines. The budget will get Victorians where they need to go sooner and safer. More than that, these investments will create jobs—115 000 of them. Remarkably, one in 10 Victorians are now employed in the construction industry in this state. We have also delivered once again for regional Victoria. Just last week Victoria recorded not only the lowest regional unemployment rate in the country but the lowest rate on record, at 4.2 per cent. This budget establishes our Delivering for Regional and Rural Victoria program—$2.6 billion of it. That will create 4500 jobs in our regions. There is also a further cut to the regional payroll tax rate and new stamp duty rate concessions. These investments have been possible because of our strong economic management. We are getting on with the job and setting the standard for economic management.