MINISTERS STATEMENT: EMPLOYMENT
MR PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (11:21): After a very challenging 2020 the Victorian economy is roaring back. Business confidence is back, economic growth is back and there are new jobs being created in every corner of the state, in no small part due to this government’s ambitious Big Build and jobs plan. While the economic news is positive, there was some sad news yesterday when we heard that the member for Bulleen has ruled out contesting the Liberal leadership. We know that he is a man of his word, with the possible exception of parliamentary pairing agreements.
Ms Staley: On a point of order, Speaker, I seek your clarification. As you have ruled many times, question time is not an opportunity to attack the opposition. That is certainly for answers to questions. Is it also the case that ministers statements are not an opportunity for ministers to attack the opposition?
Mr Pakula: On the point of order, Speaker, I was listening intently to the Treasurer. I did not think he was attacking anyone. I thought he was praising the member for Bulleen.
The SPEAKER: Order! I warn the Treasurer against attacking the opposition as part of a ministers statement.
Mr PALLAS: While those opposite play counting games, we remain focused on delivering our jobs plan. Of course the numbers are quite inspiring. We set an ambitious jobs target. We said 400 000 new jobs by 2025, and we are already on our way, with over 210 000 jobs created to date. Our plan is to get Victorians back to work, to deliver more apprentices, more teachers and more nurses. This stands in sharp contrast to those opposite and the actions of the previous government that was all about cuts, closures and crustaceans.
We are delivering the things that matter: jobs for Victorians, support for Victorian businesses and an unprecedented infrastructure pipeline. As we deliver that infrastructure, we will ensure that taxpayers get value for money every step of the way. Of course there are alternative approaches—you could rezone Fishermans Bend or do a dodgy deal around Ventnor. Thanks to our approach, business confidence is up—it is up plus 12. That is higher than at any time when the member for Bulleen was in government. While those opposite might be lining up for round 2, those on this side of the house are intent on the interests and the welfare of the Victorian people.