Page 983 - Week 03 - Thursday, 28 February 2013
country. The Labor Party should be supporting industry, because it does create jobs. But instead, they put impediments in industry’s way to being productive and to employing Australians.
Yes, if you want to talk about jobs, let us talk about jobs. Let us talk about the growth in jobs federally in the Howard years and the real growth in wages in the Howard years, as opposed to jobs growth, for instance, in the Hawke-Keating years and the real growth in wages in the Hawke-Keating years, which did not happen. Wages went backwards in real terms under Labor. They went forward in real terms under the Liberal Party. The truth is that federally and locally Labor has squandered our wealth, opportunistically taxed families for only one thing, to fuel their uncontrolled spending.
Mr Barr is famous for citing microeconomic reforms, but when I look at them I am not sure there is a great deal of reform there. In the first three years we had the white paper coming. In December 2003, it finally turned up. It was just abandoned. Yes, but at least Ted had some idea—targets and objectives. The 2008 document just disappeared without a trace. In regard to the current document, we have to question whether the keystone is an industry plan for NICTA, not a market plan as the minister tells us that he is so interested in. So what we have is a Labor Party both nationally and locally that is unable to create and sustain jobs in the long term and at the same time delivers budget surpluses.
MR RATTENBURY (Molonglo) (4.14): This is an interesting MPI—the benefits to the ACT economy, business and our community of maintaining employment and creating jobs. We discussed very similar matters of public importance in the last Assembly. The Greens, of course, agree that a strong local economy is an essential part of our local prosperity. A strong economy provides opportunities for all members of the community to make a contribution and provide for themselves and their families. On this we all agree; the challenge for us as community representatives is to provide options and initiatives to maintain our position as a strong economy and support local jobs as we transition to a low emission, green economy.
We all know that significant changes will have to take place if we are to continue to become a sustainable local economy that provides jobs that make a positive contribution to our community. In considering job opportunities for the future it is useful to look at the relatively recent past to see just how quickly economies can change. The second industrial revolution of the 1900s saw the proliferation of new technologies such as electrical communication, the internal combustion engine, new substances such as plastics and alloys, mass production and of course the assembly line. These technologies again revolutionised the way society organised itself, how it consumed and what endeavours it pursued.
These changes delivered many amazing advances for our society and our economy. However, many of these advances have come at a huge and unsustainable cost to our natural environment. There are now seven billion people on the planet consuming vast resources and producing enormous amounts of waste. No longer can we safely run an economy that burns coal for power or throws away plastic consumables only to purchase new ones. Our planet is on the cusp of an environmental tipping point and our economic organisation needs to evolve. We need a third wave of industrial