TIERNEY (Western Victoria) — My question is to the Treasurer. Can the
Treasurer please update the house on any recent Australian Bureau of Statistics
data that confirms that the Brumby Labor government is making the south-western
region of Victoria a great place to live, work and raise a family?
LENDERS (Treasurer) — I thank Ms Tierney for her question and for her
interest in all matters regarding the Barwon south-western region. She
specifically requested any recent data. I can happily report to the house that
the ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) is showing that unemployment in the
Barwon south-western region has dropped from 7.5 per cent in 1999, when we were
elected to government, to 3.4 per cent now. The data Ms Tierney asked for is impressive, but
what is more is that in human terms it means that there are 49 400 extra jobs in
the Barwon south-western region of the state of Victoria.
Those 49 400 extra jobs come with an 8.2 per cent growth in
population during that period, and also with more than a doubling of building
approvals over that period.
The data helps us paint a picture of where that region of the
state, that great Barwon south-western region, is going. Again there is evidence
of that. If a person did not have a meeting to go to and were to go to Geelong
on the weekend, for example, and look around, they could see things like the
Geelong ring-road, which is $380 million of investment. They could go through
the port of Geelong and see the extraordinary investments in that port under
this government. If they wanted to go even further, because their meeting in
Geelong was boring, they could go down to the port of Portland and see the work
there. That port handled $1.3 billion in trade in 2006. They could see rebuilt
country hospitals in Geelong or other areas of that region. They could see the
schools that have been rebuilt, rather than being closed down, in any part of
They could even go to see the $12 million three new science and
maths specialist centres in Geelong. I could go on!
Ms Tierney asked for statistics. There are a number of them,
but I will close by highlighting just one of them. This government values
creating jobs right across the state. We need jobs for more than toenail
cutters; we actually need jobs for people across the state of Victoria. Jeff
Kennett thought that regional Victoria was the toenails of the state, but we
know it is the heart of Victoria. We see that in just the Transport Accident
Commission moving to Geelong, which was a government decision.
Mr D. Davis interjected.
Mr LENDERS — Mr David Davis rants, but what I say to him is:
consider the 49 400 new jobs created in the Barwon south-western region alone
and see what they have done to improve lifestyles, to increase population and to
improve amenity. This government listens and acts; it is an action government. I
can assure Ms Tierney that 49 400 jobs help make the south-west of Victoria an
even better place to live, work and raise a family.