North Queensland Jobs Fair

I understand it was a terrific success with around 33 exhibitors, over 700 jobs on offer and almost, I think, 1,300 people through the doors of the jobs fair in Cairns. It's one of three jobs fairs that the government has put on in the last few months, including the ones in Townsville and Wide Bay.  Read more

Ensuring that Australia's energy export industry remains strong

Victoria has made a proud contribution to our nation's resources history. Indeed, in some respects, it is the home of our resources industry, going back to the days of the gold rushes and, in more recent times, the use of its extensive brown-coal resources and oil and gas resources. It has played an enormous role in developing our nation. Read more

Australia's energy export industry

We're also seeking to make sure that Victoria in particular continues to contribute to the future strength of our resources sector. That's why it was so great last week to join my good friend and colleague Senator Birmingham and Minister Tim Pallas from the Victorian government to turn the first sod on the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain project in Victoria, an exciting project for our country.  Read more

Matter of Public Importance on Human Rights

Well, that was 10 minutes of wind and straw. There was nothing of any substance there. There were certainly no accurate representations of positions that anyone is putting in this debate. No-one that I've heard from in the government—indeed no-one really anywhere in society—is saying that people shouldn't have the right to protest or have their voices heard, or that journalists shouldn't have the right to report. No-one has that position whatsoever; no-one at all. Read more

Lowering power prices in North Queensland

In North Queensland there is not a reliable base load form of power supply. The last northern-most power station of that kind is west of where I live, which is in Rockhampton, and where Susan lives, which is up in Townsville.  Read more

$350 million over five years to support 80,000 new apprentices

The government is investing to help support new apprenticeships through our $60 million investment in the Australian apprenticeship wage subsidy trial. That builds on other initiatives the government has in place, which include an additional identified skills shortage payment of $156 million and the incentives for the Australian Apprenticeships program of $44 million. Read more

Sir Arvi Parbo

I rise tonight to pay tribute to a titan of Australia's resources sector. On 1 May this year Australia lost one of its greatest contributors to our nation's mining and resources industry with the sad passing ofSir Arvi Parbo. Sir Arvi's long and successful career in Australian business continues to have its legacy felt today, and it will be felt for many decades more. His life and achievements contain many lessons for us. Read more

The importance of coal for Australia's manufacturing sector

We have grown rich as a nation on our abundant cheap energy sources in our country, including our coal, our gas and our hydro resources down here in southern Australia. We are very lucky as a nation to have been given these resources and to be able to use them to underpin many industries that provide good, high-paying jobs for average Australians. This is because a cheap energy in this country means we can have dear wages in those industries. Read more

Support for the dairy industry

It is important to listen. But it is even more important that a government acts after listening to those concerns. Having spoken to Senator McKenzie after her roundtable, I know that she did hear from dairy farmers about how waiting times were too long to receive assistance through Centrelink and that sometimes the assets tests and how they were applied were not well suited to the farm sector—that they were more designed for non-farm individuals trying to access assistance. Because of that, the government has acted on those concerns. Read more

The role of the resources sector in Australia's recent record trade surplus

It is a happy moment for this country that we have recorded a record trade surplus on Friday just gone. In the latest statistics we now have a trade surplus of almost $6 billion—$5.8 billion. It has increased by $5.3 billion. It is a record amount. It is the highest amount on record in this nation. $3.2 billion of that $5.3 billion increase was down to an increase in mining and resources exports. So it was something that was driven by the resources sector in some sense. For the mining sector it was also a record amount of mining exports in December 2016 of $16 billion. That is a happy outcome for our nation, too. Read more


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