Ministers Statements: Employment Initiatives

Mr CARROLL (Minister for Industry and Employment) (11:22:27) — I rise to update the house on the 6100 unemployed Victorians who are now in work thanks to the Andrews Labor government’s flagship $90 million Jobs Victoria program. The worst thing you can do as an incoming government is have a strategy to cut jobs. We have a strategy to grow jobs, and that is what we have done through our Jobs Victoria program. We had a clear agenda to rewrite the rule book on our employment programs, and through Jobs Victoria we have done that — no whiteboard in sight. We are getting on with the job, and we are well on track to have 7000 long-term unemployed into work by Christmas.

On Tuesday morning I attended the Brotherhood of St Laurence’s annual Given the Chance breakfast, and I heard some moving stories about how our Jobs Victoria initiative, in partnership with the Brotherhood of St Laurence, is giving people a chance into work. A young man, Will, had been told he should strive for a career in the cleaning industry, but his goal was to have a career in the finance industry. Through the Brotherhood of St Laurence and our investments in TAFE, Will has gone on to complete a certificate III in business administration and undertake a certificate IV in accounting. He is giving inspiration to Jobs Victoria and is showing why this program is so important.

Contrast that to the other side, who are focused on kettles and toasters. We all know about the new room that is being created this week in Parliament — the Knight Kerr Wooldridge Room —

Honourable members interjecting.

The SPEAKER (11:24:03) — Order! The member for Williamstown and the member for Ringwood can leave the chamber for the period of 1 hour.

Honourable members for Williamstown and Ringwood withdrew from chamber.

Mr Clark — On a point of order, Speaker, you have previously cautioned this minister about treating this house and the community with disrespect by debating issues and failing to make a ministers statement. I ask you to again caution him and bring him back into conformity with sessional orders.

The SPEAKER — I ask the minister to make a ministers statement and not to attack the opposition.

Mr CARROLL— The member for Box Hill is well-versed in history, and Knight and Kerr were very important architects that helped to create this building. I do not think they would appreciate that being turned into the Knight Kerr Wooldridge Room or the Taj Wooldridge, which it is known as right around this place today.

Mr Clark — On a point of order, Speaker, the minister immediately defied your ruling. I ask you to take action against him and refuse to hear him further.

The SPEAKER — Order! If the minister has a ministers statement, he should make a ministers statement, otherwise he will not continue.

Honourable members interjecting.

Mr CARROLL — I would not be quoting Happy Days if I were you, Potsie. Call me Richie Cunningham all you want, Potsie. Richie Cunningham had mates.

The SPEAKER — Order! The minister has concluded his statement.