Ministers Statements: Manufacturing Sector

Mr CARROLL (Minister for Industry and Employment) (12:31:12) — I rise to update the house on the strength of our manufacturing sector. Last Monday I had the great pleasure to attend the Victorian Manufacturing Hall of Fame awards. I was joined by some of Parliament’s strongest supporters of the manufacturing industry. The member for Wendouree was there, as were the member for Dandenong and the member for Buninyong, enjoying a great night, as was the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Party.

Our manufacturing sector is going from strength to strength under the Andrews Labor government. Indeed, the Australian Industry Group’s performance of manufacturing index confirms that for the first time since 2001 we have had 16 consecutive months of growth in manufacturing. Our growth in manufacturing is underpinned by the Andrews government’s $120 million investment in manufacturing on the back of the auto closures, creating over 6000 jobs and including $1.6 billion in private investment.

A highlight of the night was recognising trailblazing women in the manufacturing sector. One, two, three — three women were highlighted on this night. Can I congratulate Vanessa Kearney from Viva Energy, Jill Walsh from Actco-Pickering and can I also congratulate Vanessa Katsanevakis, who got the Young Manufacturer of the Year Award.

It is a lot easier to get to the top of manufacturing in this state than it is to get to the top of the Liberal Party if you are a woman. We all know about the success if you have got your first name as David, but if you are a woman, get your pathway and get into manufacturing, because that is the way you will go. We know about the A-grade side here and we know about the B-graders and then on the weekend it was great to learn about the deadwood happening on the other side, the deadwood that is on the chopping block.

Another great success in our hall of fame awards was our investments in TAFE. So can I encourage anyone if they are worried — or if they consider themselves deadwood — to get into one of the free certificates in construction, because that way you might just guarantee when Marcus comes after you that you are not part of the deadwood that he has got earmarked.