Ministers statements: Social Enterprise Strategy

Mr CARROLL (Minister for Industry and Employment) (11:39:47) — I rise to update the house on how the Andrews Labor government’s Social Enterprise Strategy and social procurement framework are changing lives right across Victoria. Today may not be a good day to be a moderate Liberal, but it is a great day to be a social enterprise in Victoria because the sector is booming. There are 3500 social enterprises and 60 000 jobs supporting an over $5 billion investment in our economy. There are also 12 000 jobs for people with a disability, 4000 jobs for the long‑term unemployed and almost 1000 jobs for Aboriginal Victorians. We are also proud of the strong leadership and the strong female entrepreneurship that is in our social enterprise sector. Fifty per cent are led by women and, as the member for Macedon knows, over 40 per cent are in regional Victoria, just like Social Foundry, which we visited in Kyneton very recently. They have great food, great coffee, and when you purchase something at Social Foundry you are investing in young people at risk in regional Victoria.

Just last week I announced over half a million dollars in funding for 23 social enterprises right across the state. The member for Richmond knows about Lentil as Anything, a social enterprise we are getting behind. I am also reliably informed they have got a great potato curry on the menu. If the Prime Minister in waiting is looking for one, he should get down to Lentil as Anything. We are very pleased; this is a great hospitality success story. The Andrews government will do everything it can as the largest procurer of goods and services in the state to make sure everyone participates in the sharing economy.

While it is Lentil as Anything in Richmond, a social enterprise, it may be mental as anything in Canberra right now. I just got the message — I guess they are pretty good at texts over there — that Parliament has been adjourned today in Canberra. I do not even know where my federal minister, Michaelia Cash, is at right now. She is still trying to look at Victoria’s space industry and everything we have got going. We are doing everything we can and will continue to support social enterprises.