Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Ms GARRETT (Eastern Victoria) (15:37:22): I am delighted to rise in this place in my new role as member for Eastern Metropolitan Region in Victoria. I would also like to extend congratulations particularly to the new members of this place and this Parliament. Preparing for your inaugural speech and delivering it is one of the most special times not just of your working life but of your life, and it is also a time for all of us who have been blessed enough to return to Parliament to reflect on the important role that we have been entrusted with by the Victorian community and how grateful we all are to be able to contribute to the state in this important role.

The good news for all of us who are here is that Victoria is booming under the Andrews Labor government. Our latest jobless figures show that we are at the lowest rate in more than 10 years, at just 4.2 per cent, and in regional Victoria the news is sensational—the unemployment rate is now the lowest on record at 4.3 per cent. Of course there is always more to be done, and that is why this government will continue to put the creation and protection of jobs in both our metropolitan and our regional areas at the core of its work. The landmark infrastructure commitments that we have made and the unprecedented investment in skills and training, including what we heard about today from the minister with free TAFE, are really paying dividends, and we look forward to building on that immense body of work with the new suite of commitments that we have already started implementing. I will be delighted to contribute to that in my role as parliamentary secretary for jobs and working with you all across this chamber.