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Parliamentary Questions

Question Without Notice No. 1525 asked in the Legislative Council on 3 December 2019 by Hon Simon O’Brien

Parliament: 40 Session: 1

Answered on

WESTERN AUSTRALIAN JOBS ACT — JOB CREATION

1525. Hon SIMON O'BRIEN to the Leader of the House representing the Premier:

Notice of this question was given last Friday, but I was advised that an answer was not available, so I am asking it today, but I am referring to the news of last Friday. I refer to the wonderful news contained in the Premier's media release —

Local workers will fill about 12,800 jobs from the first year of the McGowan Government's Jobs Act, a key election commitment to prioritise local workers on State Government infrastructure projects and services.

(1) Can the Premier please address the outrageous claims that this is a figure pulled out of the air—or, at best, a guesstimate—by itemising, to the extent possible, how the figure of 12 800 was arrived at?

(2) Can the Premier also confirm that these are, indeed, newly created jobs, not just jobs that would have continued in state government–commissioned work, regardless of the existence of the McGowan government's Western Australian Jobs Act?

(3) What mechanism is there in the Jobs Act to record and support the claims implied in the Premier's media statement?

(4) If the answer to (3) is none, will the government move to amend the act so that there is an element of transparency in it, thereby avoiding future allegations that the Premier's figures are dodgy?

Hon Darren West: What's wrong with creating jobs?

Hon SIMON O'BRIEN: The member just does not get it!

The PRESIDENT: Order! I would like to hear what the Leader of the House has to say in response.

Hon SUE ELLERY replied:

Despite the pejorative language, my answer is that the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation advises the following.

(1) The figure of 12 800 is the total number of Western Australian jobs within all participation plans submitted by successful tenderers for state government contracts in the last 12 months, as required by the Western Australian Jobs Act. The member would also be interested to know that since the Western Australian Jobs Act was implemented, more than 14 700 Western Australian jobs have been created, including 785 apprenticeships and traineeships.

(2) The employment figures relate to newly awarded contracts, and consequently the jobs they are expected to create.

(3) I refer the member to section 14 of the Western Australian Jobs Act. The act makes it clear that the relevant procurement agencies must ensure that the commitments made by a supplier in relation to local industry participation are incorporated in the supply contract. Furthermore, section 14 clearly states that it is a requirement for reports to be given to the procurement agency on the extent to which those incorporated commitments are being, or have been, met.

(4) Not applicable.