(Australian Associated Press)
Jobs Minister Michaelia Cash has declared an economic revival fuelling strong jobs growth will be key to the coalition’s election fortunes, with her new super-portfolio to take centre stage.
“To me that is just a good message that really does encapsulate what the government is all about – strengthening economic growth and creating more jobs for all Australians,” Senator Cash told the West Australian of the new sales pitch.
“We understand that Australian workers need Australian businesses to succeed if you are going to create more jobs and more opportunity.”
The Turnbull government’s new mantra hit front pages on the same day unions declared war on the rise of casual employment, demanding stronger protection for workers.
ACTU secretary Sally McManus said the old slogan was being canned because it was clearly not ringing true.
“There’s been more jobs, but they’ve been casual jobs,” Ms McManus told reporters in Melbourne on Wednesday.
“And growth? Well, we’ve seen profits grow but we haven’t seen wages grow. Wages are at a record low.”
Ms McManus questioned exactly how the government intended to “keep Australians working”.
“What kind of jobs are they going to be? Are they going to be jobs which you rely on text messages in order to know when you’re going to work?”, she said.
Opposition employment spokesman Brendan O’Connor spokesman argued Australians did not need “patronising” or “insulting” slogans, but rather a government committed to ensuring wages were keeping up with prices.
“We’d like the government to explore why is wage growth at its lowest in 20 years, and why are people confronted with only casual work, when in fact they have permanent families,” Mr O’Connor said.
“They need some sense of security in their workplace, they need opportunities at work that mean they can get a home loan or a car loan. But too often, you see that’s not happening.”