MEMBERS STATEMENT | ECONOMY UPDATE
Mr Melhem: I have said it before and I will say it again: Victoria is the place to be. Under the Andrews Labor government Victoria has become the economic powerhouse of the nation with the fastest gross state product growth of any state. Victoria is bucking the national trend of low employment growth and rising unemployment. Here in Victoria we are seeing thousands of new jobs created: 117 600 in the last year and a further 20 300 created in the last month alone. With infrastructure investment booming to the tune of $14 billion in the 2019–20 budget, we are creating more than 115 000 new jobs in the most ambitious infrastructure agenda the state has ever seen. Work is being done by Victorians for Victorians, and many of these projects are being completed in the west. The Andrews government has committed to revolutionising education, healthcare and transport infrastructure in Melbourne’s western suburbs. In doing so we are securing a future for some of the state’s fastest growing communities. Victoria is leading the nation in terms of population growth. The west has accounted for 73 000 new people entering the workforce since 2014, a figure that will continue to expand under the Andrews Labor government’s infrastructure projects. If we look at the International Monetary Fund expectations this morning, they announced that our GDP will go from 2.7 per cent last year to 1.7 per cent. But certainly that is not the case in Victoria, and I applaud the Andrews Labor government for its outstanding economic progress and for choosing to invest in the west.