MEMBERS STATEMENT | ECONOMY

Mr Melhem: I rise to applaud the Andrews Labor government’s for its management of the Victorian economy. I note that yet again Victoria continues to lead on vital economic indicators relative to the rest of Australia. In the latest ABS data from the June quarter Victoria boasts the highest final demand growth out of the mainland states, at a growth rate of 1.9 per cent. This figure is almost double the 1 per cent growth rate seen nationwide. On a quarterly basis our growth rate was 0.5 per cent, above the national average of 0.3 per cent. This economic success can be attributed to this government’s unwavering commitment to vital investment in infrastructure projects, hospitals and schools. Victorian growth in public demand was a phenomenal 4.1 per cent during the quarter, the strongest of any state. Victoria has an unprecedented pipeline of transport project investment across the country, with $13.4 billion set to be pumped into the sector over the next four years. This is nearly triple the previous long-term average. Projects like the Melbourne Metro, the West Gate Tunnel, North East Link and the Suburban Rail Loop will not only stimulate our economy but will transform the lives of many in our state. This investment has also resulted in a strong Victorian labour market, with 477 000 new jobs created since the Andrews government was elected, with the majority of these jobs being full-time. This government inherited a weak economy under the Liberals in 2014, with high unemployment and sagging growth. Since then it has been dedicated to keeping the Victorian economy strong.