I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking questions of the Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation about unlocking capital for jobs.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:28): I seek leave to make a brief explanation before asking questions of the Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation about unlocking capital for jobs.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK: In August 2014, the government announced the establishment of a $50 million Unlocking Capital for Jobs program which was to assist small to medium-size enterprises to secure commercially viable loans as part of the Our Jobs Plan, which was meant to help Holden workers maintain or gain employment. According to the government's overview, Unlocking Capital for Jobs was meant to create or retain ongoing SA jobs in the small to medium enterprise sector and leverage $250 million in new financial accommodation.
My questions to the minister are:
1. How many companies, other than the pilot study, has the government assisted through Unlocking Capital for Jobs?
2. How many applicants have applied for assistance under the program and, as part of that, how many Holden workers has the program assisted?
3. How much money, excluding the pilot study, has been leveraged under the program?
The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Employment, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Science and Information Economy) (14:29): I thank the honourable member for her questions. It seems that the opposition is falling into a welcome habit of asking sensible and relevant questions. The Unlocking Capital for Jobs Program is a program that is administered by the Treasurer; however, I am happy to refer your questions to the responsible minister for the program and bring back an answer to the series of questions that you have put on the record.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:29): Supplementary question: is the minister saying that he doesn't actually have any briefing or any understanding of the program to even attempt to answer any of my questions?
The Hon. K.J. MAHER (Minister for Employment, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, Minister for Automotive Transformation, Minister for Science and Information Economy) (14:29): It is a pity that the sensible questions seem to have now come to an end with that supplementary. It is a difficult thing for those opposite, who have never come close to being in government, to understand the concept of ministerial responsibility. Of course, I am aware of the program, but I would not want to give ananswer that is not as accurate as it possibly can be, so I will refer those to the minister responsible so that there can be a full and as accurate as possible answer brought back.
The Hon. J.M.A. LENSINK (14:30): Supplementary: is the minister refusing to answer questions? Given the fact that he is Minister for Manufacturing and Innovation, is he saying that he has no understanding of this program?
The PRESIDENT: That question does not arise out of the answer. The minister has already said that he doesn't know.
The Hon. J.M.A. Lensink: Go on, give it a go. That is hopeless, absolutely hopeless.
The PRESIDENT: Order!