Since coming to Government one year ago, our Economic Action Strategy has provided the right conditions to drive growth and create jobs, and we are creating the right incentives for a more dynamic and competitive Australian economy.
We all understand that the Australian economy is in the midst of a major transformation. Growth led by investment in resources projects is moving to broader‑based drivers of activity in the non-resources sectors. While this transition could well be a little turbulent, the fact is that, since coming to Government, we have so far seen economic growth proving not only resilient, but also strengthening from 2.2 per cent a year ago to 3.1 per cent in the June quarter of 2014. And it gives me immense pleasure to see that nearly a quarter of a million jobs have been created since coming to Government.
Our strategy is simple. We are restoring fiscal sustainability and confidence in our public finances. And we are promoting business confidence by creating the right environment to innovate, invest and thrive. It has given us a roadmap to achieving a great deal since being elected just twelve months ago.
We started off by making sure the frameworks and structures that underpin the Australian economy are right. We abolished the nation's debt limit to remove political uncertainty, and we dealt with nearly 100 announced but unlegislated tax measures dating back to 2001. We also moved small business to the Treasury portfolio so we can provide SMEs with the right frameworks to prosper. These initiatives are all providing greater certainty for business.
We are also taking steps to improve the business environment more generally. We abolished the carbon tax, as promised. We abolished the mining tax, also as promised. We have cut over $700m of red tape for businesses, community organisations, and individuals – particularly for small business. And we have removed almost 10,000 redundant pieces of legislation this year alone.
We are building infrastructure for the twenty-first century. To increase the supply of infrastructure, the Australian Government is investing $11.6 billion in a new Infrastructure Growth Package. This will bring the Government's investment to $50 billion by 2019‑20, and will lead to additional investment from state and
territory governments and the private sector. In total, it will deliver over $125 billion of new additional infrastructure investment within six years, and is now the biggest Commonwealth infrastructure programme in Australia's history – raising the level of GDP in Australia by 1 percentage point.
We have deepened ties with our major trading partners, such as signing free-trade agreements with Korea and Japan. These agreements, along with Australia's existing free trade agreements, now cover over 40 per cent of our total trade.
This annual report tells the story of our achievements since being elected.
As crucial as those achievements are, above all else, we are getting the budget back on a sustainable path. Much has been achieved during our first year in office. This government is getting on with the job of building a strong and prosperous economy.
The Hon J. B. Hockey MP
Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia