Prime Minister Scott Morrison told the Asia Society Australia briefing that Australians could not afford to take a strong economy for granted.
Mr Morrison said that a strong economy was the reason why Australia was able to have services like Medicare and pensions that many Australians rely upon.
“That is what a strong economy delivers. And if you take that for granted, you risk the other essentials that Australians rely on,” he said.
Mr Morrison said that Australia was able to ride out the global financial crisis of 2008 due to a combination of good fortune and good policy.
“I think it has been the product of good policy and taking advantage of our good fortune through good policy, and this is something that we can never ever take for granted,” he said.
When the crisis hit, it was not the economic shock to the Australian economy but rather the comedown of the investment and mining boom, said the Prime Minister.
“But when the music stopped at the end of the mining and investment boom and we saw massive dislocation hit our economy, we kept growing and we kept growing through that period and I think that was when we faced our toughest financial test,” he said.
However, in that time period, the country continued to grow and even kept the AAA credit rating, said Mr Morrison.
“We not only kept the growth and the jobs creation going, but we also maintained our triple A credit rating. One of only 10 countries to do so anywhere in the world from all three major agencies. Good fortune helps but good policy is what delivers,” he said.
Mr Morrison said it was his government’s history with strong economic policy that he would take to the election next year.
“They know our record is good. We will be back in surplus next year, one year ahead of schedule. Turned the corner on debt last year. We continue to have record investment in schools and hospitals and all of these things. We've protected Australia,” he said.
Mr Morrison said he believed that come election time, the public would vote on what the economy means to them.
“I believe at the end of the day that Australians will exercise some common-sense judgement about what the strength of their economy means to them.
“I think that they will exercise judgement about the beliefs that we hold as a government, as a party that I think have been so essential to that economic success and the things that they rely on,” he said.
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