Monday, 23 March 2020
Questions without Notice
I thank the member for Berowra for his question. I thank all members of this place and I thank all the staff of the members of this place for the incredible job they are doing providing support to their local communities at this very difficult time and disseminating information as best they can to their communities. I thank my own electorate office staff back in Cronulla, who are doing exactly the same thing as every member's office is doing. There are so many people putting in an extraordinary effort. I thank again the members of the national cabinet, all the premiers and chief ministers and all those who are working as part of their governments to make difficult decisions and get the best possible information to make those decisions. I thank the opposition for their cooperation in this chamber here as we work to ensure the parliament continues to function, that our democracy continues to operate and to support the various measures and supports that are necessary to see Australia through this very difficult crisis.
I want to thank all of those more broadly in the public service at the federal and state level—the nurses, the doctors, the Border Force officials, the police officers, the Centrelink staff, the teachers, the bus drivers and so many more—even those who were preparing the myriad of legislation which are on this desk over in the departments of Finance and Treasury and others at 2 or 3 am Saturday evening. Everyone is working hard for the benefit of the Australian people in the national service that they are all engaged in. I thank those who are able to keep going to work and keep doing their job and keep servicing their community in the private sector. I thank the employers who are keeping people in jobs for as long as they possibly can. On the other side, if they're unable to do that, they know they will want to stand those staff up again and put them back on their payrolls and put them back into those jobs when we build that bridge and get to the other side of the recovery.
I also want to thank those in the financial sector for the work that they have done with the Treasurer and others to ensure that the lifeline of credit, which is so important in an economic crisis, continues to be extended—and the waivers that are provided on payments and fees and interest and other things that relieve the burden. The energy companies have also come to the aid of the nation and are providing the same sort of relief. We are in this together. It's a national effort in which all Australians—all arms, all sections, all institutions of our country—are enlisted to work together to take the actions we need to bring all Australians through. But, importantly, it is at the most personal level, the interactions with each other, with our families, with our communities where we will be called on most. Through this, together we will make it to the other side.
I ask that further questions be placed on the Notice Paper.