House debates

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Statements by Members

COVID-19: Economy

1:56 pm

Photo of Craig KellyCraig Kelly (Hughes, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

The latest ABS numbers record that, as a result of the coronavirus restrictions, employment has decreased by 594,300 people and monthly working hours have fallen by 10 per cent. We are borrowing tens of billions of dollars that not a single member of this parliament is likely to see repaid in their career. Lockdowns don't just cause economic damage; they also have health costs, both mental and physical. Therefore, any remaining COVID related restriction must be backed up by weighing both the costs and the benefits. For the private sector, lockdowns destroy both lives and livelihoods. At first we were right to err on the side of caution because of the unknowns. But we now know this is not a re-run of the Spanish flu. The studies show that asymptomatic spread of the virus is 'very rare'. The curve has been flattened. New South Wales has gone two weeks without one single community transmission. Discriminations, restrictions and the denial of Australians' constitutional right to cross interstate borders, which are nothing other than lines on a map, must be removed without any further delay. There is no longer any legitimate argument for the ongoing wilful violation of our constitution by continuing these border restrictions. They must end now.

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