House debates

Friday, 12 June 2020

Constituency Statements

Flynn Electorate: COVID-19

10:03 am

Photo of Ken O'DowdKen O'Dowd (Flynn, National Party) Share this | Hansard source

I rise today to bring attention to the impacts of C-19 on my electorate of Flynn, and my condolences go to those who have lost their lives throughout this pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately claimed many small businesses in my electorate of Flynn. For some it will be hard to bounce back, if they can bounce back at all.

It is not all bad news: some companies have flourished through these last three months. In Flynn, these industries kept ticking over as normal. The coal industry did very well. Gladstone's port kept on operating and had record tonnages. Rio Tinto's three sites, Cement Australia, power stations and some of the big industries all did very well. Tradies kept working. Essential services—the police, the fireys—all did a great job. Centrelink did a great job in handling their number of inquiries. And for the country folk, it was situation normal for them. Bunnings, Woolworths, Coles, IGAs: all showed high trading figures similar to a large Christmas period. Sales in our local bike shops skyrocketed, as did sales in our sporting shops. People needed equipment because gyms were not available to them, so they had to seek other methods of exercising.

On the other hand, businesses like hotels, motels, coffee shops, restaurants, gyms, cinemas and retail shops suffered terribly, and it is with these businesses that my concerns lie. The closure of markets have left local small-crop farmers in the lurch. I spoke to a citrus grower in Mundubbera, and his coldrooms were full of lemons. He expected a full season for his lemons. The crop was good. The season was great. However, he had no-one to buy his lemons because the restaurant trade and the pub trade just died. I spoke to a lettuce producer who had to plough his crop back into the ground. Food banks are doing an amazing job providing food parcels to the vulnerable, and I've got to congratulate them for their efforts. So, a shout-out to all of my constituents in Flynn. Together, we'll get through this. God bless you all. Thank you.

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