Thursday, 8 October 2020
Questions without Notice
I thank the member for his question, and I know he'll be pleased about the additional support for growth funding, particularly in Townsville, where I had the opportunity to speak to his electors this morning.
This is a budget for all Australians, in the national interest, because at a time of great national crisis and indeed great global crisis it is important that the budget focuses on what is best for all Australians, to take all Australians forward. The budget has received great support—particularly, I note, from the ratings agencies, as the Treasurer will be aware—as we look at the significant burden that Australia will carry. As these agencies have noted—and I refer to the Fitch rating agency:
Australia came into the coronavirus shock with fiscal space to counter the effects of the pandemic in the near term.
Well, I know how that was created: six years of hard work getting the budget back into balance from the fiscal nightmare that was left to us by those opposite. And S&P said that Australia is outperforming most of its peers. That's how we came into the global crisis. Moody's have said:
Its experience with fiscal repair—
They're talking about our government—
following past shocks and the likelihood of an extended period of low servicing costs mean that its debt remains manageable.
But that's not all that people have had to say. The head of COSBOA, Peter Strong, has said, 'This is the budget we needed to have.' That's from the head of the Council of Small Business Organisations Australia. Master Builders have said that the budget 'is going to support the country to build its way out of recession'. Infrastructure Partnerships says:
The Commonwealth has responded decisively to the COVID-19 crisis …
Fiona Simson, the head of the National Farmers Federation, has said that the budget helps 'kickstart our nation's recovery'. The Minerals Council, the member will be pleased to know, says that the budget will 'boost investment and jobs without increasing taxes to support the industry's contribution to the national regional recovery'.
But it was Pat McGorry, the head of Orygen, who said that the budget 'has signalled the commitment of the government to putting young people at the centre of its plan' and that this 'will assist more vulnerable young people with mental illness in more locations', and that:
Orygen recognises the Australian Government's commitment to ensuring Australians have improved access to much needed mental health care during this challenging time …
The ovarian cancer council has equally welcomed the budget, with Medicines Australia and so many others in the Australian Medical Association.
This is a budget for all Australians. It's a budget that brings Australians together. We came here to build Australia, not pick fights.