Thursday, 12 November 2020
Matters of Public Importance
The suggestion put forward today that the government is somehow not delivering for the Australian people is yet another example of a lack of understanding when it comes to job creation, and it shows a lack of understanding when it comes to getting our economy back on track as we come out of the worst economic crisis in 100 years. This crisis was caused by a global pandemic, and the Australian government have released a plan, and are delivering on that plan, to bring Australia out of the COVID-19 recession. Not only that, but the government's plan is designed to carry Australia not just out of the pandemic but also into the future. When the global pandemic struck earlier this year, the government understood that it needed to act in order to save jobs and support those people who lost their jobs as a result. The government didn't just make empty promises. It took action, and it delivered.
The government's JobKeeper payment has supported 4,000 businesses in my electorate of Longman, supporting them through the pandemic and keeping them connected to their employees. Across Queensland, as of 18 September, 188,805 registered businesses received JobKeeper payments totalling around $10.7 billion, and we have extended the JobKeeper payments to help businesses that continue to struggle as a result of this pandemic. Around 12,488 individuals in my electorate of Longman have received the coronavirus supplement, which was added to JobSeeker to provide additional support through this crisis. Around 66,300 taxpayers in Longman are benefiting from tax relief of up to $2,745 this year, as a result of the tax relief measures which were delivered by this government.
To support new investment and increase business cash flow, the government provided a temporary tax incentive to allow around 13,600 businesses in my electorate of Longman to write off the full value of any eligible asset they purchased. This built on the government's successful instant asset write-off measure announced earlier in the year. The cash-flow boost has helped around 3,600 small and medium businesses, providing payments to help businesses in Longman to stay afloat. Around 23,064 age pensioners and 3,311 carers in my electorate will receive extra support payments of $250 in December and a further $250 from March next year.
How anyone can see this data and still claim this government is not delivering for the Australian people is beyond me. But there's more. Health and hospitals funding to my state of Queensland has increased by $609.1 million, compared with the 2019-20 budget, to $5.6 billion. Payments to Queensland for public hospitals have increased by 105.1 per cent. Housing and homelessness funding to Queensland has increased by $7.9 million. Education and skills funding for Queensland is $5.4 billion. This is 72 per cent more than what was spent on education and skills in 2012-13. This includes $4.8 billion for quality skills, $315 million for national skills and workforce development, and $83.1 million for early childhood education.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the government has committed to invest an additional $14 billion in new and accelerated infrastructure projects across Australia over the next four years. Just this week, work is beginning on a major $662.5 million Bruce Highway upgrade in my electorate, with a federal government contribution of $530 million. Work is also about to begin on the $163.3 million New Settlement Road overpass in Narangba, to which the federal government contributed over $130 million. These are projects we are not just announcing but delivering. But there's more. Work is well underway on the $30.4 million Bribie Island-Old Toorbul Point Road upgrade, which we contributed $20 million towards. Work has been completed on the new $61.7 million Boundary Road overpass in Narangba, with a federal contribution of $49.3 million. We've also made the D'Aguilar Highway safer for road users, and we've installed smart managed motorway signs along the Bruce Highway to keep motorists informed about traffic conditions. Under the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, we have provided Moreton Bay council with around $5 million to begin key local projects that are shovel-ready. In my electorate of Longman, the projects funded under this program include: a new fauna crossing at Woorim, a park upgrade in Caboolture, soccer field lighting at Dakabin, and a new footpath in Elimbah. Moreton Bay council also received around $25 million under the Roads to Recovery program. We've also delivered seven blackspot upgrades, with two more on the way. The list goes on. I feel like Tim the Demtel man: 'There's more! There's more! There's more!'