Monday, 7 December 2020
Questions without Notice
I thank the member for Reid for her question and her leadership in her local community. She knows that the comeback of the Australian economy is on. She knows it's happening in her electorate with small businesses. Just last week we were able to remind the House that some two million Australians are no longer in need of taxpayer support, income support, through the JobKeeper program—that's some 450,000 businesses. The Australian economy is coming back up 3.3 per cent in the most recent quarter. Job ads are up 13.9 per cent, rising to 145,000, which the ANZ noted was approaching pre-COVID levels. We want to see those Australians get back on the job. The comeback is underway but the recovery has a long way to go. We're looking forward to 2021, knowing that the recovery is building in momentum.
We have acted to cushion the blow in Australians' most difficult time, with programs like JobKeeper and JobSeeker being there to save livelihoods and, indeed, I suspect to save lives also. We have our recovery plan from the budget that is recovering what was lost. We are building for the future with the measures that were outlined in that budget. Lower taxes have been made law under our plan. We will return to the accelerated program for infrastructure development with the states and territories and other programs this Friday when both the national cabinet and the National Federation Reform Council meet together to ensure that those projects are rolling out all around the country. JobTrainer, the skills programs, the JobMaker hiring credit, the boosting apprenticeships scheme, the 30,000 additional places for students in universities next year—these programs are giving Australians great hope in the recovery that is occurring in our economy and they are building for the future.
We still have a long way to go. The energy plan is ensuring affordable and reliable energy for our industries. Whether it is up in the Hunter, up in Gladstone, over in Western Australia or wherever it happens to be, our plan is delivering on that need.
We are making changes in industrial relations, having worked through countless hours of sitting down together with employers and employee representatives, to ensure we can get Australians back into work. Our changes to industrial relations are about getting Australians back into work and keeping them in work. That's the fair thing to do and that's the right thing to do—to ensure we have sat down, we have listened and we have worked through the practical issues that will get more Australians back into work and keep them in work. That's what our industrial relations changes are all about. That is part of our comprehensive economic recovery plan that is leading the comeback of the Australian economy.