Thursday, 10 December 2020
Matters of Public Importance
I take your correction there, Deputy Speaker. Any Victorian should be very disappointed with what Daniel Andrews did and the loss of control they had with the quarantine system. Another member opposite brought up New South Wales. I think New South Wales have done an excellent job. They've had their borders more open than just about any other state. I live near the Queensland-New South Wales border. Those border closures were very damaging. And they were unnecessary because we were COVID-free in northern New South Wales. The commercial damage that was done was very extensive. I'm glad the New South Wales government has been brought up. They did very well.
If you look at the statistics, the COVID pandemic has done a lot of damage to the global economy, but, looking at global statistics, Australia has done very well, albeit that unemployment has gone up, which is a tragedy for everybody who has lost their job. Growth levels fell in the second quarter, which has been very damaging to our economy. But, if you look at consumer confidence and growth in GDP since then, Australia has done very well compared with international economies. We can have great confidence that next year will be very positive, because, as a government, we on this side of the chamber understand that what's going to help us out of this is the private sector. Eight out of 10 jobs are in the private sector. We know that. and we want people in small businesses and in large businesses to invest in their people and to invest capital so we can grow our way out of this. That's why we have given 11½ million people a tax cut. Some 11½ million Australians have got a tax cut because we want Australians to have more money in their pocket so they can help us grow out of this.
I've mentioned the instant tax write-off before. We implemented this policy about four or five years ago on a much smaller scale. I know that businesses in my community are very positive about it. They noticed economic activity pick up as soon as that was brought in. We've put that program on steroids; big business can now have access to that program. And what's it about? It's about businesses investing in capital equipment and businesses, therefore, being able to employ more people. We've provided two obvious economic supports, and the one that has affected a lot of people is JobKeeper. This has been a massive investment by the Australian government and, therefore, the Australian taxpayer to keep people in their jobs.