Thursday, 25 February 2021
Matters of Public Importance
This government is definitely acting in the national interest. The Australian people have endured a global pandemic of historic proportions. It is an event which will forever resonate throughout the pages of schoolbooks as children learn of the past. For many countries, the consequences have been particularly devastating. We witnessed the world teeter on the edge of persistent economic turbulence, with death tolls that continue to spiral. The question must be asked: why are we watching countries all around the globe fall into this tragic state while Australia continues to show resilience? Relatively speaking, the death toll in Australia has been low compared to others. While some countries have had their people dying in the hundreds of thousands, we have only suffered a death toll in the hundreds.
Before I go on, I want to make it very clear that every death that occurs is unacceptable. But we have to take a moment to appreciate how quickly we managed to get it right in Australia. We have to take a moment to appreciate that it was through this government's fast and effective response, which involved shutting down the borders and treating this as the serious health crisis that it is, that we have prevented so many more from losing their lives.
If it weren't for the actions of the Victorian Labor Party in mismanaging the crisis they created, the death toll would have been far lower than it is currently. Beyond that, the Morrison government is defying the global trend of rebuilding our economy at an impressive rate. While we were in the thick of the COVID-19 pandemic, our economy contracted by seven per cent. In comparison, New Zealand's fell by 11 per cent, France's fell by 14 per cent and the UK's fell by 20 per cent. We are still outcompeting our friends across the world.
Now that we have gathered a firm handle on the pandemic, our real GDP is bouncing back. In the September quarter, the real GDP increased by 3.3 per cent. This is far ahead of market expectations. In fact, this is the largest quarterly increase since 1976. On top of this, over a seven-month period last year the Morrison government oversaw the creation of 784,000 new jobs for working Australians and we continue to create more through our innovative programs, like JobMaker and JobTrainer. We are setting Australians up not only for the present but also for the future, all the while continuing to maintain our treasured AAA credit rating from the three leading credit ratings agencies. We are one of only nine countries to do so.
This government has never stopped acting in the national interest. Our strong economy is no accident. The tireless work of successive Liberal governments put Australia in the best position to weather the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the Morrison government that entrenched and maintained the strength of our economy so it could remain resilient throughout this global turmoil. Australians know that Liberal governments are the best economic managers. The results speak for themselves. We are rebuilding the economy, putting people back in jobs and rolling out the vaccine to all Australians. It is only a Morrison government that can keep Australians prosperous and continue to look out for the national interest of this country we call home. I repeat: the Morrison government has always acted in the national interest.