Thursday, 3 June 2021
Matters of Public Importance
Humorous! I'm glad that the member opposite thinks that it's funny that we've done so well. That's great! The projections of the Treasury were that there'd be two million extra unemployed, that the economy would contract by 20 per cent and that there would be a 15 per cent unemployment rate. Together we had a plan to resolve that, and we did—and I'm glad the member opposite is so amused by that.
We had a mantra as well at the time that it was very important that we—as did every country—had to flatten the curve. Remember that? We had to flatten the curve. That was the pre-eminent thing that the people of every nation wanted. Well, we did. We did flatten the curve. We did better than most countries in flattening the curve. In fact, this virus is still sweeping the globe, through developing nations and other countries, which are having third and fourth waves. We can't ever eliminate a virus. We still have the odd outbreak, which obviously is unfortunate, but comparatively as a country we have done very well. As a comparison, if our health stats had been a lot like other countries, 30,000 additional Australians would have passed away. So, we have done exceptionally well.
Unfortunately you hear nothing positive from the opposition. I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that no-one over there is ever in a happy place on anything. While Labor MPs may not be able to say anything positive, I have Labor voters in my electorate who compliment us and say: 'We might not vote for you, Kevin. We might not think that you're our first port of call when we go to vote, but we think you and the government have done a great job.' I hear that from Labor voters. You never hear anything like that from anyone opposite, but you certainly hear it from Labor voters and people out in the community.
Because we have done so well to date—and that hasn't stopped—on the health front, economically we are absolutely blitzing it. We are absolutely doing exceptionally well. We are the Ferrari on the track as far as the economics of the world go. So, rather than have 15 per cent unemployment, the unemployment rate peaked at 7½ per cent. It's 5½ per cent now and forecast to go below five per cent. Isn't that exciting? I see the smiles opposite, joyous about the fact that unemployment rates are falling. Join in the celebration of that, members opposite! Join in the—