House debates

Monday, 2 March 2020

Statements by Members

Australian Bushfires

1:29 pm

Photo of Joanne RyanJoanne Ryan (Lalor, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Over this summer—this terrible summer—we've also seen some wonderful things that Australians have done, coming together to support other Australians. We saw the tennis world and the cricket world raise funds, and this weekend we saw the AFL world—with the return of a state of origin match between Victoria and the All Stars—come together to do the same: to raise funds, to support the Australian supporting community in bushfire affected areas. And I want to congratulate them on their efforts. I also want to congratulate the netball family, who came together on the weekend in a fundraiser where the Diamonds faced off against the All Stars. I want to congratulate Caitlin Bassett, captain of the Diamonds, and Geva Mentor, the captain of the All Stars. This game saw an extraordinary array of talent across the region. We saw our sporting elite putting their hearts and souls and, may I say, their smiles into their sporting games to support other Australians.

But it is a sad that, today, Labor has had to call on this government to do more for small businesses, both directly and indirectly, affected by the fires, particularly around wage assistance. I say to the government: the precedent is there. A previous Labor government put forward the levels of support that we'd like to see for small business and for those people who work in our small businesses. This government really needs to do what our sporting world is doing, and get behind Australians in this great time of need.