House debates

Monday, 15 June 2020

Statements by Members

Pensions and Benefits

4:16 pm

Photo of Pat ConaghanPat Conaghan (Cowper, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise today to speak about the JobKeeper and jobseeker programs. I would like to congratulate the coalition government on their implementation, but I would also like to urge the coalition government, the national cabinet and the leadership team to give greater consideration to the future of both the JobKeeper and jobseeker programs. In my electorate, many people relied on the JobKeeper payment. Those who fell through the cracks of the JobKeeper program went onto the jobseeker payment. In the words of the Prime Minister, 'It wasn't perfect, but it was a net to catch those who fell through the cracks.' With the lifting of the restrictions, the lifting of the veil, businesses will not be back in full swing on day one. That is why the government needs to consider the ongoing nature of the JobKeeper program. It needs to be addressed on an industry basis—tourism, hospitality. We need to look after our regional and rural employees who will not get straight back on their feet. In addition, in terms of the jobseeker payment, in my electorate, 25 per cent of children under the age of 15 are under the poverty line. I urge the national cabinet and this government to give greater consideration to continuing the jobseeker program too.