House debates

Wednesday, 17 June 2020

Statements by Members


1:58 pm

Photo of Clare O'NeilClare O'Neil (Hotham, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Innovation, Technology and the Future of Work) Share this | | Hansard source

If you live in a place like Eden-Monaro, a fair go has become a pretty scarce commodity. Under this coalition government, underemployment in this part of Australia has soared. Too many people in towns like Queanbeyan, Bega and Cooma are looking for more hours and more shifts at work and are not able to find them. This community is suffering greatly in the first recession that this country has had for over 30 years, but what I want the parliament to understand is that the people in this community were doing it tough before COVID-19 hit, and new data released last week from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows us why.

That data shows us that, for women in that community who did not study beyond high school, the underemployment rates are around 30 per cent. If we look at men in that community who chose not to study beyond high school, their underemployment rates have doubled under this coalition government. We know the situation is a lot worse today, but the Prime Minister keeps telling us that he wants Australia to snap back to the way things were before. There are a lot of people in that community asking, 'Snap back to what?' It should not be the case that thousands and thousands of people living in this part of the country are not able to put food on the table, pay the bills and support the businesses around their community like they need to. In Kristy McBain we have a person who's been fighting for her community during its darkest days. We want her in this parliament because jobs are her No. 1 priority for this community.

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

In accordance with standing order 43, the time for members' statements has concluded.