Thursday, 18 June 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister outline to the House how today's unemployment figures underline the importance of the Morrison government's JobMaker plan to drive the economic and jobs growth our nation needs in order to recover from the coronavirus pandemic?
I thank the member for Moncrieff for her question. Among her many talents, before coming to this place she was very active in the entertainment industry as an accomplished musician in her own right. I want to thank all those from the arts and entertainment industry that the Treasurer as well as the minister for communications and the arts and I had the opportunity to meet when I asked for them to be brought together today. And I thank Mark Vincent for his insistence in bringing them together.
A total of 838,000 Australians have lost their jobs in the past three months. This is another very hard day for Australia, and there are more ahead of us. Some 227,700 Australians lost their jobs in May. This is devastating news for each and every one of them and their families. They have our support to ensure that we are not only there for them with the income support they need during this crisis but we are also ensuring that we're equipping and supporting them and the businesses that either they work for now or we want them to work for in the future so that they will be able to return to employment.
Our JobMaker plan has involved a series of steps. Importantly, it means keeping the virus under control. I commend the Minister for Health, his state counterparts, the premiers and the chief ministers for the work they have done to ensure we can stay on top of the virus, so that we don't see a further wave. But it's also about putting in place the right combination of supports and assistance to individuals who have lost their jobs, so that those who are able can keep connected to employers so there will be real jobs for the future. There is the assistance provided to businesses for cash flow. And there is targeted assistance, like the HomeBuilder program. Already in the arts sector we have provided support specifically to those areas which will be suffering longer because of the restrictions that are in place. These are economy-wide supports—targeted supports.
But our JobMaker program is all about the jobs that we need to create again. Prior to this crisis, our government had been overseeing an economy that had seen 1.5 million jobs created since we were elected. We have to do that again. But the Australian people can have the confidence that they have a government that has done this before and can do it again. This is a government that on the fiscal side was able to restore the budget balance and can do it again with the right set of policies and priorities to ensure we achieve that—lower taxes, less regulation, particularly ensuring major projects can proceed. There is more and better infrastructure, led by the Deputy Prime Minister's program—some $9.8 billion of new works and brought-forward works in the last eight months alone. We are ensuring we are making the big changes to training and skills so we can equip Australians who have lost their jobs to get back into new jobs and so those who need to learn new skills in their jobs can get that skills training. We are getting employers and employees in the room to ensure we can get the enduring changes to workplaces that keep people in jobs. (Time expired)