House debates

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Questions without Notice

JobKeeper Program

2:07 pm

Photo of Anthony AlbaneseAnthony Albanese (Grayndler, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Under this Prime Minister, Australia has entered its first recession in three decades. Australia now has an effective unemployment rate of 11.3 per cent. How many unemployed Australians don't have a job because the Prime Minister deliberately excluded them from JobKeeper?

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

No-one in this country is unemployed because of the government's responses.

Opposition Members:

Opposition members interjecting

Ms Ryan interjecting

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

Members on my left! The member for Lalor!

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

People are unemployed in this country. People are being reduced to zero hours, which is the same thing. People have been hit by the coronavirus pandemic. I'm disappointed that the Leader of the Opposition, while Australians each and every day—

Honourable members interjecting

Ms Ryan interjecting

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

The Prime Minister will pause. The member for Lalor will leave under standing order 94(a), and I warn all those others interjecting, particularly those I've asked to stop interjecting all of this week. The Prime Minister has the call.

The member for Lalor then left the chamber.

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

Australians today are dealing with the news of some 270,000 people losing jobs, almost half of them young people who lost their jobs in May, and we know there will be more because of the recession Australia now finds itself in because of the pandemic. For the Leader of the Opposition to come here to this dispatch box and seek to turn that recession into some sort of partisan accusation, demonstrates not only his complete lack of understanding of economics but an inability—

Honourable members interjecting

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

The Prime Minister will resume his seat. Members on my left and right will cease interjecting. The Manager of Opposition Business on a point of order.

Photo of Mr Tony BurkeMr Tony Burke (Watson, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for the Arts) Share this | | Hansard source

On direct relevance. To be directly relevant the Prime Minister can refer to dnata workers, arts and entertainment workers, a million casuals. There are plenty of examples he can be relevant with.

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

The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat. I understand the point the Manager of Opposition Business is making, but none of the points he just made were in the question. The Prime Minister has the call.

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

JobKeeper and jobseeker expand the full economy of Australia. What our government has been doing has been responding to the needs of those Australians. This Leader of the Opposition, in the midst of a debacle and corruption scandal that he has overseen—'corruption' a word that his own Labor member has used to describe—

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

The Prime Minister will resume his seat. The Manager of Opposition Business will resume his seat. The Prime Minister needs to withdraw that imputation.

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

On the point of order—

Opposition members interjecting

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

Members on my left! The member for Kingston will cease interjecting. There's going to be no debate. The Prime Minister needs to withdraw that imputation.

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

Well, if you would allow me—

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

I am going to say to the Prime Minister that he just needs to withdraw. There was no point of order. I've made a ruling.

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

Mr Speaker, I was not impugning a motive to the Leader of the Opposition. I was referring to the word 'corruption' which was used by the member for Holt to explain the investigation underway. That's what I was referring to and was going on to explain in my answer. That is what I was referring to. It is the word used by the member for Holt. The member for Holt said 'corruption'.

Opposition members interjecting

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

But, Mr Speaker, to assist you and to respect your ruling—

Mr Burke interjecting

It's got nothing to do with you, you can sit down. You've already had your point of order. I'm seeking to make the withdrawal.

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

The Manager of Opposition Business will just resume his seat. The Prime Minister.

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

To assist the Speaker and out of respect for the Speaker, I withdraw.

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

The Manager of Opposition Business on a point of order. The member for Kingston is making it even more difficult for the Manager of Opposition Business. I'm just going to say I will deal with any interjections during this period in the way members can predict. I find it incredible that they want me to rule on a point of order whilst simultaneously shrieking at me. The Manager of Opposition Business.

Photo of Mr Tony BurkeMr Tony Burke (Watson, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for the Arts) Share this | | Hansard source

On a point of order: Practice is clear, that when a ruling is given that a member must withdraw, they must withdraw without any qualifiers attached.

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

I'm very conscious of that and I'm just going to say to the Manager of Opposition Business, the Prime Minister has withdrawn and he didn't have qualifiers. The qualifiers you're referring to in Practice are when there's another set of words added. There are two ways you can withdraw. I've asked the Prime Minister to withdraw, and he has done so. I'm going to remind members on both sides that the rules for this place are very clear: you cannot reflect on members or impute motives in any way, shape or form—we could end question time and I could discuss all the precedents going back many decades, if you'd like to—and that refers to groups of people as well. Otherwise, we'll have a situation like the one we had in the 1970s, when a group were imputed and the initial ruling had been that it had to apply to individual members, and we had a procession of members getting up on the same point of order.