Thursday, 18 June 2020
Questions without Notice
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?
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 —
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.
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—
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.
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—
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—
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.
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.
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.