House debates

Thursday, 18 June 2020

Questions without Notice

Australia Post

2:24 pm

Photo of Ed HusicEd Husic (Chifley, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Leader of the Opposition under standing order 99, and it relates to the motion standing in his name with respect to the disallowance of the Australia Post regulations. I ask: why is the motion urgent?

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

I thank the member for Chifley for his question, and it goes to two great passions of the member for Chifley: the passion for job creation and the protection of jobs, particularly for our posties; and the passion for service delivery, particularly for vulnerable Australians. That's why it's urgent that the House deal with the motion to disallow Australia Post regulations. There are two ways that laws can come into effect. One is through legislation. The other is by regulation. The only way that the House and, therefore, the Australian people can have any scrutiny of it is through the disallowable instrument provisions, and that's why it's urgent that standing orders and the provisions of the House of Reps Practice allow for the consideration of a disallowance motion at the first possible opportunity.

These regulations halve the frequency of postal delivery in places like Queanbeyan to just twice a week. It's urgent that delivery times not be allowed to just be blown out from three to seven full days as a result of regulatory changes that haven't been considered by this parliament. That's why it's urgent that, when a disallowance motion is moved, it be considered by the parliament. This isn't some academic exercise; this is about jobs for essential workers. For all the grandmothers and grandfathers out there who put the $5 in the birthday card for their grandkids, it's absolutely critical that letters are able to be delivered at a frequency greater than seven business days.

That is why, on a day when the unemployment rate has hit an effective rate of 11.3 per cent, it's essential that we're actually prepared to take concrete action by considering this disallowance motion as a matter of urgency—so that jobs can be protected, because it is urgent, because Australia Post customers need certainty. What's more, Australia Post workers need certainty. This is about jobs and certainty. It is urgent because the parcels boom that is occurring should mean more jobs, not less jobs, but these regulations that have been put in but not considered by this parliament will result in fewer jobs. There are hundreds of thousands of Australians who could do extra jobs delivering parcels, and that is why it's urgent that this be considered. JobKeeper ends in September, and it's important that it be delivered. (Time expired)