House debates

Tuesday, 25 August 2020

Questions without Notice

COVID-19: Victoria

2:16 pm

Photo of Tim WilsonTim Wilson (Goldstein, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer outline to the House the rapid and extensive support the Morrison government is providing to Victorian families and businesses after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out again in the great state of Victoria?

Photo of Josh FrydenbergJosh Frydenberg (Kooyong, Liberal Party, Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Goldstein for his question and congratulate him on his new book—which I understand is available at all good book stores across the country—and also for his strong support for his electorate.

More than 6½ million Victorians are doing it very tough. There are Victorians right now who are subject to curfews. There are Victorians who have seen businesses close. There are Victorians who have seen schools close. People can't go to work in Victoria. In Victoria, parents and grandparents are finding it very tough, and kids are not seeing their friends. This is the heavy price being paid by Victorians for the second wave of COVID-19. And there's a huge economic cost as well. It's Treasury's forecast that up to 400,000 Victorians will either lose their jobs or see their hours reduced to zero. That's the equivalent of four MCGs full of people on grand final day. That is 400,000 Victorians who are effectively unemployed as a result of this second wave.

The Morrison government is standing with Victorians every step of the way. Already, more than $12 billion has made its way to Victorians through JobKeeper. Around $6 billion has made its way to Victorian businesses with the cash flow boost. And more than $2 billion has gone to Victorian pensioners and others on income support with the two $750 payments. And 575,000 Victorians are currently receiving the $550 coronavirus supplement. Victorians look at New South Wales and ask, 'Why not us?' They look at New South Wales with a lower number of cases and a lower number of deaths and they look at the fact that in New South Wales there have been 315,000 jobs created in recent months.

I understand why Victorians are now very concerned by the Victorian government announcing yesterday that it wants to extend the emergency powers for another 12 months. I share those concerns. The Victorian government has to explain its decision. The Victorian government and the Australian government, under Scott Morrison, will work together to support Victorians. At the end of the day, we will do everything to support Victorians to get to the other side of this crisis, but the Victorian government has a lot of questions to answer.

Opposition Members:

Opposition members interjecting

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

Members on my left! The member for Barton!

Government members interjecting

Members on my right! Members on both sides! The member for Gorton! We've got some new faces here today. I'd just ask them to reflect on the remarks I made yesterday. I'm not going to be tolerant of interjections during this sitting, for a whole range of reasons, and I've made that very clear. We've all travelled distances to be here, and I appreciate that there is a bit of a roster with people coming in and out, but you'll certainly be out the door if you keep interjecting. I'm now going to call the member for Fraser.