House debates

Thursday, 3 September 2020

Statements by Members

Blair Electorate: JobKeeper Payment

1:33 pm

Photo of Shayne NeumannShayne Neumann (Blair, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Veterans' Affairs and Defence Personnel) Share this | | Hansard source

[by video link] There are over 1,700 meatworkers and their families with an uncertain future in Ipswich. They face a real prospect of permanently losing their jobs. They work at the JBS meatworks at Dinmore, but this government is denying them JobKeeper. The company and the union are both saying the same thing: give them JobKeeper They want to keep their jobs. The government has tweaked and changed JobKeeper eligibility criteria in the past. They've bragged about it. They've talked about it relentlessly. They do it in question time. But they're not prepared to help these workers.

On 19 August, I wrote to the Treasurer about this issue, but I have yet to receive a response. I urged him to do the right thing by these workers and provide JobKeeper so they can keep their jobs. Yesterday, in question time, the Prime Minister offered these workers unemployment benefits. Not all these workers will get unemployment benefits, Prime Minister. Every case is different. To equate the dole or unemployment benefits—JobSeeker, as it's now called—with keeping a job is insult and arrogance. Do your job, Treasurer. Do your job, Prime Minister. Help these workers. Give them JobKeeper. They want to work. Don't let them down. I'll stand up for these workers, the company will stand up for the workers and the union will stand up for the workers. Treasurer and Prime Minister, will you stand up for the workers?