Tuesday, 6 October 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. On budget night last year the Prime Minister and the Treasurer released an ad, and announced in this chamber that the budget was already back in black even though it wasn't, so I was just wondering what marking will be on the Prime Minister's mug this year?
Opposition members interjecting—
Those outside this place will look on the juvenile tactics of the opposition and form their own judgements. Today is a very serious day for Australia, because, in the midst of this COVID-19 recession, there is the need for the continued response that the government has been leading—not only to cushion the blow of this terrible recession that is global in nature but also, as we continue to recover what has been lost, to build again for the future.
As we entered this crisis, we had brought the budget back into balance, we had worked together with the Australian businesses of this country to ensure 1½ million jobs had been re-created—1.5 million jobs created under the economic policies of the government that had brought the budget back into balance. So we could deal with the crisis as it hit. Those opposite may want to make sneering remarks and jokes about this, but not this government. This government has a plan to deal with it. And Australians know that because they saw us work over six successive years to restore fiscal rectitude after those opposite had been in government. We built the budget back into balance so we could deal with this crisis, which is on a scale 45 times greater that which was faced by those opposite, when their best response was to set fire to people's roofs, and they had policies and programs that failed to hit the mark.
As we went into this crisis, I can tell you this: one of the things we learnt not to do was from those opposite. We looked at how they responded to the first crisis of many years ago, in the GFC, and we said, 'Let's not repeat their terrible mistakes.' And we have not. We have not. We have ensured we've used mechanisms that can deliver support to people where they need it, whether it has been in child care, whether it has been in the tourism industry, so significantly hit—
Dr Chalmers interjecting—
or in the infrastructure spending and the many measures that have been part of our plan. Our plan is going to get Australians back into jobs, just as 760,000 Australians have already found themselves back in jobs with our plan. And there will be more of them coming on the back of the initiatives that are announced in tonight's budget. It's a responsible plan. It's a bold plan. It's the plan that Australia needs.