House debates

Tuesday, 27 October 2020

Questions without Notice

COVID-19: Morrison Government

2:35 pm

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

As a proud Victorian, my question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister outline to the House how the Morrison government has provided crucial support to states and territories to lead Australia's response to the COVID-19 pandemic and recession?

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

That's a very timely question from the member for Goldstein, with the theme that we're able to speak to today. There is no greater friend of self-funded retirees in this country than the member for Goldstein. A champion they have in him, there is no doubt about that—protecting hundreds of thousands of self-funded retirees, standing up for them as we went into the last election to save them from the retirees tax that remains on the books of the Leader of the Opposition as a constant insult to self-funded retirees in this country.

It was in September that the national cabinet agreed—

Honourable Member:

An honourable member interjecting

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | | Hansard source

bar Western Australia—to ensure that we got Australia open by Christmas. As we remarked earlier in the motion moved by the Leader of the Opposition, yesterday we took a very important step with the lifting of those lockdown restrictions commencing in Victoria from later tonight. That is the first necessary step, but there are many more steps to take between now and the end of the year to realise that commitment. Throughout this crisis we have worked to support the states and territories as they have taken the decisions they've had to take and it was within their jurisdiction and their responsibility to make. We respect those responsibilities that they have to their own electors in each of the states and territories. We have sought to work with them, whatever decisions they have taken, in their view, in their state's interest.

We have supported those states and territories with unprecedented support in the fiscal budget of this country. Some $272 billion in direct measures alone, some 13.7 per cent of the size of our economy, this government has invested. Some $16½ billion to deal with health measures alone within our states and territories has been invested by this government. Combined, all of the other states and territories together, every single one of them, in direct measures, including their health expenditure—have committed $47 billion. That is a significant multiple of the investment by the Commonwealth government over the states and territories and it has been our responsibility to do that—to step in with some $257 billion in direct income and economic supports into our economy, carrying state economies if they have gone through the heavy lockdown that Victoria has experienced or the measures, particularly early on in the pandemic, and they were affected in those other states. As other states have been able to emerge and move forward, they have graduated from much of that support. But those who haven't been able to do that up until now have continued to get significant support—some 2,200 ADF personnel— (Time expired)