Tuesday, 27 October 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister. Can the Deputy Prime Minister confirm that $715 million meant to help the domestic airline industry during the COVID-19 crisis was extended to owners of luxury private jets?
What we've done with our sector-wide aviation assistance is to keep planes in the air, because what we know is that planes in the air mean jobs on the ground. We have provided it on a sector-wide basis. What we have done is to make sure that, whether it's commercial or whether it's charter, planes are able to go to some ports which would otherwise, but for our sector-wide assistance, not receive aviation services at all. For those 35 centres in rural, remote and regional Australia, that has meant the world of difference. What it has meant is that personal protective equipment, vital respiratory devices, face masks and, perhaps most importantly, frontline medical personnel could get to those places, and to make sure they did the vital job that they have done. We thank them. We thank them and we thank the airlines, and they have thanked us. They have been very appreciative. Whether they're running businesses, they have thanked us for the support that we have provided.
Mr Albanese interjecting—
I'm not quite sure why you're going 'kerching, kerching', Leader of the Opposition. This has meant the world of difference to those communities. Perhaps if the borders were reopened, and reopened sooner, then we could get on with interstate travel, because interstate travel is going to help those travel agents, it's going to help those tourism industries and it's going to help parts of Australia which have not even had a coronavirus case and yet have been impinged upon. They've had restrictions placed on them, by faraway premiers and chief ministers in capital cities, that have been quite unfair, quite unfair on their communities. But they have persevered, they have endured, because they are in it with the rest of Australians. They are in it to make sure—