Wednesday, 28 October 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister update the House on Australia's economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic as the Morrison government continues to implement its plans to keep us safely open and drive both job creation and economic growth?
I thank the member for O'Connor for his question. The economic recovery from the COVID-19 recession has begun. It's a recovery that is absolutely necessary for all Australians, whether it being in the member for O'Connor's electorate or anywhere else across this country. It was Standard and Poor's who spoke about the Australian economy beginning to recover when they affirmed Australia's AAA credit rating. The Deputy Governor of the Reserve Bank has also made comments to this effect. Now, ultimately, technically, what the National Accounts figures show will be there for us to see in December, and we will wait till that time, but that will not change the actions of the government in responding to the most significant economic crisis this country has seen since the Great Depression.
Confidence is building as Australia reopens. We saw that with the response to the budget—the single largest increase we'd seen since records were kept in response to budgets: a lift of some 12 per cent. We've seen it in the Westpac survey, which shows that there is now a key turning point: there are more optimists than there are pessimists when it comes to the Australian economy. And it reflects a bit what the truth is in this House. The optimists about the Australian economy sit on this side of the chamber, and those who seek to talk down the Australian economy sit on the other side and constitute the pessimists. But the Australian people are increasingly confident as Australia reopens, and the national framework for reopening Australia by Christmas, supported by premiers and chief ministers around the country, is giving Australians more and more confidence. We particularly encourage and acknowledge again the major change overnight in Victoria. As Victoria reopens, indeed Australia will be more open. As businesses re-open, people get back to work. There are more steps to be taken, and that national framework ensures that not only does Australia safely re-open; it remains safely open. And that is through the important metrics and measures that are put in place: world-class surveillance systems, quarantine and isolation systems, testing and tracing, and outbreak health responsiveness. All of this is necessary to keep Australia open and to keep Australia moving forward.
The economic recovery plan set out by the Treasurer in this year's budget to the COVID-19 recession—whether it's getting people back into jobs supported by a hiring credit; whether it's the tax cuts that allows Australians to keep more of what they earn; or whether it's school leavers who are leaving school very soon and know that there are 340,000 extra training places through the JobTrainer program, the additional university places or short-course places made available by the Minister for Education. The HomeBuilder program is building homes all around the country. All of these programs are getting Australians back to work. The recovery in Australia has begun and will continue under this government. (Time expired)