Thursday, 29 October 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Why is the government racking up $1 trillion of Liberal debt by borrowing money for taxpayer subsidies for private jets, including for Clive Palmer; dodgy land deals at Badgerys Creek; Cartier watches; and government contracts for Liberal pollsters while at the same time the government drags its heels on a national integrity commission when they've had the draft legislation since last year? Why do Liberal mates come first and everyday Australians get left behind?
I will tell you what we're borrowing money for. That's what I was asked about. I was asked about why the government's borrowing money. We borrowed money to save Australian lives and to save Australian livelihoods. When I had the opportunity to move through Queensland, something the Leader of the Opposition didn't dare to do, I note, before the Queensland election—he wasn't welcome in Queensland, not even from his own side of politics. I was very happy to be in Queensland and, as I moved through Queensland, there were a number of people, of businesses and small businesses, and of employees and others who would stop me and say to me, 'JobKeeper, JobSeeker saved my job, saved my livelihood, saved my business.' That was the story from one end of Queensland to the other. That's why this government has invested some 13.7 in direct financial support—around 26 per cent of the size of our economy—to ensure that Australia recovers from the COVID-19 recession.
Now, the Labor Party doesn't even know how this recession occurred. They don't even know how we got into it. That's why they've got no clue as to how Australia can get out of it. But we understand it. That's why the budget this year laid out the COVID recovery plan for this country, building on the JobSeeker and JobKeeper support, which I admit has come at a great cost and has meant we have had to go and raise those funds in the markets. But I can tell you what: those markets provided that finance because of the solid balance sheet and the trust they have in the financial management of this government, and because we came into this crisis with a strong balance sheet as recognised by Standard & Poor's. This enabled our government to help Australians in their time of greatest need, a time when they needed it more than any other. It is disappointing that the opposition cannot join the government in understanding the important steps that needed to be taken but rather come in here and seek to undermine confidence when Australians know that that can have confidence in their future because of the way our government has responded to them and supported them.
Yes, we have taken on a burden of debt to ensure that there is a today, a tomorrow and the future in this country for all Australians. If those opposite had been elected at the last election then we would not be seeing that. This country would have been crippled by taxes and fiscal mismanagement before the crisis even hit. There are many people around the country, I have no doubt, very pleased that, when the crisis hit, it was a Liberal-National government that was there to support Australians.