House debates

Thursday, 12 November 2020

Statements by Members

COVID-19: Economy

1:31 pm

Photo of Andrew LamingAndrew Laming (Bowman, Liberal Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Let's get this great nation back to work. It's been two weeks of no community transmission nationwide, two months since community transmission in Queensland, three months in Tasmania and seven months for the rest of the nation. We have Australians who need to come home from overseas. Tickets are available online for flights today at $2,800. Why am I saying that? Because I want them all back by Christmas. And why do I want them back by Christmas? Because I want skilled visas and international students coming in from next year. I want to see retail, tourism, travel and hospitality happening in a COVID-safe way, with $8 billion of tourism activity happening again.

I want our hospitals putting their attention to abandoned waiting lists. We want cross-border emergency transfers approved by CHOs. We want tourists with fat wallets not being stopped at the borders but allowed to sit on the beach, stand on a stand-up paddleboard and enjoy what we have to offer. We need industrial-sized quarantine so we can have not 12 but 1,200 hotels welcoming international travel where it can be done safely. We need an army of hotel quarantine workers trained, for goodness sake. We need the opt-out option for Work for the Dole removed so we have low-skilled workers back at work in this great nation. But for one diabolical hotel quarantine failure, this great nation should have been back at work six months ago. The public health evidence should not be spurious and serving premiers. Deputy Speaker, get this great nation back to work.