House debates

Wednesday, 9 December 2020

Questions without Notice

Workplace Relations

1:59 pm

Photo of Anthony AlbaneseAnthony Albanese (Grayndler, Australian Labor Party, Leader of the Opposition) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Prime Minister. Nurses, supermarket workers, cleaners, teachers, childcare workers, truck drivers and aged-care workers amongst others have helped Australia get through the pandemic. Why is the Prime Minister rewarding their sacrifice and hard work by cutting their take-home pay?

2:00 pm

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

What the Leader of the Opposition just said is completely untrue. This is a response from the Labor Party which is not surprising, but is disappointing, as usual.

Photo of Josh FrydenbergJosh Frydenberg (Kooyong, Liberal Party, Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

It's predictable!

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

It is predictable, Treasurer. In the peak of this crisis we pulled together employers and employee representatives from around the country. We got them together in good faith. Some 150 hours were spent bringing them together and holding discussions around a whole range of issues. We said very clearly, as a government, that having gone through that process—and listened—the government would eventually bring to this place a full package of job-creating and job-keeping changes to ensure that Australia could come out of, and emerge through, this COVID-19 recession. That process was not one where we sought for parties to sign-off on the end of a period of discussion. We listened to them and then we brought forward the changes that the government believe are necessary to keep jobs and to create jobs.

Opposition members interjecting

It is true that the comeback of the Australian economy has begun, but the recovery process has a long way to go. For that recovery process to continue for whatever sectors or industries Australians are from, and the Leader of the Opposition has mentioned many of them, their jobs depend on continuing changes being made to ensure that we can keep people in jobs and we get more people back into jobs. We are seeking to do that in a way that allows those employees and their employers to be able to sit together and make agreements that leave them in a better position as organisations, as enterprises, which create and support jobs. Our changes back the wisdom of people in their workplaces. Our changes back the necessity to get Australians back into work.

Opposition members interjecting

I said of the Leader of the Opposition some time ago, if he doesn't know how Australia went into the COVID-19 recession, then he has no clue about how to come out of it. What he has portrayed today is that sentiment again. The leader of the Labor Party does not understand the nature of the economic challenges faced by Australia. It is absolutely true that our recovery has begun, but it has a long way to go. The government have a broad platform of measures as part of our COVID-19 recovery plan that has already seen almost 80 per cent of work coming back, and that's how we'll continue. (Time expired)

Photo of Tony SmithTony Smith (Speaker) Share this | | Hansard source

I didn't interrupt the answer to warn several people, including the members for Gorton, Ballarat, Cooper, Kingsford Smith and many others. I'm not going to keep warning people. I'm just going to remind members that if they interject, I will act as I did yesterday. We need to do better than we've been doing, in terms of interjections, and I will have no hesitation to do that. I remind them that standing order 94(a) does not require a warning. I've been doing that to be extra tolerant, but it's not resulting in the level of behaviour that we need. So, if members interject, don't be surprised if you're ejected.