Wednesday, 9 December 2020
Questions without Notice
COVID 19: Economy
My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister outline to the House how the Morrison government's Economic Recovery Plan is driving our comeback from the COVID-19 recession, including by helping to create and secure more jobs?
I thank the member for her question and I thank her once again for her leadership in her community, and particularly for her great leadership of the Chinese-Australian community in her electorate. It was so critical, particularly in the early phases of the pandemic and the way that they practised the necessary health precautions that ensured that Australia did not face the devastating impacts of COVID-19 in the same scale as was experienced elsewhere in the world, in other countries.
In the early phases of the pandemic one of the key objectives that we had was, obviously, not just to cushion the blow and to get on top of our health response to the COVID-19 pandemic; the goal was to build confidence again and to restore confidence that had been shattered by the COVID-19 pandemic that hit this country. That goal of confidence amongst Australians, amongst consumers, amongst businesses, is the critical ingredient for Australia's comeback from the COVID-19 recovery.
Following the surveys that were released this week—the ANZ survey had consumer confidence jumping to a 2020 high, and the NAB survey had business confidence jumping to an over two-year high—today we hear from Westpac that consumer sentiment confidence has risen to the highest level in a decade. That says that Australians have responded to the supports that have been put in place both at a federal level—most significantly—and at a state level to ensure that they could look forward into the future, into 2021, with great confidence. Bill Evans has put the rise in confidence down to, amongst many things, rapid, proactive responses from authorities critical to containing the economic damage.
There is a clear understanding from Australians that the government has worked with other governments around the country, cooperatively, proactively to support Australians through the worst crisis they have seen in economic terms since the Great Depression. That work will continue as we continue to roll out the recovery plan from the COVID-19 recession that was set out by the Treasurer, and that includes so many issues, from skills to infrastructure, to lower taxes, to important changes in our workplace, to cutting red tape so businesses can employ. All of this is designed so they can look forward to 2021 as we gear out of a series of supports into a new layer of supports that will see Australia through. We have a plan to see Australia through. It is seeing Australia through. Today's confidence figures show that Australians have the confidence to back that plan. (Time expired)