House debates

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Questions without Notice

COVID-19: Business

2:12 pm

Photo of Pat ConaghanPat Conaghan (Cowper, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development. Will the Deputy Prime Minister outline to the House how the Morrison-McCormack government recognises and thanks Australia's supply-chain workers and businesses who have helped our nation get through one of its most challenging years?

Photo of Michael McCormackMichael McCormack (Riverina, National Party, Leader of the Nationals) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Cowper for his question. Regional Australia is at the heart of our nation, and no more so than this year. It has been magnificent throughout this global pandemic which has caused such heartache throughout the world. Regional Australia has been there for each and every one of us. It has maintained its strength. We say thank you to those people in regional Australia for their determination, for their fortitude and for their mateship. Our regions upheld restrictions even in instances where there were no cases in their communities. We have relied upon our regions to lead the way through the response to COVID-19.

I take this opportunity to thank each and every Australian, not just those in the regions but each and every Aussie, particularly those in country and coastal committees, for persevering in what has been a remarkably challenging year. Thank you to the truckies who've kept supermarket shelves stocked and delivered critical medical supplies across state borders. Thank you to the aviation sector, which was hit first and hit hardest at the very beginning of the pandemic. Planes in the air equals jobs on the ground. With the easing of restrictions nationwide, we look forward to seeing a resurgence in air travel in the weeks leading up to Christmas so loved ones can be reunited at this special time.

Thank you to our farmers, our fantastic farmers, who have continued to produce the world's best food and fibre. Thanks to the overseas labour force currently working hard in Australian orchards, meatworks and elsewhere and those who will follow from the Pacific and other nations next year, hopefully, in a trans-Tasman bubble. Thank you to the many hardworking people who have continued to work to ensure the delivery of essential community infrastructure, in construction, planning, project management, manufacturing and supply. Thank you to our frontline workers, our teachers, our healthcare workers, our first responders, for your commitment, your dedication above the call of duty. Thank you to the small-business owners, particularly those in regional Australia, who have adapted, who have diversified and who have persevered to keep their doors open and stay connected with their workers, their employees. We owe them a debt of gratitude. Together we have weathered the immense challenges brought about by COVID-19. We've done it together. This Christmas, this summer, think local, shop local, buy local. Please buy Australian. Buy Australian produce. It is so essential, and we have the very best in all of the world on our shelves. Look for that Australian logo. Please buy it. Help an Australian farmer. Help somebody from regional Australia. It's so, so important. Together we will recover—united, stronger, stoic. Together.

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

The Leader of the Opposition?

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

Just briefly, I associate Labor with the fine words of the Deputy Prime Minister with regard to a shout-out to all those in the regions who have looked after us during this difficult year.