House debates

Thursday, 4 February 2021

Questions without Notice

Workplace Relations

2:00 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. How will the Prime Minister's industrial relations changes, which allow the wages of workers to be cut, help the economic recovery? Won't his changes just make things worse?

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

No. That's the answer to the question. The Leader of the Opposition is engaged in a desperate overreach. That's what he's engaged in. I tell you what our plans are doing: they're putting people back into work. Whether it's the plans that we want to put in place to make sensible changes that actually help businesses to employ people; whether it's changes that are actually building the skills of the Australian workforce; whether it's the revitalisation of the Australian manufacturing industry, which is the technology roadmap, some $18 billion invested over the next decade that will transform the global economy, working with other partners around the world—all of these things are reducing the cost to households by reducing their tax burden. And it's not just for individuals but also for businesses going out there, taking risks to put Australians back into work. We're cutting red tape and seeing the transformation of the digital economy in Australia, which is so critical. The instant expensing—

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

The Manager of Opposition Business, on a point of order?

Photo of Mr Tony BurkeMr Tony Burke (Watson, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for the Arts) Share this | | Hansard source

It's on direct relevance, Mr Speaker. The question is already broad. It refers to the industrial relations changes. I'm not surprised that the Prime Minister doesn't want to refer to the industrial relations changes, but he has to to be relevant.

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

I'll just say that I take the point the Manager of Opposition Business is trying to make. The question was about industrial relations, but it also, I think, broadened the scope for the answer with the words, 'Won't they make things worse?' And I think the Prime Minister's entitled to talk about the government's approach on workplaces and jobs and what the government's priorities are. So I think he's in order so far.

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

When you give them a one-word answer, they don't like it; and when you give them an expansive answer, they don't like it either! The answer is what the Australian people are seeing from this government on the economy: putting people back into jobs. The only job those opposite are focused on at the moment is the job of that man right there.