House debates

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

Statements by Members


1:51 pm

Photo of Kristy McBainKristy McBain (Eden-Monaro, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

Brenda rang my Bega office recently with a story the Morrison government has, so far, failed to hear. Brenda has always been a hard worker but, due to COVID-19 and a recent injury, she has been in and out of work. She's currently looking for her next job. Brenda told me: 'Under no circumstances do I not want to work. I have a mortgage and two children that need looking after and I enjoy being out in my community. I know I'm capable of performing most jobs and have two interviews this week. I now feel I will be overlooked due to my age.' Brenda is just 47 years old but is increasingly feeling disadvantaged and isolated by her own government and its JobMaker hiring credit.

Incentives for any regional business to take on extra staff are welcome, especially at this time, but restricting it to employees under 35 just isn't fair and leaves people like Brenda and her kids wondering whose side the Morrison government is on. As Brenda told me: 'It just seems like another challenge I will have to overcome. I hope the Liberal government can see that there are some of us that are trying hard to gain employment. But in a big pool of people, to start discriminating is totally unjust.' I am on Brenda's side and the Morrison government should be too. She's a hardworking mum, wanting to provide for her kids, earn an honest wage and contribute to her community. Who are we here to serve if it's not people like Brenda? Good luck with the job interviews, Brenda. We all live in hope that this government will one day work as hard as you to provide for your family.