House debates

Monday, 22 February 2021

Statements by Members


1:35 pm

Photo of Josh BurnsJosh Burns (Macnamara, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

If you listen to the Prime Minister and the Treasurer in question time, you would be forgiven for thinking that this pandemic is all over. The Prime Minister has had his vaccine and he's signalling V for victory. They're patting themselves on the back and, despite hundreds of vaccine rollout announcements, they have only, finally, got a few vaccines actually being rolled out. They have plenty of slogans: snapbacks, fightbacks and comebacks. But, if they stopped congratulating themselves for one second and actually listened to the hardworking Australians, they would know that this pandemic is not over.

Many businesses and working families are doing it tough. Some sectors have recovered, but many have not. We've seen leaks of the virus in Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and the Northern Beaches of Sydney. The vaccine rollout will take time. There's much more to be done and many more mutations and other realities of the vaccine to be dealt with. There are still sectors who are doing it tough. What does this government want to do? Now that the Prime Minister has had his vaccine, he's going to rip JobKeeper and rip away the support from hardworking Australian businesses and hardworking Australians in the arts sector, the events sector, higher education and the tourism sector, including travel agents. Many on this side of the House have been meeting with our travel agents, who are hardworking Australians. We on this side of the House support small businesses and the businesses who have been relying on JobKeeper. Those on that side of the House are all marketing and spin and they are ripping support away, which is going to hurt Australian jobs.