Thursday, 25 February 2021
Questions without Notice
Queensland: Olympic and Paralympic Games
My question goes to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister please update the House on recent positive developments in Queensland's bid for the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and how Australia's success in managing the COVID-19 pandemic is assisting our efforts to bring this global event back to Australia? Prime Minister, how good is Queensland?
Indeed, how good is Queensland! And no-one knows that better than the member for Fairfax, my special envoy, who we sent in to be our advocate and my representative for Brisbane's bid for the 2032 Olympics. But there is more good news for Queensland, because there are now more jobs in Queensland than there were before the pandemic started, under the strong economic management and support that has been provided by the Commonwealth government.
In addition to that, while 728,000 Queenslanders were on JobKeeper when the pandemic was at its peak, by December that number had fallen to 259,000. There were 22,150 new apprentices supported by our wage subsidy program to get new apprentices on the job and on the tools in Queensland, and 24,000 existing apprentices were supported by our existing apprenticeship support program in some 13,000 businesses, keeping some 24,000 existing apprentices on the tools during the pandemic. And 54,000 training places were provided into Queensland, which have already been taken up by 21,000 who have enrolled. This is good news for Queensland, as a result of the policies. And, as the Minister for Housing will know, 19,000 HomeBuilder applications were made in the great state of Queensland.
That all comes on top of the good news we've had today. Back in May 2019 our government, during the course of the election, committed $10 million to support the proposal of the South-East Queensland mayors that Queensland and indeed Brisbane should bid for the 2032 Olympics. Soon after the election I was pleased to be in Osaka and to raise the prospect of this bid with the president of the International Olympic Committee, and I was so pleased that by December of that year the Queensland government committed to the bid. I congratulate the Queensland government, and I look forward to continuing to work with the Queensland government and the Australian Olympic Committee as they now lead this process forward.
And I make this reference, and this is very important for all Australians: the Australian Olympic Committee's CEO, Matt Carroll, said today, in recognition of what this means for Australia: 'Australia brings certainty in uncertain times.' That's what this bid means. The rest of the world has looked at Australia, and they've said, 'They know how to get things done; they know how to deal with things.' (Time expired)
I certainly congratulate the work that's been done with the Queensland bid for the Olympics—the Australian Olympic Committee, the government of Queensland, the backing of everyone in this federal parliament. The Olympics can bring jobs, it can bring trade, it can bring economic activity to Queensland and it can showcase us to the world yet again. I congratulate particularly the Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk. How good is she in keeping Queenslanders safe! I look forward to working with her for a long time to come.