House debates

Thursday, 25 March 2021

Questions without Notice


2:28 pm

Photo of Angie BellAngie Bell (Moncrieff, Liberal National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

My question is to the Treasurer. Will the Treasurer update the House on how the Morrison government's decisive economic leadership is helping more and more Australians find jobs to support their families and secure their livelihoods?

Photo of Josh FrydenbergJosh Frydenberg (Kooyong, Liberal Party, Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

I thank the member for Moncrieff for her question and acknowledge her experience as an author, a musician and being in small business before coming to this place. In the honourable member's electorate, more than 24,000 people have graduated off JobKeeper. Across Queensland, more than 550,000 people have graduated off JobKeeper. The member for Moncrieff, like those on this side of the House, is working hard to create more jobs across the economy, as we recover from the biggest economic shock since the Great Depression.

The unemployment rate has fallen to 5.8 per cent. We've seen employment levels get to where they were pre-pandemic. We have seen more than 80 per cent of the jobs created in the month of February, 88,700 jobs, go to women. More than 40 per cent of those jobs have gone to young people. We know that all of those jobs that have been created were full-time jobs.

We also know that 2.7 million Australians have graduated off JobKeeper, and 680,000 Australian businesses have graduated off JobKeeper. I've had the opportunity to visit electorates right across the country and meet those small business people and their workers who have graduated off JobKeeper—like the cafe in Sturt, the cake shop in Reid, the bicycle shop in Braddon and the construction business in Herbert. These are the Australian success stories. These are the businesses that are getting to the other side of this pandemic.

This is the last sitting day before JobKeeper ends. We need to acknowledge what a remarkable program it has been. We need to remember that, when the Prime Minister and I announced the program on 30 March last year, Australia was staring into the abyss—

Ms Swanson interjecting

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

The member for Paterson will leave under standing order 94(a).

The member for Paterson then left the chamber.

Photo of Josh FrydenbergJosh Frydenberg (Kooyong, Liberal Party, Treasurer) Share this | | Hansard source

Treasury could see a situation where the unemployment rate could reach 15 per cent—that would be more than two million Australians who would have been unemployed. We all saw the heartbreaking images from across the country of tens of thousands of our fellow Australians lining up outside Centrelink. JobKeeper was an economic lifeline in that moment of crisis. It saved more than 700,000 jobs, according to the Reserve Bank of Australia. It was a temporary measure. It was an emergency measure. It was always coming to an end. We continue to create more jobs. (Time expired)