Thursday, 3 June 2021
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister please outline to the House how the Morrison government's economic plan is driving our recovery from the health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, including through the extension of additional support in my home state of Victoria?
I thank the member for Chisholm for her question. I also thank the member for Chisholm not only for the work that she does in her community in Chisholm but also—and I was with her recently—for the excellent work she is doing with the Chinese-Australian community, as so many others are doing—the member for Banks, the member for Bennelong and so many others—not just in the Chinese-Australian community but also in other communities. The member for La Trobe, for example, is doing great work with those in the Indian community, and so many others are doing great work with other ethnic communities around Australia, particularly working alongside community leaders to highlight and support the pandemic efforts that have been put in place by the Commonwealth and state governments.
Australia has indeed been coming through this pandemic better than almost every other advanced country in the world. The national accounts have demonstrated that again. We have an economy in Australia that is bigger today than it was before the pandemic hit. There are more Australians in work today than before the pandemic hit. That is an Australians' led recovery, whether that's Australians deciding to take on the support provided by HomeBuilder to build their first home—as we've seen with dwelling investment statistics; whether that's employers who have invested in new equipment through the instant asset write-off and the instant expensing initiative that has seen business investment surge and power this economic recovery—and securing that recovery was set out in the budget this year; or whether it is the consumption of Australian households, going out there everyday—supported by getting back into work, and having that money in their pockets, and by lower taxes—driving that economy forward. That is what has occurred in this country—something that has not occurred in so many other countries around the world.
We cannot take it for granted and we cannot think that it will always be there. That is why the plan handed down by the Treasurer in this year's budget to secure Australia's recovery is there to support Australians through this pandemic. Indeed, there was some $41 billion in the second pandemic budget to ensure that Australians all around the country can come through this pandemic. But, specifically in relation to the latest lockdown in Victoria, as I've just responded to the Leader of the Opposition, we are introducing—it will be available from next week—a temporary COVID disaster payment. It is available to those who work or live in areas that are defined as a Commonwealth-affected area by the Chief Medical Officer. Those payments will be made to them on a weekly basis. That payment will be paid swiftly. It is there to help them get through this temporary period.
We want to see these lockdowns come to an end as soon as possible. We want to see kids back in school. We want to see people back at work. We want to see students back at universities. We want to see Australians in Victoria going about their normal lives again, as has been experienced by Australians around the rest of the country. (Time expired)