Thursday, 17 February 2022
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Treasury has revealed more than $3.3 million was spent on economic comeback ads which had to be paused after the Prime Minister's failures on vaccines and quarantine locked down the economy last year. Shouldn't the government's priority have been actually securing the recovery instead of claiming credit for it prematurely with taxpayer funded marketing and spin that had to be canned?
I thank the shadow Treasurer for his dixer because it gives me the opportunity to talk about the economic recovery which is underway. Today more than 13,000 jobs have been added to the record of this economy.
He can bellow all he likes, but he knows. He put it to this government. The shadow Treasurer put it to this government that the test of economic management of the government and how we were managing this pandemic would be jobs.
The Prime Minister will resume his seat for one moment. The member for Rankin asked a question. I would have thought he'd want to hear the answer. He may not like to hear the answer, but he should hear the answer. The member for Rankin will keep his noise down, please. The Prime Minister has the call.
Jobs have been our response to this pandemic. We have seen the labour force continue to grow. We have a million more women in work. We have the lowest rate of unemployment amongst women, at four per cent, that we've seen in a generation. We have unemployment for those young Australian down to nine per cent. Jobs and jobs and jobs—that is the answer to the question put by the shadow Treasurer. He set the mark, and this government just didn't meet that mark, it exceeded it. So, if you like people getting into jobs, vote Liberal and vote National, because that is the challenge that the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow Treasurer have put to this government. If this government can generate the jobs through the pandemic, then this government should be returned. This is exactly what this government is doing. We have more trade apprentices in training today—220,000 of them—than at any other time in economic history.
I only regret that there's not more opportunity for us to tell Australians about the strong economic recovery that's happening. We wouldn't be able to fill the air time with the number of jobs that are being created in this Australian economy, because our plan to get us through the pandemic was about backing Australian small and medium-sized businesses, to back them through the pandemic with the JobKeeper record investment to support businesses through this pandemic, a JobKeeper program that this opposition, this Labor Party, said they support—but then they bag it at every opportunity. Australians will know that it was this government who stood up for them in the course of the pandemic.
We now have one of the strongest advanced economies coming through this pandemic of any advanced economy in the world. On top of that, we have one of the lowest death rates from COVID of any country in the world and one of the highest vaccination rates. So if I'm asked to say what the government has been able to achieve: a stronger economy, a stronger response to the pandemic with one of the lowest death rates in the world, and we are ranked number 2 on pandemic preparedness of all countries around the world. So, when it comes to how Australia has performed against the rest of the world in the pandemic, that is what we've delivered. Most importantly, we are getting Australians into work.