Thursday, 17 October 2019
Questions without Notice
Pensions and Benefits
Thank you, Senator Gallacher, for your question. Can I categorically state in this place that the comments that were reported in The Murray Valley Standard that were attributed to me were misquoted and misrepresented. But what I would say is that one of the issues we were talking about at that particular forum was in relation to how we help people who find themselves with significant barriers to employment to deal with those barriers. One of the things that was specifically being discussed at that time was how we can, for people who find themselves in a situation where they have addictions—whether they be drug addictions, alcohol addictions or gambling addictions—put programs in place to assist those people to deal with those addictions.
Those opposite may seek to verbal me, but I can absolutely assure you that it doesn't matter what they say; it will not change the resolve of this government to help people who find themselves without a job and find themselves with significant barriers to employment to get past those barriers. We are absolutely committed to making sure that any Australian who wants a job will be put into a position where we can assist them in getting a job, and there are myriad different ways we are doing that. Those opposite who come in here and seek to trivialise this really important issue by making these sorts of statements—shame on you. We will remain absolutely focused on making sure that when we identify that people have barriers to getting into work we will work with them to address those barriers. The only thing that is disgusting in here is the misrepresentation that you seek to perpetuate.