Senate debates

Wednesday, 8 April 2020


Coronavirus Economic Response Package (Payments and Benefits) Bill 2020, Coronavirus Economic Response Package Omnibus (Measures No. 2) Bill 2020, Appropriation Bill (No. 5) 2019-2020, Appropriation Bill (No. 6) 2019-2020; Second Reading

8:07 pm

Photo of Kristina KeneallyKristina Keneally (NSW, Australian Labor Party, Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate) Share this | Hansard source

I move the second reading amendment on sheet 8939:

At the end of the motion, add:

", but the Senate:

(a) notes that:

  (i) during the coronavirus crisis, if someone living in Australia needs support, they should be able to access it,

  (ii) the Government has extended the jobkeeper payment to 444 visa holders on the basis that these visa holders have a long connection with their employers,

  (iii) many other visa holders have equally long connections with their employers, but their employers will not be able to claim the jobkeeper payment for these employees,

  (iv) the package of bills before the Senate will give the Treasurer the power to extend the jobkeeper payment to any visa holder,

  (v) this is an important power given the current environment, and one that is supported by the Labor Party,

  (vi) the Minister for Families and Social Services has similar powers to expand the jobseeker payment to other categories of people, including various types of visa holders, but the Minister has not exercised these powers in relation to temporary visa holders to date,

  (vii) Labor supports the Government's position that if a temporary migrant worker can go home, they should. However, many temporary migrants are now trapped in Australia by border closures and the shutdown of international flights,

  (viii) where migrants cannot go home, the Government must ensure temporary visa holders are not getting sick or falling through the cracks, and

  (ix) the lack of support for temporary migrants trapped in Australia is a serious public health and economic issue for all Australians; and

(b) calls on the Government to use these powers to provide appropriate support to everyone living in Australia during the COVID-19 pandemic."


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