Senate debates

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Bills

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

8:17 pm

Photo of Tony SheldonTony Sheldon (NSW, Australian Labor Party) Share this | Hansard source

I move the matter which I spoke to earlier:

At the end of the motion, add ", but the Senate calls on the Government to:

(a) ensure that the JobKeeper wage subsidy is only used by employers to pay their employees' wages and not to subsidise their company's balance sheet, noting that there should be no provision for business to force employees to use their annual leave entitlements and pay for that leave with the JobKeeper wage subsidy;

(b) recognise that the Australian arts and entertainment sector needs a specific, tailored, fiscal response package to ensure its ongoing viability, given the structure of the JobKeeper payment has been designed in a way that leaves many workers in the sector ineligible;

(c) extend the 15 per cent reduction in turnover threshold to all National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Disability Employment Services (DES) providers, and deliver a retention and support package for the disability sector workforce;

(d) provide much more support for staff in schools, TAFEs, and universities affected by this crisis, noting that:

  (i) hundreds of thousands of school and university staff, including casual workers, are facing job losses, but will not be eligible for this JobKeeper payment, and

  (ii) the Government should be saving jobs and making sure Australia has a strong and sustainable education and training sector on the other side of this crisis;

(e) recognise the importance of local government, acknowledging that the closure of council facilities has resulted in significant revenue loss and workers being stood down and that without support, up to 45,000 local government workers could lose their jobs, demonstrating the need for the Government to work together with state governments to address these important issues; and

(f) note that a number of major charities will be unable to access the JobKeeper program, and will have to shed staff and cease programs as a result".

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