Tuesday, 16 June 2020
Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers
JobKeeper Payment, Pensions and Benefits
I acknowledge Senator Sterle's contribution to the debate and place on the record my sympathies for the dnata workers. The unfortunate issue is that not only are they owned by a foreign entity; they are owned by a foreign entity which is 100 per cent controlled by a foreign government. As Senator Sterle knows, the legislation we passed in this place some time ago to deal with the JobKeeper payment excluded payments to wholly owned foreign entities owned by foreign governments. But I do acknowledge the comments he made.
With respect to Senator Brown's contribution, it perplexes me how Senator Brown can think there was any confusion whatsoever about what was going to happen with the JobKeeper and jobseeker payments. When we passed the legislation here in this chamber some months ago it was clear that both measures were intended to last for six months. That was absolutely clear. So I'm not sure why there is some confusion when the government has simply stated that it intends to maintain that course. I am not sure where the confusion is coming from. The government has been absolutely clear in that respect.
Let me also say that I have absolute sympathy for all of those workers who are at the moment on either the JobKeeper or jobseeker payments, because that reflects that the businesses for whom they work are not in a position to trade as they were trading before the coronavirus pandemic. If Senator Brown is concerned about those workers, if they're located in Queensland please pick up the phone and talk to the Premier of my home state, Premier Palaszczuk, and give her three messages. I'll even write the messages for you.
First: open the borders so the tourism industry can get back on its feet again. Just today, Premier Palaszczuk appears to be backsliding on the 10 July date. The tourism industry doesn't want to hear that. The tourism industry in my home state of Queensland wants to get up and running again. It wants to take advantage of that winter tourism season, and Premier Palaszczuk again is making comments in the Queensland parliament during question time that she's concerned that—