Senate debates

Tuesday, 16 June 2020

Questions without Notice: Take Note of Answers

JobKeeper Payment, Pensions and Benefits

3:47 pm

Photo of Paul ScarrPaul Scarr (Queensland, Liberal Party) Share this | Hansard source

He will, absolutely, and he'll go back on the basis that we could have more of the certainty that was sought from those sitting opposite with respect to the JobKeeper and jobseeker payments if we had more certainty as to when the borders were going to open. The two are linked, because employment prospects of people coming off both the JobKeeper and jobseeker payments are linked to the opening of the borders. The two are absolutely entwined. They're connected; they're related to each other. It's absolutely relevant.

This government could not have done a better job in terms of dealing with this once-in-100-years event than it has, and the facts demonstrate that. Australia is in the bottom three of countries across the whole world with respect to the lowest rate of GDP fall. That's how well we've done as a country. No government anywhere has done a better job than this government in terms of protecting lives and protecting livelihoods. Just this week we've heard how the government is going to be fast-tracking a number of infrastructure projects, and that's all about getting people off JobKeeper—their companies back running in accordance with normal trading conditions—and getting people off the jobseeker payment. That's how you provide the certainty and get people off JobKeeper and into their company's normal trading conditions and get people off the jobseeker payment and back into work. We're on common ground in that respect. We all want to see that happen. But the reality is that, in my home state of Queensland, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is backsliding on opening the borders, and that has a negative impact on people coming off the jobseeker payment.


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