Wednesday, 17 June 2020
Matters of Public Importance
I know it has been a rough week for Labor members, especially ones from Victoria. But I'm not sure Senator Ciccone had finished drafting the MPI before submitting, given both its lack of specificity and its blatant deception. The Morrison government is proud of what it has delivered and continues to deliver for our nation. Throughout this unprecedented time, our focus is on fighting the virus, delivering the economic lifeline Australians need to get through the course of the virus, reopening our economy and our society with a clear road ahead, building confidence and momentum in our economy and growing our economy for the years ahead. This is a five-year plan that will shape our country for the next 30 years. That means we're getting Australians out from under the doona, delivering jobs, guaranteeing the essential services Australians rely on, getting children back into school, keeping Australians safe and taking care of our economy.
We have the JobMaker plan to get Australia moving, focused on infrastructure and deregulation. This includes almost $72 billion in major infrastructure projects across the country being fast-tracked, slashing approval times and creating 66,000 jobs. And because the government recognises that, in these unprecedented times, some Australians will need to depend on government assistance in the short term, it has already temporarily supercharged the social security safety net, providing additional assistance to Australians affected by the economic impacts of the pandemic. Payments are rolling out for the $70 billion JobKeeper program, including a $1,500 per fortnight wage subsidy for 3½ million Australians. We have a $150 million domestic violence support package, to help family and domestic violence support services meet the growing demand as a result of the impacts of the coronavirus crisis. We're supporting senior Australians through two new initiatives under a $6 million communications package to prevent loneliness and social isolation. The government has also awarded $1 million in grants to 215 local community organisations to provide at-risk seniors with digital devices, such as mobile phones and laptops. The Morrison government is continuing to take action to help Australians whose mental health and wellbeing is affected by the pandemic by providing an additional $48 million to support the Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan. The list goes on.
We were delivering prior to COVID and we will continue to deliver in the face of this crisis and beyond. We were already seeing increases in job creation and increases in female participation in the workforce and we are looking to the future, ready to build on that. The Morrison government is delivering. We're focused on taking care of people now and setting up our nation for success in the coming decades. We all know the impacts of the coronavirus across the economy and that they have been severe. Businesses and households are facing increased uncertainty, and economic activity has slowed significantly, but this government's economic support package has provided timely support to affected workers, businesses and the broader community and it has kept Australians in work and businesses in business. We have put a floor under the economy and will lay the foundation for a strong economic recovery. The government is focusing on reopening and rebuilding. We need to get businesses back open. We need to enable Australians to go back to work. We need to ensure that consumers and businesses have the confidence to return to normal activities.
With respect to Senator Ciccone and the point that he may have been trying to make: there are some things we are very proud to have failed to deliver, and quite frankly the Australian electorate are pretty relieved that we have. We failed to deliver a retiree tax. We failed to deliver limitations to negative gearing that would have seen increases in rental prices and decimated the property investment market. We failed to deliver a pink batts program that literally lead to tragic deaths. We failed to deliver unwanted and overpriced school halls. We failed to deliver cheques to dead people. We failed to deliver cash in ALDI bags. We failed to deliver cash in folders along with fake ALP membership forms. We failed to deliver a protection racket for paedophiles rather than protect Australian children. And we definitely failed to sell out Australia to the highest bidder. Unlike those opposite, we are not failing the Australian people. We are delivering the economic health and security they need now and into the future. (Time expired)