Senate debates

Thursday, 10 December 2020

Questions without Notice


2:29 pm

Photo of Michaelia CashMichaelia Cash (WA, Liberal Party, Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator Van for his question. As 2020 draws to a close, I would like to thank all the small and family businesses out there—the almost 3.5 million of them that employ almost six million Australians each and every day—for everything that they have done in what has been an incredible challenging year for them, a year like no other and, more than that, a year that they could never have predicted.

This year, as we all know, Australia and Australians have been tested like never before. Lives and livelihoods have been lost, and many Australians, including those in small and family businesses, through no fault of their own are doing it tough. COVID-19 has without a doubt had a devastating impact on the Australian economy. But we've actually ended COVID-19, particularly when you look at the labour market, from a position of economic strength. Again, that is because of the hard work and dedication of our family businesses and small businesses out there.

In February 2020, Australia had a record number of people in employment—13 million Australians were in employment. This included a record number of women in employment, it included a record number of Australians in full-time work and it included more than 1.9 million youth in employment. When we came to office in 2013, we said that we would be a job-creating government, that we would put in place the economic framework that would allow businesses to prosper, grow and create more jobs for Australians. Since we were elected to office, we have now overseen the creation of 1.5 million jobs, and full-time employment has accounted for around 57 per cent of total jobs growth over that period. We acknowledge that governments don't create jobs; we put in place a policy framework. To all of those businesses out there, small and family in particular, we say thank you.


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