Senate debates

Thursday, 18 February 2021


JobSeeker Payment, JobKeeper Payment, Environmental Legislation

12:26 pm

Photo of Katy GallagherKaty Gallagher (ACT, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Finance) Share this | Hansard source

I move general business notices of motion Nos 1005, 1007 and 1009 that have been circulated in the chamber.

General Business Notice of Motion No. 1005

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

  (i) the Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Dr Philip Lowe's comments that the Government's planned reduction in JobSeeker will impact the Australian economy, namely 'It would obviously have some effect because these people getting their supplement, the bulk of them spend the income they get, so there would be some effect on spending',

  (ii) income support recipients spend their money on local businesses, helping to sustain local jobs,

  (iii) the increase to JobSeeker via the Coronavirus Supplement has been a critical economic support, and

  (iv) the planned reduction to JobSeeker will impact spending; local businesses and local jobs; and

(b) calls on the Government to deliver a permanent increase to JobSeeker.

General Business Notice of Motion No. 1007

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

  (i) 1.5 million workers including 40,000 travel agents are still reliant on the JobKeeper wage subsidy,

  (ii) the COVID-19 recovery is patchy and some sectors are still hurting due to lockdowns and international border closures,

  (iii) JobKeeper is set to be withdrawn on 28 March 2021 but the Government has not announced further support for sectors still affected by COVID-19,

  (iv) the tourism sector is one of the worst affected sectors, and

  (v) without support beyond March, 60% of tourism-related businesses and 90% of travel agencies could collapse;

(b) expresses its appreciation for travel agents, like Lisa and her team at Capital Travel Manuka, who have been working for next to nothing to help Australians change travel plans, return home after being stranded overseas and claim $4 billion in refunds;

(c) condemns the Morrison Government for:

  (i) failing to create a plan for secure, well-paid jobs to replace JobKeeper in sectors that need ongoing support. and

  (ii) ignoring the pleas for help from businesses in sectors that will not fully recover until the reopening of international borders; and

(d) calls on the Morrison Government to extend JobKeeper beyond March for businesses still adversely impacted by international border closures.

General Business Notice of Motion No. 1009

That the Senate—

(a) notes that:

  (i) Professor Graeme Samuel is an eminent and experienced regulator, and his review of the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999 marks a significant opportunity for reform to protect the environment and create jobs,

  (ii) the Morrison Government has completely bungled this opportunity for reform by:

     (A) pre-empting the findings of their own independent review,

     (B) rehashing Tony Abbott's failed 2014 environment bill, ramming the failed bill through the lower house and gagging debate, and

     (C) ignoring and cherry-picking the recommendations from the report, and pursuing second rate so-called standards,

  (iii) the Morrison Government was starting from a low base given it has:

     (A) slashed 40% from environment department funding, and

     (B) presided over an explosion of 510% in job and investment delays through environmental decision blow-outs, and

  (iv) Australia's bushfire ravaged natural environment, industry groups, scientists, and communities across the nation have been crying out for measured, durable and effective reform;

(b) condemns the Morrison Government for being more interested in politics than solutions; and

(c) calls on the Morrison Government to introduce strong national environmental standards, establish a genuinely independent 'cop on the beat' for Australia's environment and fix the explosion in job and investment delays caused by their massive funding cuts.


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