Thursday, 5 August 2021
Treasury Laws Amendment (COVID-19 Economic Response No. 2) Bill 2021; In Committee
[by video link] Regarding the rights of the residents, section 117 of the Australian Constitution says:
A subject of the Queen, resident in any State, shall not be subject in any other State to any disability or discrimination which would not be equally applicable to him if he were a subject of the Queen resident in such other State.
Basically, how I interpret this is that people in one state are being treated totally differently to those in another. If you're in lockdown, you are being treated differently to those in other states. You state that, in the federation, the states can do what they want to do. It is the federal government's responsibility under the Constitution to allow individuals in the states freedom of movement in their states. But in another state they're being treated totally differently to any other person. You may want to respond to that. Also, these businesses have been paid a lot of money—hundreds of thousands of dollars—and they actually have been found to be not eligible for that funding. Why has the government not pursued them to refund that money? I assume that Harvey Norman has refused to actually pay back that money.