Thursday, 12 August 2021
Questions without Notice
Thank you, Mr President. I thank Senator Hughes for the question, and in particular I acknowledge Senator Hughes' work that she's done in relation to ensuring that regional businesses and rural businesses in Australia are supported throughout COVID-19. As I think we would all acknowledge, small and family business are well and truly the lifeblood of the Australian economy, but in particular our rural and regional communities. These businesses have been and are the key to Australia's recovery from COVID-19. And without a doubt those small businesses will be the key to our future economic success.
Look what has happened in the ACT today. Small businesses have not had it easy throughout COVID-19. They have faced many challenges with lockdowns and restrictions severely impacting their operations. But any of us who have dealt with a small business know that they have faced up to those challenges and they are doing their best to get through COVID-19. The Morrison government is backing them every step of the way. In terms of the support that we have been able to provide small businesses, around $300 billion in direct health and economic support since the pandemic began has reached our shores to support these businesses, to support the essential workers, but also to keep Australians in jobs throughout the pandemic.
This extensive economic support—and this obviously includes JobKeeper, the apprentices wage subsidy and that important cashflow boost, giving back to small businesses what they themselves have actually earned—saw Australia's unemployment rate come down to a record low of 4.9 per cent. The Morrison government will continue to back small businesses every step of the way, because we know they're doing it tough, but we want them to prosper and grow and create more jobs. (Time expired)