Thursday, 18 June 2020
I, and also on behalf of Senator Waters, move:
That the Senate—
(a) notes that recent research published by the Open University on investment in the care industry found that:
(i) if Australia invested 1% of GDP in the care industry, it would raise the employment rate by 1.2% which, as a point of comparison, is more than the same investment in the construction industry,
(ii) investment in the care industry would result in 79% of new jobs being filled by women, thereby helping to reduce the gender employment gap in Australia, and
(iii) the fiscal returns from investing in the care industry are higher compared to investing in other industries, allowing greater investment for the same net cost;
(b) acknowledges that the care industry, including the education, health, aged care and child care sectors, play a critical role in Australia's recovery from the COVID-19 crisis; and
(c) calls on the Government to invest in the care industry to generate new jobs, close the gender employment gap and ensure we have the workforce to deliver universal access to essential services.
While many businesses have been adversely affected by COVID-19 and are reducing the workforces, some areas of the economy have increased demand for workers, including in industries and occupations dominated by women, such as the health and care sectors. The Morrison government is supporting social infrastructure sectors such as health, aged care, disability care, education and childcare through the COVID-19 pandemic. Many women who work in these sectors have been on the front lines throughout this pandemic and will continue to play a critical role in Australia's COVID-19 economic response and recovery.
Question agreed to.