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Economic Recovery

17 Mar | '2021

Those on the other side of the chamber don’t get what business is about. They don’t understand business. They don’t know what a BAS statement is or how long it takes a small-business owner to fill in a BAS statement every month or quarter. They don’t know how to run a budget, on that side. The thought of those on the other side being in charge of our budget as we come out of this coronavirus pandemic—can you imagine the absolute train wreck—

Opposition members interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mr Llew O’Brien ): The member for Moncrieff will pause. Members on my left will cease to interject, and, if the member for Solomon is not taking a seat, he will either leave the chamber or cease to interject. The member for Moncrieff.

I have three words for Australians and those opposite: coronavirus recovery plan. Not only do those opposite not know how to fill in a BAS statement but also they don’t know how to plan their way through a twin crisis—a health crisis and an economic crisis. They wouldn’t have any idea how to plan through that.

I want to talk about the economic recovery that the member for Rankin doesn’t want to talk about, because the national accounts show that the Morrison government’s economic recovery plan is working. Those on the other side don’t want to hear that it’s working. The member for Rankin just wants the Treasurer’s job. Can you imagine if he were in charge of this country in the position we’re currently facing? The good news is that in the December quarter Australia enjoyed economic growth of 3.1 per cent, significantly beating market expectations of 2.5 per cent. Who did that? That would be the Treasurer of our great country leading us through this pandemic and out the other side. That’s two consecutive quarters of economic growth in Australia of more than three per cent.

For the first time in Australian recorded history we’ve had two quarters of economic growth of more than three per cent. That’s quite an achievement, don’t you think? At the moment, under duress, in the situation that this country’s in, that is the result. I think that’s extraordinary. Australians across our great nation think that’s extraordinary. It is a long way from two negative quarters of growth, and we on this side of the chamber know that two negative quarters of growth equals recession.

An opposition member interjecting

A member opposite said, ‘Everyone knows that!’ No, everybody doesn’t know that. Those on the other side don’t know that. They don’t know how to fill out a BAS. They don’t know the difficulties of small business across Australia. The Australian economy has recovered 85 per cent.

Opposition members interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Members on my left, particularly the member for Dunkley, will cease interjecting.

Australia’s response to this twin health and economic crisis has been very successful. The UK, for example, contracted by 9.9 per cent; Italy contracted by 8.9 per cent; France contracted by 8.2 per cent; Canada contracted by five per cent; Japan contracted by 4.8 per cent; and the United States of America contracted by 3.3 per cent. Where is Australia, to those opposite? Australia contracted by only 2.5 per cent. There’s silence from the other side of the chamber now. We’re right at the very top of the ladder. We are in a very good position.

Our country is leading the way and our Treasurer is leading the way. Direct economic support from the federal government halved in the December quarter, yet, at the same time, the economy grew. That means it went up—by 3.1 per cent. It grew. There were 320,000 new jobs added to the economy. There were 2.1 million Australian workers who graduated off JobKeeper. The private sector’s going to look after those people. Ninety per cent of jobs—for those opposite, if you’re listening—come from the private sector. They come from small business and medium business, or SMEs. And they are graduating off JobKeeper all the time. I hear it from my electorate. I hear about HomeBuilder and how that’s keeping the construction industry going. They say on the other side we’re not helping industry. What about construction? There’s Homebuilder. What about JobKeeper? That goes across all of industry and all of business. What about the tourism recovery package we just announced last week? On the Gold Coast, $1.2 billion— (Time expired)

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