PARLIAMENT UPDATE:31/8 - 3/9/2020
Figures from the National Accounts released this week confirm the devastating blow the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the Australian economy so far, with real GDP falling by 7 per cent in the June quarter.
Economic declines in other comparable countries - 9.1% in the United States, 13.8% in France and 20.4% in the United Kingdom - demonstrate just how devastating the global impact of the pandemic has been.
That is why the Government has taken decisive action since the start to cushion the economic blow and protect as many jobs as possible in Australia.
Without measures like JobKeeper, an additional 700,000 jobs would have been lost, with the unemployment rate climbing an extra five percentage points.
While we continue to battle against the impact of the pandemic - particularly in Victoria - businesses and workers will still need support. That’s why the extension and expansion of JobKeeper until March 2021 is such a key part of our plan to keep people in jobs, along with cash-flow boosts for small businesses and support for trainees and apprentices.
The Prime Minister has also announced the next phase of the Government's JobMaker plan, involving $1 billion to bring forward defence projects to support Australian manufacturing and construction. The package will help many small and medium sized businesses in the defence-industry manufacturing supply chain.
In Question Time this week, I was pleased to report on the success of the Government’s HomeBuilder program which is supporting hundreds of thousands of tradie jobs and helping Australians build or rebuild a home with a $25,000 grant.
Finally, the Government has also announced new legislation that will give the Foreign Minister the power to cancel agreements that state governments, local councils and public universities make with foreign governments.
Foreign policy is the responsibility of the Federal Government and these laws will make sure that this stays the case. Importantly, under these changes, the Victorian Government's secretive Belt and Road deal can be cancelled, based on the consistent advice of our national security experts that it is not compatible with our foreign and security policy objectives.
You can read transcripts or watch videos of my speeches in Parliament by either clicking on the articles below or by visiting www.michaelsukkar.com.au.
The Hon Michael Sukkar MP
Federal Member for Deakin
Minister for Housing & Assistant Treasurer