Coalition Government Fails to DeliverSpeech
This is a government that promises the world but does not deliver. We are in the midst of a deep recession, a public health emergency and, in Victoria, in my state, a lockdown. People here in my community need help. They need leadership and they need a federal government that gets on with the job. Instead, this government continues to leave many Australians behind: aged-care workers, early years educators, workers in the university sector, casual workers, workers in the arts—and the list goes on.
Months ago, the Prime Minister got up and announced the JobKeeper program. He claimed JobKeeper would support six million Australians, but the real figure was actually three million. Three million Australians missed out on support—a $60 billion stuff-up, the biggest budget error in Australian history, and one that has had devastating impacts on my community.
We were told by this government that the economy would come roaring back and everything would be fine at the end of the six-month hibernation. Instead, in my electorate of Corangamite, many businesses are struggling to keep the doors open. Our small towns along the Great Ocean Road and the Bellarine Peninsula, which rely on tourism to survive, are suffering; and many small businesses, from the iconic Apollo Bay Bakery to the wonderful Great Ocean Road Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery, are only just holding on. We need to stop pretending that JobKeeper, JobMaker and 'job-candlestick-maker' programs are a comprehensive plan for jobs. They're not. What we need is a plan to help our economy get through this crisis—a plan for the future. We need paid pandemic leave; better support for casual workers, who are doing it tough; and more help for businesses to keep people employed.
Nowhere is this more evident than in our childcare sector. The education minister declared 'Job done!' in June, when he announced a snapback to the old childcare system and ripped JobKeeper from the sector. The Prime Minister guaranteed early educators wouldn't lose their jobs in Victoria without JobKeeper. Well, that's not what's happening in my community. Two weeks ago I spoke to a local childcare educator who wished to remain anonymous, out of fear she would lose her job. But she was stood down last Tuesday, with no pay. She will not receive any government support. She will have no choice but to apply to Centrelink to survive. In her own words, 'This government has let me down.' She is just one of many workers in my community who have spoken to me about just how much damage this government has done to the childcare sector recently. These early-years educators are frontline workers. They're losing their jobs and their hours of work, and they feel forgotten by this government. The journey for these workers has been brutal. The government needs to wake up and it needs to start delivering for these workers.
Nowhere is the government's total failure to deliver for Australians more evident than in aged care. What is happening in our aged-care homes is a national tragedy. The Prime Minister has boasted about the number of announcements the government have made in aged care, but they've failed to deliver the policies and resources our aged-care sector needs to survive this pandemic. Here in Victoria, older Australians in aged care are sick and dying. The government promised an effective surge workforce but didn't deliver. They promised PPE for all aged-care workers, but many of them continue to miss out. The government have also continued to leave more than 100,000 older Australians on the waiting list for homecare packages. This is a government led by a Prime Minister who is always there for the photo op but never there for the follow-up, and a cabinet that is more interested in headlines than actually helping people. The failure of this government to deliver on its announcements is hurting my community of Corangamite. It's time for the government to get on with the job.Share Tweet