12 June 2020


FRIDAY, 12 JUNE 2020

SUBJECTS: JobKeeper; Robodebt.

PETA MURPHY, MEMBER FOR DUNKLEY: Hi, I’m Peta Murphy. I’m the Federal Member for Dunkley. What people in my community and people across Australia need right now is a Prime Minister and a Government that is prepared to do the work that’s needed to make sure no-one is left behind. Unfortunately under Scott Morrison at the moment, too many people are being left behind. We know that women have been really hard hit by this pandemic. More women have lost jobs, more women have lost hours of work, women have been hit hard by the responsibilities of helping children go through home schooling. And yet what have we seen? We’ve seen the Government rip away JobKeeper from Childcare. That effects the women who need it, that effects the women that work in childcare who are very low-paid and need pay rises and it affects the industry and it’s not good enough. What we see is a JobKeeper scheme that has excluded casuals, it has excluded the arts sector, it has excluded Universities. Monash Peninsula Campus has had business student enrolment drop by 40%. We can’t afford to lose a University in my electorate for the economic benefits that it brings and for the wealth of knowledge that people bring that go to that University and are part of my community. We’ve seen a Minister for Communications this week – Arts is no longer in his title – try to say that everything is just hunky dory in the arts. Where is the stimulus package that every second day we hear is going to be handed down for the arts? People in the arts sector have been left behind. Women have been left behind. And you know who else has been left behind? People who have been absolutely smashed by Robodebt notice. Not long after I was elected, I was contacted by a man who told me a heart wrenching story about being pursued by debt collectors while he was in hospital getting surgery for a life-threatening illness. So sadly, the example Bill Shorten gave in question time yesterday that led to a bit of an apology from the Prime Minister about the damage that Robodebt has caused is not an isolated example. It’s not good enough, we really need to make sure that our community doesn’t fall of a cliff when Robodebt (sic.) is cut off at the knees in September and that we go forward out of this pandemic building better, not snapping back and leaving people behind. 

JOURNALIST: What did you think of the Prime Minister’s apology yesterday, you know, in question time? 

MURPHY: Well, I’m glad that he finally brought himself to be able to apologise to the people who have suffered. It has taken a very long time and it has taken a lot of pressure to drag that apology out of him. I know that an apology means a lot to people who have lost loved ones after receiving Robodebts, to people who have struggled to have to try and prove that they didn’t get an illegal payment. That’s the absurdity of this Robodebt scheme under this government, they made people have to prove that they didn’t get an illegal payment. It’s just extraordinary. So, it’s better late than never. Thank you. 



Authorised by Paul Erickson, ALP, Canberra.