SENATOR ANTHONY CHISHOLM
LABOR SENATOR FOR QUEENSLAND
LABOR CANDIDATE FOR HERVEY BAY
THURSDAY, 15 OCTOBER 2020
SUBJECTS: Cuts to JobKeeper, cuts to JobSeeker, Queensland state election
Adrian Tantari: I'm Adrian Tantari, the Labor candidate for Hervey Bay. Thanks for coming along. I'm here today with Anthony Chisholm, Labor Senator for Queensland. Senator Chisholm and I have been campaigning heavily over the last day. As we've gone around, we've spoken to the people of Hervey Bay about issues relating to the election. It's been made abundantly clear to me that people are very concerned about returning to an LNP government that will cut, slash and burn services, as well as jobs. We've also discussed the strong economic recovery plan of the Palaszczuk Government and where we'll be increasing services in Hervey Bay in areas like education, health and infrastructure. I'll now hand over to Anthony.
Anthony Chisholm: Thanks Adrian. It's good to be back in Hervey Bay. This is day two of a trip for me post federal budget. I was in Maryborough yesterday, Hervey Bay yesterday afternoon and today, heading to Bundaberg and then finishing up in Gladstone on Friday. I am really focussed on the federal budget and the fact that the government spent so much money but left so many people behind and that's what I'm here to talk about in Hervey Bay. We know that there is a significant population here who are unemployed, and a significant number of those people are over 35. The government just abandoned them in the budget last week. We also know that there's 24,000 people in Hinkler who are either on JobKeeper or JobSeeker. The government has detailed no plan as to how that will roll out over the next six months. We know that JobKeeper is due to finish in March and we know that they've cut the Coronavirus supplement. That's going to have a negative impact on the local economy as people try to recover. That is going to be a significant challenge for the community of Hervey Bay.
But what is a real fear for me, and this is something that I picked up in the community through Maryborough and Hervey Bay over the last 24 hours, is that if an LNP government is elected at a state level, they've said that they want to return to surplus within 4 years and that can only mean one thing - cuts to jobs and services. We know this happened before when they were in government the last time and that's what they will have to do if they are to deliver a surplus in 4 years. So when you think about what the federal government is doing, and what the trajectory is there where there's going to be cuts to JobKeeper and cuts to JobSeeker over the next six months, and then added to that a state LNP government, that is bad news for Hervey Bay and for the local economy. So it is an important election. That's why I'm happy to support Adrian as the state Labor candidate for Hervey Bay and I would urge people to ensure the re-election of the Palaszczuk Government as the only barrier between wall to wall LNP governments at the state and federal levels. Happy to take any questions.
Journalist: Is it fair to say that there's a high number of businesses in Hervey Bay that depend on JobKeeper?
Chisholm: Absolutely. There's 12,000 across Hinkler so there would be many thousands of those people in Hervey Bay that are depending on JobKeeper, and the government has said that is going to end in March. They've already cut the rate. But they've said that it's going to end in March. I am worried about the negative economic consequences as a result of those changes.
Journalist: Just on your tour Anthony, who are you actually meeting with here in Hervey Bay?
Chisholm: So we were at the Kondari Hotel last night having a chat to locals there and I'm with Adrian today on the street front having a chat to locals. We'll continue doing that this morning until I head to Bundaberg. It really is an opportunity for us to talk to local residents, hear their concerns, and obviously for me to support Adrian's candidacy as well.
Journalist: Has Hervey Bay been neglected do you think?
Chisholm: Well I think what we've had is a state LNP member here who has been asleep at the wheel. I can't think of one thing he's done in the local community in the time that he's been here. And I think that's the same that we've got with Keith Pitt federally. I don't get a sense that he's spent a significant amount of time in Hervey Bay. I think it has been neglected. It's only been a state Labor government that has been prepared to represent this area with Annastacia Palaszczuk as premier and Bruce Saunders has done a great job in Maryborough. But I know that if we had Adrian here working in Hervey Bay what a tremendous boost he would be to the team in the area.
Journalist: This morning we saw $2.2 million committed by the LNP to pay for an artificial reef here and a pontoon. Is it disappointing to see money splashed on those sorts of projects?
Chisholm: Well obviously any project that brings jobs to the area is important. But the biggest question for the LNP is that they've said they're going to return to surplus in 4 years and the only way they can do that is by cutting jobs and cutting services. That is the question the LNP have to answer.
Journalist: In the paper this morning there's been a number of candidate’s donations revealed. Twenty thousand dollars next to your name Adrian, at the end of last year, for your candidacy. Is there anything you would like to say about that one?
Chisholm: Just on that, the reason you know about that donation is because it was all declared to the electoral commission. Yet Mr Coleman, the LNP candidate, had a fundraiser on Sunday night where he was charging $2500 a head and they have not admitted who was there. So Mr Coleman should be the one who should come forward and say who attended that, how much they paid and were any property developers at that dinner given the form of Deb Frecklington as the LNP leader. Those are the questions Mr Coleman should be answering. He should be declaring who was at that, how much they paid and whether any property developers were there. Thank you.