INTERVIEW ON SUNRISE, CHANNEL 7
10 May 2021
Subjects: The major infrastructure investment which forms part of the Federal Government’s National Economic Recovery Plan;
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack joins me now. Michael – infrastructure – why are these the centrepiece of this Budget? Why are they critical for our recovery?
Because it’s going to a secure Australia’s recovery. It is going to secure Australia’s future, Kochie and the more than $10 billion is going to support an additional 30,000 workers on top of the 100,000 that already the $110 billion, 10-year infrastructure roll out is supporting. So, that is good news and we should mention the Bass Highway upgrades too, in Tasmania. So, every state and both territories are going to benefit from this infrastructure roll out.
Is there a fear we’re going to run out of workers? We have unemployment dropping quickly, we’ve got vacancy rates at record highs at the moment and employers can’t fill positions and the borders are closed to migrants.
And that is why we want those Australians to play that team Australia game. That’s why we want Australians to take that job, particularly in regional Australia – so important. 43,000 jobs, at the moment in regional Australia. Everything from, yes, building roads, working in accountancy firms, law practices, right across the spectrum, health, education. Yes, there is work in orchards. Yes, there is work in meat processing plants, but there’s jobs in all facets of regional Australia. It certainly is an infrastructure Budget, it’s a Budget that is going to secure Australia’s future and get us through this recovery that we need. COVID-19, well, we’re not out of the woods yet by any stretch but no locally acquired cases yesterday, we are doing everything we can as a Government to keep Australia as COVID-free as we can.
Now, a number of measures have also been announced that target female voters including domestic violence, women’s health and childcare packages. Is this a play for the female voters that you have got offside in the last 12 months?
It is something that is necessary and I had a message yesterday from one of my constituents who thanked the Government for the funding that we’re doing in breast cancer screening and endometriosis. This is good money, vital money and necessary money for women. But the overall health package for all Australians is a good one and I know that Josh Frydenberg is very, very happy as to where the Budget has landed and 7:30 tomorrow he will be having more to say about women’s health and all sorts of other issues – aged care, infrastructure – it is a very good Budget to secure Australia’s recovery.
We’ll wait and see. Michael McCormack, thanks for joining us.