MINISTERS STATEMENT : COVID-19
MR PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations, Minister for the Coordination of Treasury and Finance: COVID-19) (12:30):
I am pleased to update the house on the government’s economic response to coronavirus. Make no mistake, the effects of this pandemic have been felt right across the globe, and Victoria is no exception. Treasury forecasts estimate that we will see a 14 per cent hit to gross state product and up to 270 000 jobs lost across the state.
In order to recognise that the state needs to make very substantial interventions we have provided more than $6 billion to help businesses and to keep Victorians in work. That includes $10 000 cash grants that have been provided for more than 46 000 struggling businesses. It also includes payroll tax refunds, land tax deferrals worth hundreds of millions of dollars, $500 million in support for landlords and tenants doing it tough, the scrapping of liquor licence fees and the waiving of WorkCover premiums for eligible businesses.
While those opposite may well be focused on their tweets and bats in Kew and how they can restart their peninsula golf club memberships, we on this side of the house understand that we have to get on and do the job that Victorians expect. Our Working for Victoria Fund has helped thousands of stood-down workers to find new employment, and our $2.7 billion building works package will create thousands more jobs. It will be these jobs that provide vital projects for local communities right across the state, including in schools and housing, stimulating the economy and getting more Victorians back to work—because that is what good governments do. They focus on the needs of our community and the contributions that we can make to help them through this difficult period.