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) (12:18): There is no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic is having a devastating impact on economies right across the world, and we have seen in yesterday’s national account figures that Australia and of course Victoria are not immune from the impact of this crisis.
The Andrews government has invested more than $10 billion into protecting Victorians from the virus’s deadly health and, might I say, economic effects, with direct business and job support, healthcare, education and social initiatives and $2.7 billion to building works—that in itself is creating some 3700 jobs. Our investment in the June quarter alone amounted to 6 per cent of the state’s economy, with the ABS data showing that Victorian state and local government growth in public demand was faster than the country at 6.4 per cent—more than two percentage points in fact faster than the national average. Of course there is the continuing success of our record Big Build investment and our state and local government sector investment, which grew by 24.4 per cent, which is effectively triple the national average. So we are working with the commonwealth, and of course we welcome more investment from the federal government in the September quarter.
Our response is working, with independent modelling from Deloitte Access showing that our economic support has boosted economic activity in the June quarter by $7.5 billion or 81 000 full-time equivalent jobs.
This government will not politicise this crisis or preen to conspiracy theorists. Those who want to put Victorian lives at risk of course need to recognise that what we need at this moment is a single focus. We will just get on with the job to ensure that Victorians bounce back from this crisis and once again Victoria returns to being the engine room of the nation.