STATEMENTS BY MEMBERS: Cooper Electorate & the JobKeeper Payment

12 August 2021

Today, just as lockdown spread to the ACT because of the Morrison Government's failures, my office received a call from our local Centrelink. They called to let us know that notices are going out to alert people who struggled through the lockdowns, who relied on government support to survive, that they will have to pay back overpayments they might have received while on JobKeeper. Let's be clear: these are not billionaires. They're not people who get massive bonuses because their business profits actually went up during the pandemic. No. These are everyday people in my community being told to pay back money they most likely don't have. So my office is preparing for the calls, calls from people who will most likely still be in financial dire straits, and we'll do our best to help them.

Could we highlight the absolute hypocrisy of this Morrison government any better than this? How low can they go? Clawing back money from people on the breadline while we know billionaires and wealthy businesses have pocketed billions and billions of dollars from the JobKeeper scheme which they didn't deserve and shouldn't have received and which they can keep—they can keep! There are no letters from the Treasurer going out to them—couldn't find them as they sail around escaping lockdown on their yachts, I suppose! This is outrageous. If you live in Cooper, don't hesitate to reach out to us if you need help. I give a shout-out to the member for Fenner, who's fought tirelessly to highlight this hypocrisy.