Australia’s $130bn lifeline passes parliament

Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison

Australian parliament has passed the federal government’s $130 billion JobKeeper package designed to keep Australians in jobs.

This “lifeline” will provide payments of $1500 per fortnight to around six million eligible workers through their employer.

According to the federal government, over 700,000 businesses have registered for this support.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the package as “an absolutely essential lifeline for Australia.”

“If I had said to you that this was only going to cost $65 billion and it was over three months, I think I would not have been upfront with the Australian people,” the Prime Minister, speaking at a press conference at Parliament House, said.

“I would have had to have said, as we have done, we think that’s at least what we need to do. … But … (the JobKeeper package) must pass the parliament, because Australians need the certainty of that lifeline for the next six months.

“This will provide Australia with what we need to get through the next six months, and hopefully that gives us the time we need to chart our way through and out.”

The Australian Resources & Energy Group (AMMA) congratulated the Morrison Government on the passage of the historic JobKeeper legislation.

“This is a historic moment for the Australian Parliament during very dark times for our nation,” AMMA chief executive Steve Knott said.

“The JobKeeper package will deliver financial support to many thousands of Australians, sustaining their ongoing employment rather than seeing jobs lost and the labour market irreparable damaged.

“The government’s response to implement a suite of exceptional measures to keep Australians in jobs during these unprecedented times is most welcome by resources and energy employers.”

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