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17        Family and Community Services— JobKeeper program eligibility

Senator Sheldon, also on behalf of Senators Gallacher, Bilyk, Chisholm, Sterle, Brown and Marielle Smith, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 550—That the Senate—

(a)              notes that:

(i)                    in 2018, the Government approved the sale of Qantas’ catering business to Dnata, an in-flight catering company which is part of the Emirates group, owned by the Government of Dubai,

(ii)                  Dnata employs 6,000 workers every year at nine Australian airports, most of whom previously worked for Qantas’ catering business,

(iii)                workers at Dnata are Australians who have worked in the Australian aviation industry their whole working lives,

(iv)                since the grounding of flights due to the COVID-19 pandemic most workers at Dnata have been asked to work as a skeleton crew,

(v)                  when Prime Minister Morrison, and Treasurer Frydenberg announced JobKeeper, the Treasurer said: ‘Australians know that their government has their back’,

(vi)                on 1 May 2020 the Government, without consulting businesses or workers, changed the rules of the JobKeeper program to exclude companies including Dnata,

(vii)              on 4 May 2020, 5,500 Australian workers at Dnata were told they were no longer eligible for JobKeeper payments due to the changes made by the Federal Government, and

(viii)            every cent of the Job Keeper payment goes to the workers who need it - the money would not go to the foreign-owned company;

(b)              recognises that workers at Dnata do not choose who owns the company they work for; and 

(c)              calls on the Government to:

(i)                    honour its commitment to Australian workers and demonstrate that it ‘has their back’, no matter who owns their company; and 

(ii)                  reverse the rule that excludes the 5,500 workers at Dnata from JobKeeper payments. 

Question put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 28

Senators—

Ayres

Gallacher

McCarthy

Siewert

Bilyk

Gallagher

McKim

Smith, Marielle

Carr

Griff

O’Neill

Urquhart*

Chisholm

Hanson-Young

Patrick

Walsh

Ciccone

Kitching

Pratt

Waters

Farrell

Lambie

Rice

Watt

Faruqi

McAllister

Sheldon

Whish-Wilson

 

 

NOES, 28

Senators—

Askew

Cormann

McGrath

Roberts

Birmingham

Davey

McMahon

Ruston

Bragg

Hanson

O’Sullivan

Ryan

Brockman

Henderson

Paterson

Scarr

Canavan

Hughes

Payne

Seselja

Chandler

Hume

Rennick

Smith, Dean*

Colbeck

McDonald

Reynolds

Van

* Tellers

The ayes and noes were equal and so the question was negatived.