$130 billion Jobkeeper bills pass in single day

Parliament met on Wednesday 8 April for a single day’s sitting.

Apr 8, 2020

A package of 4 bills relating to the government’s $130 billion Jobkeeper plan passed in a single day. The package is designed to help businesses and workers who have suffered financially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Treasurer, the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, described the package as ‘the single biggest rescue package that our nation has ever seen’.

The bills passed with the overwhelming support of the Parliament, although the opposition and crossbench members proposed amendments—changes—to the bills to include payments for more casual workers.

It is unusual for bills to pass the Parliament in a single day, as bills are normally considered by Parliament for weeks, or even months. Generally bills are only passed with such speed when the Parliament is responding to an emergency.

Far fewer members of parliament attended than usual, with only 56 Members of the House of Representatives and 25 Senators in attendance.