Questions without notice: Australian bushfires

Questions without notice: Australian bushfires Main Image

Mrs PHILLIPS (Gilmore) (15:19): My question is to the Prime Minister. A local business in my electorate, Robs Bait n Tackle, in Burrill Lake, has lost 80 per cent of its income for the year as a direct result of the fires. This small family business and many others are reluctant to pile on debt at a time when they have very little income. Will the government provide grants for businesses like this, instead of loans, which increase their debt?

Mr Morrison (Cook—Prime Minister and Minister for the Public Service) (15:19): That is a devastating loss of income for that business. I'd be very pleased if you could pass on their details and I'll make them available to the head of the National Bushfire Recovery Agency to see what additional measures they may not be aware of that may be able to assist them and go specifically to their circumstances.

There have been a range of questions that have been put forward by the opposition today that are seeking a change to the assessment of these grants. I note that that's what you're suggesting—that there should be a change. I would invite the Leader of the Opposition to write to me and set out the changes to the grant guidelines that he is proposing. I will happily have those assessed by the Department of Finance, and I'll be able to advise the House about the outcome and we can assess the feasibility of the proposal they seem to be making. I would simply invite them to put that proposal in writing to us.