House of Representatives 23/03/2021
Mr KHALIL (Wills) (13:39): There are just five days until this government ends JobKeeper. I spoke last month on behalf of local businesses in my electorate of Wills that will have to shut down when JobKeeper ends. All this government have done since I last spoke is hand out discounted airline tickets. They have no comprehensive plan to give targeted support to sectors that are still recovering. One example is independent cinemas. Last December, the independent Palace Cinema opened in my electorate in Coburg and, in February, I visited and met with the CEO, Benjamin Zeccola, and talked about the devastating impact of the pandemic.
I’ve always loved going to the cinema. I remember going to the Astor, the beautiful Art Deco theatre, and I remember the excitement of watching a great cinema classic. Now I take my kids to the new Palace Cinema in Coburg so that they can experience the magic of cinema. Independent cinemas are an incredibly important part of our cultural experience, but, with attendance restrictions and limited film production due to COVID-19, many cinemas will simply not survive when JobKeeper ends, yet the government has no plan for support. I ask the government to come up with a plan for targeted support to save our independent cinemas. I have launched a petition to save indie cinema. The government plan to end JobKeeper on 28 March will hurt people. It will hurt family businesses. It will hurt our culture. I call on the Treasurer to extend JobKeeper to support those who still need it.