Member for Mallee Anne Webster has praised the JobKeeper payment for protecting livelihoods in the Wimmera, though has not said whether she would support it continuing at its current level.
In a speech on Wednesday, Dr Webster told federal parliament 4200 businesses in Mallee applied for JobKeeper in May.
That same day, the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced Australia's Gross Domestic Product - a measure of the economy's health - had dropped by seven per cent in the three months to July, the largest quarterly fall on record.
JobKeeper sees the government pay business owners $1500 per fortnight per eligible employee, to encourage them to keep staff on while their business is significantly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. From September 28, the payment rate will be reduced to $1200 per fortnight.
Dr Webster said while she had heard from many Mallee businesses who appreciated JobKeeper, reversing the planned $300 drop was not the most effective solution.
"The news I have from businesses from across the electorate is they are very grateful for JobKeeper, but they also understand we need to be able to walk out of this, to get on the road to recovery," she said. "What they want to be able to do is get back to work, and that's the problem now with restrictions.
"We need restrictions to be able to be lifted, to be able to have hospitality, tourism and farm workers doing what they need to do. They understand we can't just keep forking out money, because obviously $314 billion of support so far, is not going to go away quickly."
Last week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the federal government would establish a national definition for "coronavirus hotspots" with or without support from state governments, in an effort to allow more workers to cross state borders.
Dr Webster said the federal government would have a national position by Friday.
"I think the definition of a hotspot is going to be very important. I don't think we will get consensus on that, and I think that's problematic in itself," she said.
"I personally believe that if states are not going to come on board with that, and they have a different definition, they need to articulate why."
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