On Tuesday afternoon, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was joined by Attorney-General Christian Porter and the Chairman of the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission, Nev Power, to give an update on the current state of COVID-19 in Australia, which has so far claimed the lives of 95 Australians.
The press conference followed today’s National Cabinet meeting, which focused on the task of getting Australians back to work.
Here are the key points from the Prime Minister’s press conference on Tuesday, May 5.
1. Today is about “getting Australians back to work”
The Prime Minister began by announcing that we need to get “1 million Australians back to work”.
The priority is getting those Australians back to work in a “safe economy”, and “that is the curve we need to address”.
Watch: Tuesday May 5 coronavirus headlines. Post continues below.
While Australia’s efforts to manage and contain the outbreak of the virus have been largely successful, the Prime Minister said, it has come at a cost.
He elaborated, “that cost will continue so long as we have Australians in a position where they are unable to open their businesses and go back to the offices, children unable to go back to school, and the many restrictions in place, that is why the national cabinet has been working very effectively today as we move towards the decisions we need to take on Friday, that will impact on these restrictions in weeks and months that are ahead.”
The Prime Minister also added that:
- One million Australians have been through the claims process for Jobseeker
- Five million are estimated to be on JobKeeper
- One million are using their superannuation
2. There will be outbreaks, “what matters is how you deal with it”
While restarting the economy will be done as safely as possible, the Prime Minister conceded that “you will see outbreaks occur in other places, that is to be expected”.
What matters, he added, is “how you deal with it”. Businesses, employees and employers will be given the tools to deal with the COVID-19 environment to mitigate risk.
Attorney-General Christian Porter announced the government will be introducing a COVID-19 planning toolkit for businesses, and added the COVIDSafe app will be critical for the reanimation of the economy.
Nev Power said: “So, my message to business is a very, very simple, continue to work with your employees to find ways of configuring your business so you are able to introduce the restrictions on social distancing and hygiene into your normal business activities and have plans in place and be ready as the restrictions change that you can continue to do that as more customers are coming into your business, as there is a higher level of activity and make sure that we continue to contain the virus as the economy starts to expand again.”