news

"An early positive sign": What we just learnt from Scott Morrison's latest press conference.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced further measures the Australian Government are taking to provide “more support for those in the community that need it most”.

Here are the key points from Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s press conference on Sunday, March 29.

$1.1 billion into critical health services.

On Sunday, Scott Morrison said a further $1.1 billion dollars will be utilised by the federal government to implement additional health services. This will include $150 million towards domestic violence initiatives and family violence counselling services, putting $200 million into emergency relief support and $74 million into mental health support.

The mental health package will include a dedicated coronavirus wellbeing hotline delivered by BeyondBlue, as well as $5 million for Lifeline and $2 million for Kids Helpline. It comes as mental health support services have received an unprecedented rise in calls during the coronavirus pandemic, Scott Morrison said.

Morrison acknowledged that with millions of Australians following the advice to self-isolate and social distance, mental health issues surrounding anxiety, depression and isolation are expected to increase. This support is to ensure that every Australian – whether previously mentally ill or not – is supported.

Watch: Scott Morrison announces mental health and domestic violence package in light of the coronavirus pandemic during a national press conference on Sunday, March 29. Post continues after video. 

Video by Channel Nine

Income support to be announced.

Scott Morrison confirmed the federal government is working on a wage subsidy so that businesses can keep workers on their payrolls during the coronavirus crisis.

Scott Morrison said that this next business package will be “bigger than anything you’ve so far seen”.

Morrison ensured businesses that there will be “further boosted income support across the Australian economy” and said this would be delivered “as quick as possible”.

ADVERTISEMENT

“I would say to employers, who I know are going through very difficult times, these changes will be announced soon and I would ask that before you make any further decisions that you take the opportunity to see the further measures that the government will be announcing,” the Prime Minister said.

“We will be ensuring also that those who have already gone into this very devastating situation, where they have had to stand down workers, that any measures we are announcing will be taking them on as well and we will be working with them to that end.”

It is expected that the details of this income support will be announced within the next couple of days.

Health Minister Greg Hunt says social distancing is working.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt said that Australians are effectively following the strict instructions to socially distance, which is shown in the rate of the spread of COVID-19.

“The most important development is the Prime Minister had outlined in terms of the positive, early signs of flattening of the curve,” Greg Hunt said on Sunday morning.

“This is the work that Australians together, both governments, but above all else, the people have taken. As the Prime Minister said, from daily rates of increase a week ago in the 25 to 30 per cent rate, to the latest advice to being in the low teens. That is an early positive sign.”

New WhatsApp messaging system.

Scott Morrison also announced a new WhatsApp messaging system to improve the communication all Australians receive on COVID-19.

To install the messaging system, go to the website aus.gov.au/whatsapp OR oz.gov.au/whatsapp.

This new system will enable the government “to talk to more Australians in terms of basic health advice, updates on the measures that are being put in place by State and Federal Governments, and that will assist you to get accurate and timely information about what is being done by governments around the country to support you and your family.”

Here is what the new messaging system looks like.

Scott Morrison press conference March 29
Image: Supplied.
ADVERTISEMENT
Scott Morrison press conference March 29
Image: Supplied.

Read more:

If you are sick and believe you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your GP ahead of time to book an appointment. Or call the national Coronavirus Health Information Line for advice on 1800 020 080. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 000.

To keep up to date with the latest information, please visit the Department of Health website.


Sign up for the "Mamamia Daily" newsletter. Get across the stories women are talking about today.


Feature Image: Getty.

00:00 / ???