COVID-19 pandemic ‘still on and it’s not going away’, PM says

Scott Morrison has told an audience at the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce that Australia needs to ‘stick to the plan’ in responding to COVID-19 for national economic recovery.

Investing in infrastructure, skills, lower taxes, reliable emissions energy, and creating more jobs were some of the key points in a speech Morrison delivered in Melbourne on Thursday. These levers would be part of the ‘next stage of Australia’s economic recovery’, he said, to combat the ‘brutal reality of a raging global pandemic’.

“This thing is still on and it’s not going away,” Morrison said.

“We must stay ahead of this virus and pandemic as much as we possibly can.”

With less than a week to go before the government delivers the 2021 budget, Morrison told the chamber that strengthening the Australian economy was a core response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and that he would prioritise social services issues like schools, hospitals, aged care, disability support services and mental health support to do so.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme is also a top priority for the Morrison government, which the PM flagged would get an extra $13.2 billion in funding in the federal budget.

“Not just to fund them now, but to sustainably do it into the future,” Morrison said.

Read the article by Melissa Coade in The Mandarin.