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Morrison National Cabinet Meeting Briefing: Bringing Australians Home

This is Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s press conference following today’s meeting of the National Cabinet.

As with previous National Cabinet meetings, the States and Territories have reserved the right to detemine their own timetables for allowing more overseas Australians to return home.

A statement issued by Morrison is obliquely critical of the Victorian government: “Seven of Australia’s eight states and territories are successfully suppressing COVID-19, enabling most Australians in those jurisdictions to live and work in a COVID-safe economy.”

Watch Morrison’s press conference (30m – transcript below):

Listen to Morrison (30m):

Statement issued by Prime Minister Scott Morrison on National Cabinet decisions.

The National Cabinet met today to discuss Australia’s COVID-19 response, recent progress following the Victorian outbreak, easing restrictions (including international border measures), helping Australians prepare to go back to work in a COVID-safe environment and getting the economy moving again.

National Cabinet continues to work together to address issues and find solutions to the health and economic consequences of COVID-19. Australia has done well on both the health and economic fronts compared to most countries around the world. [Read more…]


John Fahey, Former NSW Premier and Howard Finance Minister, Dies, 75

John Fahey, the former Liberal Premier of NSW, and Finance Minister in the Howard government, has died, aged 75.

FaheyFahey was first elected to the NSW Legislative Assembly in 1984 as the member for Camden. He transferred to Southern Highlands in 1988 and was a minister in the Greiner government following the 1988 election.

He became Premier on June 24, 1992, following the forced resignation of Nick Greiner, in the aftermath of an investigation by the Independent Commission Against Coruption.

As premier, Fahey is best remembered for the role he played in securing the 2000 Sydney Olympics for NSW.

Fahey’s Liberal-Nationals coalition was defeated in the 1995 election and Bob Carr became Labor premier. Fahey transferred to the federal division of Macarthur at the 1996 federal election and became Minister for Finance in the Howard government, a position he held until he retired at the 2001 election.

His career after politics is notable for his role as president of the World Anti-Doping Agency. He also served as Chancellor of the Australian Catholic University. [Read more…]


Morrison and Hunt Announce Vaccine Deal; Andrews Attacked; Call For Improvements to Victorian Tracing and Testing

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Health Minister Greg Hunt today announced a $1.7 billion agreement for the supply and production of more than 80 million vaccine doses.

“Australia needs some hope today,” Morrison said when announcing the agreement at a Canberra press conference.

Morrison described as “crushing news” yesterday’s announcement in Victoria of an extension to the Stage 4 lockdown and curfew. “The plan that was outlined yesterday, I hope, is a worst-case scenario,” he said. “The mental health of Victorians will be sorely tested.”

Morrison’s escalating attacks on the Victorian government, aided by his Victorian-based treasurer, Josh Frydenberg, highlight the powers of the states in management of the coronavirus and the tensions in the federal compact.

Morrison and Hunt called for improvement to Victoria’s testing and tracing procedures.

Watch Morrison’s press conference (45m):

Listen to the the press conference (45m):

Transcript of press conference with Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Health Minister Greg Hunt and Health Department Secretary Brendan Murphy.

PRIME MINISTER SCOTT MORRISON: Good morning, everyone. We’re about to be joined also by the Minister for Health, who was under different travel restrictions in order to be here today which, as usual, were approved by the relevant authorities here. I’m also joined by Professor Murphy, who you all know well. He’s here today not just in his capacity as the Secretary of the Department of Health, but he is also here as the Chair of the expert panel that has been advising the Australian government on vaccines, which is the principal reason for me being here this morning. [Read more…]


Morrison Government Says Victorian COVID-19 Measures Are Hard And Crushing News

The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, and senior ministers Josh Frydenberg and Greg Hunt have criticised COVID-19 measures announced today by the Victorian government as “hard and crushing news”.

Whilst generally supportive of measures to rid Victoria of the virus, the three ministers said that “the proposed roadmap will come at a further economic cost.”

In a statement, they say: “Now that we have been advised of the plan and it has been released we will also seek feedback from Victorian business and industry stakeholders to understand their concerns and seek to ensure they are addressed.” They said Victoria’s contact tracing system has to be “strengthened to the highest possible levels”. [Read more…]


Statement on National Cabinet Discussions

The National Cabinet met today via videolink.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison released this statement on National Cabinet discussions and decisions.

Later, Morrison held a press conference to outline the National Cabinet discussions.

Transcript of statement released by Prime Minister Scott Morrison

The National Cabinet met today to discuss Australia’s COVID-19 response, the Victorian outbreak, easing restrictions, helping Australians prepare to go back to work in a COVID-safe environment, border restrictions and getting the economy moving again.

The Acting Chief Medical Officer, Paul Kelly, provided an update on the measures underway, the latest data and medical advice in relation to COVID-19.

There have been more than 26,000 confirmed cases in Australia and sadly 737 people have died. [Read more…]


Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s National Cabinet Press Conference: An Evolving Federation

Prime Minister Scott Morrison held a press conference in Canberra today, following a video meeting of the National Cabinet.

In a statement that was both declarative and inspecific, Morrison said that the National Cabinet sought to find a way through the pandemic lockdowns to opening up the economy. “So, we agreed today seven out of eight states and territories, we agreed that before you know what you’re going to do, you’ve got to agree about where you want to get to. And we agreed today with the objective that was set out in the May plan to be at the end of that step three process, which we will seek to ensure is even better defined.”

Morrison also the National Cabinet had to evolve. “So, we’ve decided that this notion of 100 percent, absolute consensus on any issue is not a way that the National Cabinet can indeed work. And so what we will do is we will set out areas where we can come together, and get as many states and territories as possible to come around that agreement. Not everyone has to get on the bus for the bus to leave the station. But it is important the bus leaves the station, and we all agree on that. We all agree on that. Even when, on occasions, some might not want to get on, they know we need to keep moving forward and that is supported, and that’s what we agreed to do today. And I think that is a change in the way our Federation works.”

The National Cabinet is still grappling with the definition of a pandemic “hotspot”. The states have indicated they will not budge on their previous decisions on closing border crossings.

Watch Morrison’s press conference (46m):

Listen to Morrison’s press conference (46m):

Transcript of press conference with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Acting Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly.

PRIME MINISTER SCOTT MORRISON: Good afternoon. Australia is something we can never take for granted. And I’m not talking about Uluru or the Great Barrier Reef or the Opera House or the great wilderness across our country, I’m talking about us. I’m talking about our Federation. I’m talking about who we are as a nation. And in every generation, we must continue to define who we are, how we make Australia work, what we hope to achieve, how we protect it, how we make it stronger. And our Federation, some almost 120 years later, remains a happy work in progress. Sometimes it doesn’t feel that happy, but I tell you, the goal is one that I think all Australians would share and that’s what brings a smile to our face when we think of Australia. Not just the place, as wonderful it is, but how we make Australia work. And that is the task of all of those who come and meet in this place, in our Federal Parliament, but it is also the job of all of those who come together in our state parliaments, those who form governments and seek to work together in the ways that our Federation intended. [Read more…]


The Great Recession: Treasurer Frydenberg’s Reaction To 7% Quarterly Decline In Growth

The recession Australia knew it was in was finally confirmed today, with the release of economic growth figures showing a 7% decline in growth over the past quarter, the largest single quarter decline since The Great Depression of the 1930s.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg held a press conference at 1pm today to lay out the economic data and the impact of COVID-19 on the Australian economy.

Watch Frydenberg’s press conference (46m):

Listen to Frydenberg’s press conference (46m):

Transcript of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s press conference on Australia’s 7% Decline in Economic Growth.

Frydenberg

Today’s National Accounts confirm the devastating blow to the Australian economy from COVID-19. Our record run of 28 consecutive years of economic growth has officially come to an end. The cause; a once in a century global pandemic. The effect; a COVID-19 induced recession.

Real GDP fell in the June quarter by 7 per cent. The largest quarterly fall on record.

Since the series began in 1959, the previous largest fall was 2 per cent in 1974.

Behind these numbers are heartbreaking stories of hardship being felt by everyday Australians as they go about their daily lives.

Be it the tourism operator in Cairns, the tradie in Melbourne, the café worker in Adelaide or the domestic flight attendant in Sydney, they are all affected by COVID-19.

Today we are reporting these devastating numbers. Australians are living them. [Read more…]


Prime Minister Scott Morrison Press Conference Following National Cabinet Meeting

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has held a press conference, following the latest meeting of the National Cabinet.

Watch Scott Morrison’s press conference (48m):

Listen to Morrison’s press conference (48m):


Graham Freudenberg Tribute – Anthony Albanese

This is the tribute to Graham Freudenberg, delivered to the House of Representatives by the Leader of the Opposition, Anthony Albanese.

Freudenberg was an ALP speechwriter and party historian. He began working for the ALP in the 1960s, first for Arthur Calwell and then for Gough Whitlam and Bob Hawke. He also wrote for NSW Premiers Neville Wran, Barrie Unsworth and Bob Carr.

Freudenberg died on July 26, 2019, aged 85.

Albanese’s speech opened the adjournment debate in the House on September 10.

Listen to Albanese’s speech (5m):

Watch Albanese (5m):

Hansard transcript of Anthony Albanese’s speech to the House of Representatives paying tribute to Graham Freudenberg.

Mr ALBANESE (Grayndler—Leader of the Opposition) (19:28): Graham Freudenberg climbed inside the soul of the Australian Labor Party in search of the words that lay there. He came back to us with an entire language. When Freudy said the Labor Party was built on speeches, the identity of the master builder was never a mystery to the rest of us. He spoke to us in so many voices, but in each of them he spoke with clarity and power. He moved us, he persuaded us, and in a world where words barely outlast the moment in which they are spoken, he made us remember. [Read more…]


Retirement of David Elder, Clerk of the House

These are remarks to the House of Representatives on the retirement of the Clerk of the House, David Elder.

Elder

On the Clerk’s final day at the table, remarks in tribute were made by Speaker Tony Smith, Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese, Government Leader of the House Christian Porter, and Manager of Opposition Business Tony Burke.

Listen to the tributes (19m):

Watch the tributes (19m):

Hansard transcript of remarks to the House of Representatives on the retirement of the Clerk, David Elder.

The SPEAKER (15:14): Very soon I will call the Prime Minister to move a motion to record the House’s appreciation for the service of its Clerk, David Elder. As I mentioned a few sitting days back, everyone is aware of David’s retirement, but today is his last day here at the table. We, of course, all want to recognise that incredible service. [Read more…]