PM Scott Morrison ‘proud’ of Australians and its Covid-19 response

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks during a joint press conference held with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo: Reuters. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

CANBERRA, Sep 26, 2020, NCA NewsWire. Scott Morrison has flagged infrastructure and manufacturing as the way to rebuild the nation from the COVID-19 pandemic, following remarks he was proud of the country for its response, Perth Now reported.

In his speech as the guest speaker at the South Australian Liberal party’s annual general meeting on Saturday, Mr Morrison highlighted the country’s successful response to the health crisis.

He said Australians endured a “hard and tough year” and likened their resilience to those of World War II and the Great Depression.

“It’s the twin crisis of health and economic challenge and I was proud of Australians to be able to talk about Australia, that we are doing better than almost any other country in the world when you put those two things together,” Mr Morrison said.

“You have to balance both of those things and I think Australians understand that. There have been set backs, the situation in Victoria for example, but the success we’ve had for suppressing the virus compared to other countries has been extraordinary.”

Discussing the federal government’s response and road map to recovery, Mr Morrison mentioned the importance of renewable energy and gas, the COVID-19 vaccine, jobs and support for businesses.

“It’s about the fight back, the road back and it will be supported. You’ll see it more in the budget which will be announced in a weeks’ time,” he said.

“Our plan is not just about providing the comforting support of record levels of income support. It’s also about the process of boosting and stimulating infrastructure projects and the skills investments.

“This road back is all about making sure businesses can do business easier to put people back into jobs.

“(Space, defence and agriculture) all have great opportunities for Australia’s recovery and rebuild for the future.

“Then there’s the longer term plan – because we want businesses to grow in an economy where they can succeed and be more competitive and take on the rest of the world.”

Mr Morrison said the most important plan was to build for the future and ensure Australia had reliable, affordable energy to support viable manufacturing industries.

“You cannot have a viable manufacturing sector in the decades ahead unless you’re prepared to embrace gas as you transition forward.

“Defence industries are an important part of that industrial element of our economy and we have deliberately put defence industries in our procurement as part of our manufacturing plan in this country which builds job not just now but for decades to come.”

Mr Morrison said while he was “busting” to get back to SA, he respected each jurisdictions decisions about what was the right move for them in terms of opening their borders.

“All I’ve asked is when they made those decisions, they do it efficiently, they explain the reasons why they’re doing it and do it in an administrative that is fair and doesn’t create any double standards.

“You have to balance your economy up with that (health advice) and they are judgments my brotherhood states will make so I’ll leave them to make them.

“There are a lot of other Sydneysiders who will right behind me (to come to SA), thanks to the wonderful decision made by the Premier that’s estimated to give an $800 million boom to SA.”

Following his speech, Mr Morrison attended the Osborne Naval Shipbuilding yard, which is now ready for handover as the $45 billion Hunter Class Frigate program is ready to begin.

The program will deliver nine anti-submarine warfare frigates to the Royal Australian Navy.

BAE Systems Australia CEO Gabby Costigan said the company was also given the green light to start cutting steel and prototyping in December.

“This is a very complex, high risk project and work incredible well with our customer to ensure we mature their requirements into the design,” she said.

“My team are really excited to kick off the operation part of this now for our navy to protect us and our national interests.”

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