How COVID vaccine will help re-open economy: PM

 

Almost two billion dollars will be poured into Australia's vaccine rollout to get the country reopened as Prime Minister Scott Morrison declares we "can't run the economy off taxpayer dollars forever".

Suppressing COVID-19 and delivering the vaccine is one of five key priorities for the year to be unveiled by Mr Morrison in a speech at the National Press Club on Mondsy.

"This will be one of the largest logistics exercises ever seen in Australia's history - we will be vaccinating 26 million people, having secured over 140 million doses, enough to cover the Australian population several times over," he will say.

Mr Morrison will unveil an additional $1.7bn in demand-driven funding for the logistics costs of rolling out the vaccine, including hospital surge workforce, resources for GPs and data systems, on top of $200m announced for pharmacies.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will outline his plan for 2021 in a National Press Club address on Monday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman
Prime Minister Scott Morrison will outline his plan for 2021 in a National Press Club address on Monday. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Martin Ollman

With the JobKeeper wage subsidy due to end in March, Mr Morrison will outline he wants an ongoing economic response that "lifts productivity" to create jobs.

"You can't run the Australian economy on taxpayer money forever," he will say.

Describing JobKeeper as a"game changer" for millions of Australians, Mr Morrison will argue the scheme boosted the balance sheets of families and businesses by more than $200bn and now needs to be spent.

"There is now a large sum of money available to be spent across the economy helping to create jobs and maintain the momentum of our economic recovery and that is where it needs to be right now - in Australians' pockets," he will say.

The Prime Minister will argue the government must exercise "fiscal discipline" to ensure it did not "overburden future generations".

"We are not running a blank cheque budget," he will say.

Mr Morrison will also look to "cement" the economic recovery to create jobs, guarantee "essential services," protect and secure Australia's interests "in a challenging world, and "care for country".

"Consumer and business confidence has recovered as restrictions have come off and will be further supported by the vaccine rollout," he will say.

"We want as many Australians vaccinated as quickly as possible. The COVID-19 vaccines will be made free to all Australians and we strongly encourage all Australians to get vaccinated."

Declan Buswell says JobKeeper helped him get by when he lost hours early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Picture: Damian Shaw
Declan Buswell says JobKeeper helped him get by when he lost hours early in the COVID-19 pandemic. Picture: Damian Shaw

Floor and bar manager at Drake Eatery in Bondi Declan Buswell said the business, which received JobKeeper for six months until September last year, bounced back "surprisingly well".

"I was studying at the time COVID hit and my hours were significantly reduced … so JobKeeper really helped me out," he said.

"It's hard to say if cutting in March will be okay because it is dependent on any more lockdowns. we shut down again, we are back to square one."

Mr Buswell said the ongoing concern for small businesses now was the square metre rule limiting the number of customers at a time.

"We can't take in as many people and take advantage of people wanting to come and spend their money," he said.

 

NEW WARNINGS OVER WA COVID OUTBREAK

NSW Health authorities have put in place a new Public Health Order putting travellers from Western Australia coming to NSW since 25 January under the same 'stay-at-home' restrictions as they would have faced at home.

The move comes after a security guard caught COVID-19 in WA and visited a number of places in the community.

Passengers who arrived in Sydney on a flight from Perth on Sunday evening have been screened for symptoms, and asked if they attended any of the venues of concern identified by WA Health.

None of the passengers have reported being at any of those venues.

 

 

The new Public Health Order requires all new arrivals to complete an interstate traveller declaration confirming whether they attended any of the venues listed on the WA Health website, and providing contact details.

Any travellers who have been at places of concern will be required to be tested and isolate for 14 days if they attended any of the named venues.

 

 

In addition, any people who have been in any of the named local government areas in the Peel region, the Perth Metro region and the South-West region on or since Monday 25 January 2021 will be required to get tested within 48 hours of arrival in NSW.

They will also have to stay at home for five days, until 9pm on Friday 5 February. If they do not get tested, they are required to remain at home for a total of 14 days.

 

Originally published as How COVID vaccine will help re-open economy: PM



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