Last night, parliament passed the biggest economic lifeline in Australia’s history.
The JobKeeper program will help Australia weather an economic storm, by keeping Australians in jobs and keeping businesses in business.
Over the next six months, an estimated six million eligible workers will be supported, with payments of $1,500 per employee, per fortnight before tax, paid through their employers.
Already, around 750,000 businesses have registered for JobKeeper. By keeping this connection between employers and workers, we will help our economy bounce back.
Australia is facing a health crisis and an economic crisis. We must deal with them both.
Thank you to the overwhelming majority of Australians who are doing the right thing. You are saving lives and saving livelihoods.
Just a couple of weeks ago, new cases of coronavirus were growing at more than 20 percent a day. In recent days, this has averaged around two percent a day.
We are flattening the curve and buying ourselves precious time. We must keep this up.
Australia has one of the most comprehensive testing regimes in the world, with over 323,000 tests for the virus conducted across Australia so far.
This means people with coronavirus are being identified, isolated and treated early.
We’ve strengthened our hospitals and are working with the states to triple our ICU capacity.
We’ve finalised a partnership with private hospitals – ensuring that over 30,000 hospital beds and 105,000 skilled workers are mobilised.
We’ve expanded Medicare-subsidised telehealth services and continued to build our National Medical Stockpile.
Over 30 million masks have arrived over recent days, with more than 500 million masks on order, and domestic production also underway.
We are just days away from Easter, which is a time that should give us hope.
This year however, the message is clear. Stay home. Don’t travel. We can’t let up now.
There is a long way to go. However, we are in a better place today than most countries, because of the efforts of all Australians.
Our institutions are strong. Our people are strong. Australia is strong.
We will get through this together, Australia.
For information and updates, please go to: www.australia.gov.au
Wishing you and your family a safe and happy Easter.