ANTHONY ALBANESE MP
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
MEMBER FOR GRAYNDLER
ADDRESS TO THE NATION
The world faces the toughest health crisis in decades.
And we will face it together the Australian way – but we cannot afford complacency.
We must do everything we can to treat the sick, protect the vulnerable and contain the spread of this virus.
We must heed the advice of our world-class medical professionals especially those with expertise in viruses.
They have our backs.
We can trust in them and their advice.
There are simple things we can all do that will make a huge difference –
Keep calm and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds.
Look out for each other – especially the elderly
There is a lot of misinformation out there online.
Get your information from credible sources such as health.gov.au and the ABC.
And please show respect to our frontline health workers and those working in supermarkets.
I want to assure you that we approach this in a spirit of bipartisanship.
We will be constructive.
We will support the Government to protect the health of Australians, but also to protect their jobs and our economy.
We’ve got to approach this with open hearts.
We’ve also got to approach it with open eyes.
As we’ve seen overseas the earlier and the faster the response, the better the outcome.
More can be done and should be done including:
- More consistent advice – such as when to self-isolate and when to get tested
- Getting more people tested more quickly
- The fast tracking of fever clinics
- Expanding Medicare to allow people to call or Skype their GP
- A serious reduction in large gatherings of people
- Timely and comprehensive travel advice and restrictions that are updated more frequently
There is now no room for delays.
We want to see the Government get this right – because people’s lives and jobs depend on it.
We want to ensure there is substance not spin.
The Government has announced an economic stimulus plan designed to protect jobs and sustain economic activity.
That is a good start.
And now, the proper and efficient roll out of that plan is critical.
That also means recognising that for casual, contract and gig workers, if work stops, so does their income and they need immediate assistance.
And whilst dealing with this health crisis we can’t forget the families, businesses and communities affected by bushfires over the summer.
They can’t afford more delays.
Australians are tough and practical and we always look out for each other.
The whole country stepped up over the recent bushfires and that’s the spirit I know will get us through this crisis.
Thank you and goodnight.
You can download this message here.
SUNDAY, 15 MARCH 2020