These are extraordinary times. COVID-19 is not just a health crisis, but also an economic and social and community crisis. This is like nothing else we have experienced before.
Schools are being closed. Pubs, restaurants and cafes are closing their doors for the foreseeable future. This week alone thousands of people will lose their jobs and thousands, likely millions, more will lose theirs in the coming weeks and months. We have seen the lines at Centrelink already and they will no doubt continue to grow.
We are all in this together, but many will feel the brunt of the impact of COVID-19 harder than others. For these people we must all do our part to ensure no one is left behind.
Last night in Parliament we passed the Stimulus Package, but we know more will need to be done; for those who have lost their jobs and livelihoods, the businesses forced to shut up shop, and the frontline workers working harder than ever before.
We need to be honest and truthful about what this means for Australians, and for many it is a bleak outlook. We must listen to the medical advice, learn from our international neighbours and act in the best interest of everybody around us.
I want to say a thank you to everyone working on the frontline, who will continue to be needed for the weeks and months to come. Whether you’re a health professional, teacher, carer or supermarket attendant, we are so grateful for your work during this crisis.
These are incredibly uncertain times. Please look after yourselves and those around you. Every Australian has role to play in this and we must weather the storm together as best we can.