Our PM has a heart

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    Scomo has a big heart and expresses his sympathies and emotions here.


    The pandemic 'is notfair': PM

    By Rebeka Powell15:15

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he understoodthe range of emotions shared by Victorians over second wave of the pandemic intheir state.

    "I understand people's frustration. Iunderstand their anger. In some cases, I certainly understand their fury,"Mr Morrison said.

    "But I also understand their tears and theirdeep disappointments.

    "I think that is the array of very difficultemotions people are going through, whether they're in metropolitan inner-Melbourneor they're out in regional Victoria where there are very few cases.

    "The challenge of dealing with this pandemicis not fair to people. It's very unfair what's happening to people." MrMorrison said Premier Daniel Andrews had been forced to make hard decisions andsaid he had not appeared to have taken any of them lightly.

    "The premier obviously has to make somedifficult calls and not everybody is going to agree with every call hemakes," Mr Morrison said.

    "I have no doubt he understands that and understandsthe accountability for those decisions.

    "I am absolutely sure that he wasn't taken anyof them lightly in the many conversations that I've had with him."

    No delay to reduction ofJobKeeper payments yet

    By Rebeka Powell15:09

    Mr Morrison said he would not speculate whether theFederal Government would consider delaying cuts to the JobKeeper and Jobseekerrate, given the situation in Victoria.

    "We're talking about something many weeks fromnow, and we'll be making further assessments of that," he said.

    "The JobKeeper program is a national program.

    "It applies in Cairns. It applies in Bunbury.It applies in Brunswick.

    "So it will continue to run as a nationalprogram, and any specific issues that are relevant to Victoria, (we'll) seek tomeet together with the Victorian government."

    No end date to disasterpayments

    By Rebeka Powell15:04

    Mr Morrison says the disaster payments will beavailable to Victorians for an indefinite period of time.

    "We've left it open-ended at this point. Oncethe pandemic (in Victoria) is, we hope, returned to the sort of situationyou're seeing in other states currently, then that's when disaster paymentstraditionally are no longer applied," Mr Morrison said.

    "We anticipate that this payment will beneeded for some time." He said the $1500 payments would only becomeavailable to other states if their situations escalated as Victoria's had andthey were forced to declare a state of disaster.

    "If another state were to be in a position -and God forbid they were - that there was a disaster of the scale that we'reseeing in Victoria, then a disaster payment of this nature would be enteredinto," he said.

    "But that would be done on the same basis ofwhat will be established with Victoria. So this is to deal with adisaster."

    Disaster payment' forthose forced to self-isolate

    By Rebeka Powell14:57

    Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced a $1500per fortnight pandemic leave disaster payment for Victorians forced toself-isolate who do not have available sick leave.

    Mr Morrison said it was principally available forpeople on short-term visas who don't have access to Commonwealth payments.

    "Earlier this year, when we wereconfronting the bushfires, we made a number of additional disaster payments -particularly for children and families affected by bushfires," he said.

    "What we're dealing with here is a disasterand we need to respond on the basis of the why we provide support in the midstof disasters. This pandemic is a disaster.

    "We need a disaster payment when it comes forpeople who have to isolate for a period of 14 days through no fault of theirown, regardless of what their job or employment status is, they need thatsupport."

    Mr Morrison said a phone number for information onthe payments would be active from Wednesday.

    People can access the payment multiple times ifthey are required to self-isolate on more than one occasion.

    The payment would also be available to other stateswhere a disaster is declared.

    · 'Offer an elbow' ofsupport to Victorians: PM

    · By Rebeka Powell14:49

    · Prime Minister Scott Morrison says today'sannouncement out of Victoria is "heartbreaking" and described thestage four lockdown as a "devastating blow".

    · "This has been another heartbreaking day forVictorians, which means it's a heartbreaking day for all Australians," hesaid.

    · "This pandemic is taking a heavy toll.

    "And now is the time - as it has been throughout this epidemic - that wecontinue to provide support for each other, offer an elbow of support.

    · "Wish it was a hug, but we know that's notgoing to help.

    "But that offer of support being there for each other at this time isincredibly important."

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