One year ago, Australians put their trust in our government.
No-one could have foreseen the challenges Australia would face since then.
Over summer, communities were devastated by bushfires and floods, after years of drought.
The clean-up and rebuilding is now really moving ahead.
Around $1.5 billion will be spent by the end of June on tens of thousands of local businesses, farmers, households and communities in affected areas.
Then the global COVID-19 pandemic hit us. By March, cases of coronavirus were increasing at a rate of 25-30% per day.
We moved quickly as one of the first to shut our borders, and by forming a new National Cabinet to ensure states and territories all worked closely together with the Commonwealth to fight the virus and the economic damage it would cause.
By April, 594,000 Australians lost their jobs, as the health crisis became an economic crisis.
Again, Australians have faced adversity with resilience, courage and compassion.
The job of our Government has been to back Australians through this crisis with unprecedented support.
Australia is leading the world in our response to COVID-19.
Through travel bans, restrictions on gatherings, social distancing and comprehensive testing and contact tracing, we have flattened the curve.
The rate of increase in new cases has fallen to less than 0.5% per day.
We are supporting health workers and putting protections in place, including:
- Over 5,000 more ventilators for our hospitals.
- 9.8 million Medicare-subsidised telehealth services since March.
- 466 respiratory clinics operating nationally, including 104 new GP-led respiratory clinics.
- 20,800 nurses upgrading their skills to critical care nursing.
- More than 1 million COVID-19 tests.
- The COVIDSafe app, already downloaded by 5.7 million Australians.
Australia entered this crisis in a position of economic strength.
Over six years, 1.5 million jobs had been created. Last year, our budget was in balance for the first time in eleven years.
Last year, parliament passed the biggest tax relief in twenty years.
We are now delivering the biggest economic lifeline in Australia’s history. This includes the JobKeeper program, supporting 6 million workers in 860,000 businesses.
Australia is beginning the long road to recovery.
There will be risks, there will be challenges, and there will be setbacks.
However, we cannot allow our fear of going backwards, to stop us going forwards.
A year ago, I promised we would work to keep our economy strong, keep Australians safe and keep Australians together.
Together, that’s what we are delivering.