House debates

Monday, 23 March 2020

Questions without Notice

Coronavirus

2:08 pm

Photo of Scott MorrisonScott Morrison (Cook, Liberal Party, Prime Minister) Share this | Hansard source

Some $30 million has been committed—and this was done several weeks ago—to support a public information campaign that particularly deals with the issues of healthy social distancing. That campaign is in place and that has been upgraded and expanded as required to deal with the very many messaging issues that need to be addressed.

The Leader of the Opposition makes reference to a couple of issues, particularly in relation to schools. Let me be very clear: the health advice from medical experts that advise the national cabinet is that schools should remain open. That is their advice. That has been their consistent advice. That advice from the AHPPC has not changed, and it is important that we all continue to act in accordance with that medical advice. In relation to the communication on the decisions that were undertaken last night and considered by the national cabinet, they have been conveyed by the state and territory governments, as they are putting the specific arrangements in place in each of their state and territory jurisdictions.

The Leader of the Opposition makes reference to 'essential' and 'non-essential'. The essential activities were defined in relation to public gatherings, outdoor gatherings, of 500 persons or more. They were set out in the Victorian legislation, which was the model legislation that was being used by other states and territories. That information was communicated and set out last week. Last night there were very clear instructions about a specific list of indoor spaces that would not be continuing to allow gatherings past midday today local time in each of the state and territory jurisdictions. States and territories are communicating with the industries and sectors, and the national communications campaign will continue to be updated to ensure that all of that information, including on the australia.gov.au website which has the most recent decisions, is there and available to the public.

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