Thursday, 12 November 2020
Questions without Notice
My question is to the Prime Minister. Will the Prime Minister outline to the House how the Morrison government is demonstrating strong national and international leadership in addressing the challenges we face as a nation, including regional and economic security and the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and recession?
I thank the member for Wentworth for his question and the considerable experience he brings to this chamber on the matters that he's raised here in his question today. He would understand that this year we have rightly been focused on the extraordinary challenges here in Australia—the domestic challenges in dealing with what is, though, a global COVID-19 pandemic and a global COVID-19 recession that has followed from that pandemic. While that is true, it has been Australia's performance during this time that has not gone unnoticed here by Australians—but, in fact, in so many nations around the world. Australia now is one of a small group of nations that have been able to perform best amongst the nations of the world in terms of how we have dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic and the COVID-19 recession. Indeed, you could say we are part of a small group of leading nations when it comes to our government's handling and working with other governments around the country and the Australian people in managing this pandemic.
This has not gone unnoticed by those overseas. Earlier today I had the great honour to speak to President-elect Biden. It was a very warm conversation, and I welcomed and congratulated him on his election. But one of the key issues that President-elect Biden raised in the call was the seeking of input from Australia in how we have been so successful as a nation in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and the COVID-19 recession. I welcome his great commitment as President-elect to this region and to the important alliance—an alliance that spans generations and will continue to serve the security needs and the prosperity and peace needs of this country in the region and more broadly.
We were also able to discuss the fact that next week I will be joining the new Prime Minister of Japan, Prime Minister Suga, in Tokyo to further strengthen our relationship on both security and economic issues. That will be followed—on my return trip—at Port Moresby with Prime Minister Marape, where the issues in the Southwest Pacific remain incredibly important to our own future—supporting our Pacific family in the COVID-19 pandemic and, in particular, our support for them through the comprehensive vaccine strategy which has been developed by the Minister for Health and will also be discussed at the national cabinet meeting tomorrow.
This weekend the ASEAN forum will convene. We will join the East Asia Summit and we will be speaking to the issues of the COVID-19 pandemic there and the leadership role Australia has been able to play but also the support we're also providing to ASEAN nations, not just in terms of the pandemic but issues more broadly— (Time expired)