Senate debates

Monday, 23 March 2020

Questions without Notice

Coronavirus

2:04 pm

Photo of Mathias CormannMathias Cormann (WA, Liberal Party, Vice-President of the Executive Council) Share this | Hansard source

I completely reject the premise of the question, of there being any conflict between what the Prime Minister is saying and what state and territory premiers and chief ministers are saying. That is just completely and utterly false. The advice that is available to the federal government and, indeed, to all state and territory governments is that schools should remain open. Indeed, the safest place for children to be is at school. That is the safest place for them to be and it's also advisable from a public health point of view, and all the statements of premiers and territory chief ministers have been consistent with that.

Victoria was reaching the end of its term later this week. It has decided to bring that forward by a couple of days. It is yet to make announcements as to what will happen after the holiday period, based on advice. If you look at what all of the premiers have said, they've accepted that there's a consensus that schools should remain open. We have always accepted that ultimately parents will decide what is best for their children— (Time expired)

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