Scott Morrison issues grim warning about coronavirus

Scott Morrison warns coronavirus is ‘keeping us from living’ as he urges state premiers to open up their borders and relax restrictions

  • Scott Morrison gave a speech in Newcastle, NSW about country’s energy policy
  • He started by talking about how the nation will recover from coronavirus crisis 
  • Mr Morrison wants to ‘reopen and reconnect’ Australia as soon as possible 

Scott Morrison has warned that coronavirus is ‘keeping us from living’ as he urges state premiers to open up their borders and economies.

In a speech in Newcastle, NSW on Tuesday, the prime minister said Australia’s coronavirus response can only be considered a success if jobs are saved.

‘During this pandemic we continue to do better than almost every other developed country in the world when it comes to protecting lives and livelihoods,’ he said.

Locals wearing facemasks walk along the South Melbourne Beach on Monday

Locals wearing facemasks walk along the South Melbourne Beach on Monday

Scott Morrison has warned that coronavirus is ‘keeping us from living’ as he urges state premiers to open up their borders and economies

‘But as long as we are closed, we cannot claim success, as a country. If we are shut, we are not living alongside the virus, the virus is actually keeping us from living.’

Victoria premier Daniel Andrews on Tuesday announced that regional Victoria will be allowed out of lockdown from Wednesday night.

Melbourne will remain locked down until it has fewer than five cases per day, which is expected to take until October 26.

The prime minister said: ‘So as we emerge from this second wave in Victoria, and I had a good message from the Victorian Premier this morning, let’s now seize the opportunity ahead of us to safely and successfully reopen this country, reconnect this country, and stay open.’  

Parents and children taste freedom as playgrounds are opened for the first time in seven weeks in Melbourne

Parents and children taste freedom as playgrounds are opened for the first time in seven weeks in Melbourne

Victoria wants restaurants to set up outside to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Pictured: A CGI of what Melbourne may look like

Victoria wants restaurants to set up outside to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Pictured: A CGI of what Melbourne may look like 

Police question a person at a rally against lockdown regulations in Melbourne on Sunday

Police question a person at a rally against lockdown regulations in Melbourne on Sunday

Mr Morrison has been pressuring state governments to open their borders.

Queensland and South Australia are closed to Victoria, NSW and the ACT while Tasmania and Western Australia are closed to everyone. 

The federal coalition has berated the Queensland Labor government over its strict border restrictions which denied a Canberra woman permission to attend her father’s funeral.

Mr Morrison advocated for Sarah Caisip and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann labelled premier Annastacia Palaszczuk ‘cold-hearted and nasty’. Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton called her ‘pig-headed’.

A dying Queensland father desperate to see his children also caused outrage. He will get to see them but they will be in full PPE and unable to touch. The prime minister has contributed $1000 towards a GoFundMe campaign for the visit.

Queensland Health Minister Steven Miles accused the federal government on Saturday of targeting the Labor premier because of their hopes for a Liberal win at the looming October state election.

Sarah Caisip (in yellow) was allowed to have a private viewing of her father's body, dressed in PPE and with security guards minding her. She was not allowed to greet her family

Sarah Caisip (in yellow) was allowed to have a private viewing of her father’s body, dressed in PPE and with security guards minding her. She was not allowed to greet her family

Australia’s state border controls

Victoria: Completely open, but other states are banning residents from going there

NSW: Border with Victoria is closed but others are open without restriction

Queensland: Open to everywhere but Victoria, NSW, and the ACT

Northern Territory: Open to everywhere but Victoria and Sydney, which must do hotel quarantine

South Australia: Closed to Victoria, NSW and ACT arrivals must self-isolate, rest are open

Tasmania: Closed to Victoria, everywhere else must do hotel quarantine

Western Australia: Closed to everywhere without an exemption 

 

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‘These restrictions apply in Tasmania, South Australia, Western Australia and the Northern Territory,’ he told reporters.

‘But did you see Scott Morrison talk about any of those states?

‘No you didn’t. What you saw was a planned and orchestrated attack.’

The NT has announced a significant relaxation of its borders to Sydneysiders from October 9, dropping the two-week quarantine requirement.

‘Our hotspots policy is nation-leading and it is working,’ chief minister Michael Gunner said.

The federal government is aiming to convince the rest of the nation to adopt a hotspot approach, with the topic again on the agenda at next week’s national cabinet meeting.

Queensland’s border madness: The heartbroken families

Mark Keans 

Mark Keans, from Brisbane, was diagnosed with inoperable brain and lung cancer in late July and the doctors believe he won’t make it past Christmas.

Health authorities had initially said only one of Mr Keans’ four Sydney-based children – all of whom are under the age of 13 – could cross the border to see him one last time.

Queensland Health did not at first respond to multiple requests for an exemption from the truck driver’s family, but later told them they can drive into the state and pay for two weeks quarantine in a Brisbane hotel.

A fundraising page to pay for their quarantine has raised more than $200,000, including a $1,000 donation from Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Mr Keans pictured with his children (L-R) Noah 13, Caitlyn 11, Caleb 11, and Isaac, 7

Mr Keans pictured with his children (L-R) Noah 13, Caitlyn 11, Caleb 11, and Isaac, 7

Kimberley Brown 

Kimberley Brown and her husband Scott, from Ballina, in northern New South Wales, were told on August 12 that their unborn twins had developed twin to twin transfusion syndrome.

Mrs Brown needed urgent surgery but despite living just two hours away from Queensland’s Mater Hospital doctors told her she would need to apply for a border exemption, which took too long.

She was flown 750km to Sydney but lost one of her twins. 

It came ten days after Premier Palaszczuk declared that Queensland hospitals are ‘for our people’. 

Kimberley Brown and her husband Scott, from Ballina, in northern NSW, learned that they had lost their unborn baby after being forced to travel 750kms because of Queensland's border restrictions

Kimberley Brown and her husband Scott, from Ballina, in northern NSW, learned that they had lost their unborn baby after being forced to travel 750kms because of Queensland’s border restrictions  

Jayne Brown

Jayne Brown, 60, spent two weeks confined to a tiny hotel room in Brisbane following her recent return from Sydney, where renowned neurosurgeon Dr Charlie Teo removed two large tumours on her brain. 

The grandmother-of-seven requested an exemption from hotel quarantine to self-isolate at home on the Sunshine Coast, but was rejected twice.

She blasted Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, who allowed 400 AFL players and officials from coronavirus-riddled Victoria to enter the state and quarantine in a luxury hotel.

Jayne Brown described the decision to allow 400 AFL officials into Queensland as mindblowing

Jayne Brown described the decision to allow 400 AFL officials into Queensland as mindblowing

Sarah Caisip

Sarah Caisip, who lives in coronavirus-free Canberra, applied for an exemption last month to visit her sick father Bernard Prendergast in Brisbane – but it took 20 days to get approved and he died of liver cancer two days before her flight. 

The young nurse was banned from attending her father’s funeral on Thursday because officials believed she is a Covid-19 risk even though the ACT has had no cases for 60 days. 

Ms Caisip was only granted a private viewing of her father’s body, surrounded by guards and forbidden from seeing her shattered mother and 11-year-old sister. 

Sarah Caisip was only granted a private viewing of her father's body, surrounded by guards

Sarah Caisip was only granted a private viewing of her father’s body, surrounded by guards

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