'Good on ya': PM praises 'brave step' by pubs as restrictions ease

Tom Flanagan
News Reporter

Scott Morrison has hailed pubs and restaurants as “brave” for opening under current coronavirus restrictions despite, in some cases, not being financially viable.

Mr Morrison suggested the re-opening of some pubs on Friday across the country “will be something celebrated”, highlighting the Northern Territory’s decision to reopen venues with unlimited capacity.

“In particular, today, the Northern Territory Chief Minister was able to pull the first brew,” he said.

But Mr Morrison praised venues in other states where the capacity was limited to 10.

Scott Morrison addressed the media on Friday after meeting with the National Cabinet. Source: ABC

“At just 10 patrons at a time, that won't necessarily be a profitable patronage for them to really sustain that [but] they're backing themselves,” he said.

“They're backing their staff, they're backing their communities and they're backing their country.

“And I want to commend them for that brave step that they're taking this weekend.

“Good on ya for reopening. And I'm sure your patrons will come and support you strongly as well.”

The prime minister addressed reporters on Friday afternoon after an earlier meeting with the National Cabinet where the focus was on the economy.

Mental health funding agreed by National Cabinet

The National Cabinet agreed to a new mental health plan amid the pandemic, with funding to the tune of $48.1 million put aside for the project.

"Today the Prime Minister, supported by Christine Morgan [from the National Mental Health Commission], took that plan through National Cabinet with unanimous support," Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said.

He noted early data out of Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania showed those states had no increase in suicide rates, which he described as “more heartening than expected”.

"We watch very carefully, however, because these things can build up. They can brew. People can dwell,” Mr Hunt said.

"We want to get ahead of the curve."

Mr Morrison also indicated that interstate holidays may return in July in time for the school holidays.

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