Morrison thanks firies, healthcare workers

·1-min read

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has used his Christmas message to thank emergency and medical workers who sought to keep Australians safe during COVID-19 and bushfires.

Despite a tough year, Mr Morrison said the country's blessings outweighed its sorrows.

He made special mention of firefighters, doctors, nurses, retail workers, volunteers and public servants.

The prime minister also singled out older Australians and their carers for the tough restrictions they had endured throughout the pandemic.

"If there's one overwhelming feeling we have this Christmas, I think it's one of thankfulness, a sense of gratitude," he said in his Christmas message on Thursday.

"This year has not been easy for any of us. Some of us have faced the loss of loved ones, others the loss of jobs and their livelihoods, separation from family, isolation during lockdowns and lost gatherings with those we love."

Mr Morrison also thanked defence force personnel for their work during the Black Summer fires and pandemic as well as those stationed overseas.

"The respect that Australians feel for our defence force men and women and our veterans is earned," he said.

"You've earned it through your service. That cannot be taken away from you and never should."

Mr Morrison said he hoped 2021 would be "more peaceful and prosperous".

Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese echoed the prime minister's comments, saying Christmas in 2020 comes not just as a joy but a relief.

"It's been a tough year. But Australians have risen to the challenge," he said in his Christmas message.

"Especially our essential workers; the nurses, cleaners, supermarket workers and the teachers who had to find new ways to teach.

"Australians stood together. We helped each other. And we're getting through this together."