Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed a heartbreaking email he received from three children that “floored” him as he strives to move Australia on from the coronavirus crisis.
Mr Morrison when speaking at the National Press Club on Tuesday was asked by a reporter whether it was time for older Australians to accept that they will need to take an economic hit now to protect their children and grandchildren.
The prime minister said it was not about setting one group of Australians against another and that the country was in this together.
He then spoke about letters he had received from various Australians, including one from a man named Andrew who lost his wife of 50 years and couldn’t give her the send off that she wanted.
He received another one from a woman who didn’t get to see her mum in an aged care facility before she died.
“To suggest that any group is not feeling the impacts of this one way or the other, and set it up as some sort of generation conflict, I think, is very unconstructive,” he said.
“It’s not the approach [of] my government. We’ve all got to do what we’ve got to do. I agree, it is hitting young people much harder. That’s why we have invested in additional services on mental health.”
Mr Morrison had earlier brought up the email he received from three children in Western Australia.
“It completely floored me,” he said.
“Their father, terminally ill, and they told me they understood their dad’s funeral would have to be small.
“And they wanted me to know that they were OK with it because, they said, it will help keep hospitals available for other patients with cancers and diseases. That is incredible.”
Australians at risk of losing everything
He also spoke about a letter he received from a Sydney chef named Greg who has six children.
“He wrote to me about his business suffering from the restrictions saying that everything he had worked for was at Risk. “
“Sue from Jimboomba told me that other than a first homeowner’s grant, she had never received a cent from the government. JobKeeper saved her business, she said, and she just wanted to say thank you.”
The prime minister went on to say people are amazing.
“And there was Rebecca, a young woman, she is also terminally ill, and she sent me this beautiful handwritten letter just wanting to let me know that she was praying for me, every day,” he said.
“And then there is Tai from Traralgon, he wrote this: ‘We just need someone to fire the starter’s gun on the economy, someone to say, on your mark, get, set, go’.
“I have good news for him. Today I want to talk about that recovery, because that is what millions of Australians are now relying on and there is reason to hope.
“Australia is weathering this storm better than many, and better than most. Indeed, together, with a handful of nations, we have led the world in this response. Our response has followed a clear plan to save lives and save livelihoods.”
Mr Morrison told reporters and peers at the press club the government would work with businesses and unions to create jobs to reignite the lagging economy. He plans to fix enterprise bargaining, streamline awards and boost job training.
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