Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison addressed the press on Friday following the national cabinet meeting. With restrictions easing, Mr Morrison said that the time has come to “get that momentum going, as we move to the next challenge, which is to reset the Australian economy for growth to support Australians and their livelihoods well into the future.”

Mr Morrison said that the banking system had stood up well, adding that $220bn in loan deferrals have been put into place by the banking system (about two-thirds of that in mortgages, and one-third for small and medium-sized enterprises).

He said that $90.1 billion dollars in government securities have been raised.

“Markets are seeing that Australia can be relied upon and this is a good bet in this point in time,” the prime minister said, adding that Australians will hopefully soon return to domestic holidays, and urged Australians to travel within the country. With $20bn per year spent in international travel, the money is “up for grabs” for domestic travel providers.

“The boom is going up on elective surgery all around the country,” he said.

Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy said “everybody is heading towards full elective surgery” and added that Australians should not neglect their health issues.

He also urged Australians to continue to be vigilant. “Just a reminder, this virus is still there, at very low levels in the community, and I reiterate the Prime Minister’s message – as people start to go back to some normal activities and open up, please, please be careful. Please practise all of those new ways of interacting that we’ve talked about on so many occasions,” he said.

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National Cabinet also adopted a National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan, which will recieve $48.1m in funding, and $19.5 billion dollars has been announced for Victoria.

Australia’s Health Minister Greg Hunt said that all the “stress of concerns about health, the loneliness of isolation, anxiety about a job, a small business’ set of finances, the mortgage – all of these pressures which come with the pandemic have created specific mental health challenges,” he said.

“So, one of the most important things we can do is to provide mental health support.”

Mr Hunt said, adding that 5.2 billion dollars on average have been offered over the course of this year. He said tht $7.3m was invested in “research and data into what’s happening in real time”; and $29.5m will be invested in outreach to vulnerable communities including the elderly, people from non-English speaking backgrounds, Indigenous Australians and people with pre-existing mental health conditions; and another $11.3m will go towards communication and outreach; with $10.4m to be spent on a national campaign based around the slogan “It’s OK not to be OK.”

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The states and territories worked together on a single response plan which received unanimous support, and special thanks went to NSW and Victoria for their leadership.