Morrison says restrictions to remain in place for at least next four weeks

“To make sure we can achieve growth that will be necessary for our economy to get people back into work, economy back on track, it will be a different world on the other side of the virus and there will be many challenges,” he said.


Mr Morrison noted the modest rise in the March unemployment rate to 5.2 per cent was largely based on a period before tough restrictions were put in place across the economy, saying while it was welcome “we know that is the best figure we will see for some time”.

“That is a figure we can note but it is not one we could expect to be held going forward, and in saying that we do need to prepare ourselves as a country for some very sobering news on the economic front in months ahead,” he said.

On the health front, Australia remained in the “suppression” phase of the virus and was doing “relatively very well” especially over
countries that are using even more extreme
forms of lockdown. But Mr Morrison cautioned against overstating that success.

Mr Morrison also said he would be talking to Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese about having a trial week of Parliament in May, returning to normal business, with the hope of establishing a “workable” pattern beyond that.

No sitting weeks had been scheduled until August in a revised schedule made once coronavirus spread through Australia. A reduced number of federal politicians returned for a special sitting day last week to pass the $130 billion JobKeeper legislation.

“We want to send the very clear message that we are well ahead of where we thought we might be at this point,” he said.

More to come


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