Coronavirus Australia live update: Scott Morrison holds press conference as Victoria records 41 Covid cases
State records nine deaths as Melbourne’s stage 4 lockdown extended by two weeks and Victoria pursues aggressive suppression strategy. Follow live
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On contact tracing, Scott Morrison said the commonwealth can provide more resources to Victoria, including ADF personnel, to help match NSW’s levels.
If they need extra Services Australia support, we’ve already had ADF support in there, but I think if there is extra support that is needed to lift whether it’s in Victoria or, indeed, in Queensland or Western Australia or Tasmania, if this is what is preventing the easing of restrictions, then I think it is about matching the level of capacity against what is happening in NSW
And I should stress, it’s just not about how many people you’ve got on the phone. Information systems are critical to this. The way work is structured and organised is critical to this. And it’s an integrated tracing capability.”
Prof Tony Blakely, from the University of Melbourne, an author of the modelling, subsequently said: ‘If we do our contact tracing better than we did three months ago, the contact tracers may be able to hold the case count without it going up again as badly as our model suggests.’
Professor Peter Collignon from the Australian National University in Canberra: ‘A lot hinges on contact tracing. So far, Victoria has not been able to do that as well as other states. I think actually a more nuanced approach like NSW is doing where very good contact tracing is likely to be sustainable over the long-term.”
Scott Morrison will wait to see what economic support the Victorian government introduces before announcing further relief specific to Victoria.
Morrison was asked how he could justify slashing jobseeker and jobkeeper at the end of the month to Victorians who have been banned by their state government from going to work. But he did not acknowledge the cuts, instead pointing to how the government had extended their timeframe.
Jobkeeper is a national program. Jobkeeper is a program that is as important in Cairns as it is in Cronulla or, indeed, in anywhere else in Melbourne or Western Australia. Different states will draw on that in heavier amounts as Victoria is now. And they will be drawing heavily on this over the balance of this year and, I would think, into next year.
The situation we have in Victoria is very specific to Victoria, and I’m seeking to see what the Victorian government will be doing in taking actions to mitigate the economic impact of the decisions the Victorian government has made regarding the restrictions and the plan that they have set out.