Today, National Cabinet met virtually to discuss the COVID-19 pandemic, Monkeypox (MPX), Foot and Mouth Disease and the upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit.
Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly provided an update on the current COVID-19 situation, including the uptake of vaccine booster doses and COVID-19 treatments.
The Commonwealth, State and Territory leaders discussed the continuing impact of COVID-19 on health system capacity and that they would work together to plan and prepare for likely future waves of COVID-19.
First Ministers agreed to continue to work together to manage the response to Monkeypox, following an update from Professor Kelly on the emerging situation.
The Chief Medical Officer declared MPX a Communicable Disease of National Significance on 28 July following the World Health Organization’s (WHO) declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern (23 July).
Internationally, there have been ten MPX deaths reported this year.
First Ministers also discussed the Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) outbreak in Indonesia and work to ensure FMD preparedness in Australia.
The Commonwealth is providing a $14 million biosecurity package to bolster Australia’s frontline defence and provide more technical support for countries currently battling FMD and Lumpy Skin Disease.
Through this package, the Commonwealth continues to increase its biosecurity measures, including additional biosecurity officers, detector dogs, sanitation foot mats and increased messaging at airports.
First Ministers agreed to continue to work collaboratively on FMD preparedness to protect Australian livestock and businesses from the devastating impacts of this disease.
The Prime Minister also provided an update on the upcoming Jobs and Skills Summit and National Cabinet discussed how states and territories would work together on priority issues for consideration at the Summit.
The National Cabinet remains committed to working together on national priorities and will continue to meet as necessary.