Press Conference Canberra, ACT

Transcript
01 Oct 2021
Prime Minister
E&OE

Prime Minister: Good afternoon, everyone. I said before I headed overseas that I’d be considering the Ministry while I was away and making announcements on my return, and I'm pleased to announce the following changes to the Ministry. These changes provide a timely opportunity to reinforce some of the key issues the Government is progressing, especially following on from the successful series of meetings that we recently held in Washington, both the AUKUS arrangements, that are now coming to place, and, of course, the Quad.

Angus Taylor, in addition to his responsibilities for Energy and Emissions Reduction, will take on the responsibilities of Industry, and be the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction. When I first appointed Angus to being the Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction, I said his job was to be the Minister for getting electricity prices down. He's done a good job there. His job here is to ensure the sovereignty of Australia, to ensure our home-grown capabilities in critical supplies is there for the future, building on the Modern Manufacturing Initiative and the important programs right across a suite of areas that we're engaged in. The clean energy technology supply chains of the future. The Clean Energy Summit that will be held in the first half of next year, the first quarter of next year. These are important initiatives for Australia's sovereignty, and as Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction, he'll be pursuing those with great gusto and great professionalism and skill, in manufacturing, in critical supply chains and in energy.

Melissa Price, the Minister for Defence Industry, will be taking on the additional portfolio responsibility of Minister for Science and Technology. Now, this will complement her Defence Industry responsibilities very significantly. It is timely, particularly given the AUKUS arrangements, which will see us be working together with the United States and the United Kingdom, linking up our industry, our science and technology supply chains. Our scientists, our entrepreneurs, our technologists and others, working together to create opportunities in areas like quantum and artificial intelligence. Of course, these responsibilities will be pursued for right across the economy, both in civil and defence uses. But, it is timely to bring those two together, and she will be sworn into the Industry portfolio to perform those responsibilities when it comes to science and technology. There is also the working together with organisations like ANSTO and the CSIRO in addressing the nuclear capabilities that will be necessary under the nuclear submarine program.

And I’m, congratulate both Melissa and Angus. They have been strongly performing Ministers. I recently promoted Melissa again to the Cabinet and she's been hitting her marks and doing a terrific job, and it's great to have her in these new roles.

I'll be promoting Alex Hawke, the Minister for Immigration, Multicultural Affairs, to the Cabinet. He will be retaining all of his existing responsibilities but joining the Cabinet to fill that vacancy, and it's important, not only because of the strong performance he's shown in the Ministerial portfolios I've entrusted him with, but it also brings back, pleasingly, the Immigration and Multicultural Affairs portfolios into the Cabinet. Minister Hawke did an absolutely extraordinary job most recently in the evacuation from Kabul. That was an incredibly complex exercise, and it was done with an enormous amount of effort and great skill and professionalism, and I'm very pleased to be welcoming Minister Hawke to the Cabinet.

My Assistant Minister, Ben Morton, will be promoted to the Ministry, where he will be taking on the responsibilities of Special Minister of State, Minister for Public Service, and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister and Cabinet. That will take in his current responsibilities and expanding them to get the cost of regulation and compliance down, not just across the Commonwealth, but working with me and the Treasurer right across the federation. And he'll be assisting me, particularly with federation responsibilities, the National Federation Reform Council, and supporting my role in the National Cabinet.

Tim Wilson will enter the Executive and he'll take on the responsibility of Assistant Minister Assisting the Minister for Industry, Energy and Emissions Reduction. Tim will bring a great deal of advocacy and skills to that portfolio as we continue to articulate and bring people together around our plans for emissions reduction, on Australia's energy future, the transition to the new energy economy, and, of course, supporting the Minister for Industry, along with Assistant Minister Duniam, in driving forward that sovereign capability across our manufacturing base, and I congratulate Tim on his elevation to the Executive. He's worked extremely hard. Before the last election, there was no one more passionate in advocating the case when it came to the retirees tax. He was successful in that. And I believe he'll be as successful with these new responsibilities.

Today, we also passed some important milestones, which I want to come back to in a moment, in relation to the vaccine program. But, I want to say this. Australia has set records when it comes to saving lives and saving livelihoods during the course of the pandemic. We've saved more than 30,000 lives. More than a million people have got themselves back into jobs, and our economic performance has worked through this global pandemic. But, Australians have made great sacrifices to achieve that result. And that has been a heavy burden, not being able to go to funerals, children cannot, being able to go to school, families not to be able to come together, significant religious celebrations, not being able to sing in church. All of these things, whether they be seen as small sacrifices or very great sacrifices, they have imposed a heavy burden on Australians. It's time to give Australians their lives back. We've saved lives. We've saved livelihoods. But, we must work together to ensure that Australians can reclaim the lives that they once had in this country. And we must work together to achieve that goal. That's what the National Plan is all about.

When I stood before this very lectern last time I was in quarantine, and we set out that National Plan, that deal with Australians which said, let's get vaccinated and let's get on with it. And Australians have responded to that remarkably and I'm so grateful, as we continue to move up that board, particularly in the OECD, with our vaccination rates. And when you look at the vaccination rates now, today, we go past the United States on first doses. We go past the United States on first doses. Twenty-eight million doses now having been realised; 341,000 just yesterday. Another record outcome. We have moved past the US, and 55 per cent of the adult population over 16 is now vaccinated at the end of September. That's 20 points up on where it was a month ago. Securing those additional vaccines, which I knew were necessary to keep driving those vaccination rates forward in September, has been remarkably successful. And that is giving us the opportunity to get Australia ready for take off.

It is, will be time very soon that we will be able to open those international borders again, and that will enable Australians who are fully vaccinated, and Australians and residents of Australia who are overseas who are fully vaccinated, to be able to travel again and to be able to lift those caps on our airports in states where they have moved into Phase C of the program. And that is where Australia is now preparing to move. This will happen next month. That's when it will start happening, from next month, as states move into those 80 per cent vaccination rates. We have already got the technology and the other things in place that will support those states being able, under Phase C of the plan, to enable their residents and citizens to leave the country and return, and also those residents and Australians who are overseas to return to Australia as, if they are vaccinated, with uncapped restrictions on their arrival in those states which have moved into that phase.

So, let me explain that a little more, what needs to happen for that to occur, to reopen safely and to stay safely open under our National Plan. Firstly, we need home quarantine pilots in New South Wales and South Australia to conclude and be successful, so they can be rolled out at scale. That’s seven-day home quarantine for Australian citizens and permanent residents fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved for use in Australia or recognised by the TGA, and 14-day managed quarantine for anyone not vaccinated or vaccinated with a vaccine not approved or recognised by the TGA. So, as I said in the National Plan, we will move to a phase where there will be caps lifted if you're vaccinated. Caps will remain for non-vaccinated, and there will be the managed quarantine process for those 14 days.

We're also offering facilitated commercial flights for Australians overseas into states and territories that agree to commence those home quarantine trials. And I look forward to discussing that further with my colleagues this afternoon.

Once changes are made in November, the current overseas travel restrictions related to COVID-19 will be removed, and Australians in those states will be able to travel, as I've said, and we'll be working towards complete quarantine-free travel for certain countries, such as New Zealand, when it is safe to do so.

Thirdly, Australians who want to travel overseas, once restrictions are removed, will be able to access an internationally recognised proof of vaccination document that will be in the coming weeks, to prove their vaccination status abroad. And that proof of vaccination for international travel will include a QR code that is readable globally. It works in with the ICAO systems that are used all around the world.

Fourth, in addition to the four COVID-19 vaccines that have also been approved and registered for use by the TGA, the TGA has also been reviewing other vaccines in widespread use around the world. And, today, the TGA has published its initial assessment of two other vaccines, and it has advised that these vaccines should be approved and recognised vaccines for the purpose of determining incoming international travellers. Those vaccines are Sinovac and Covishield. They will be particularly important for those coming from countries where those vaccines are being used. India is an obvious one of those, as is China and other countries throughout South East Asia. That will be important, also, when we move to the phase, which I believe will be occurring next year in some states, particularly in my discussions with New South Wales, where those students, skilled migrants, and perhaps sooner, will be able to come into the country and have those vaccines recognised as we move forward.

So, this is an important next step in the National Plan. This is set out in the National Plan. No surprises here. This is what we agreed to do. That we said to Australians, we get to 80 per cent, you can leave the country and you can come back again. If you're overseas, you should be able to come back, if you're a fully vaccinated Australian resident or citizen. I'm going to keep the deal with Australians when it comes to the National Plan. I'm going to keep the deal which said, you go and get vaccinated, and we're going to ensure that the many liberties and opportunities that you have will be restored. It is a great, it is a great and terrible thing that they have had to be taken away because of the pandemic. We've all understood it. We've all worked through it. We've all suffered through it. But, the time has come to give Australians their lives back. We're getting ready for that, and Australia will be ready for take off very soon. David.

Journalist: Just on Victoria, there's been a surge in cases in Victoria. That's got some people worried about opening up and thinking that opening up should be delayed. What's your response on whether the case numbers in Victoria are an argument for any delay? And, secondly, on international travel, Australians at the moment can get a seat on a plane to leave the country, they can't get a seat on a plane to come back. What, I mean, are you in talks with any airlines and others about increasing the capacity to allow travel?

Prime Minister: Well, on the first point, I would just point you to the New South Wales experience. Get vaccinated. Get vaccinated. Get vaccinated. That's what puts the protection in the community, in addition to how New South Wales has been in lockdown for some time now. But, as we've seen the escalation of their vaccination rates, we have seen the growth in cases come off and, in fact, start to fall. Victoria went into this, later than New South Wales, but they’ve followed a very similar trajectory - slightly above, actually and in continuing to increase the vaccination rates in Victoria when they hit those marks of 80 per cent. Eighty per cent vaccination across the population in Victoria is the same as 80 per cent vaccination of a population across New South Wales. It’ll have the same protections, the same impacts, and it will afford the same opportunities. And, so, they need to do what they need to do for now. But, the most important thing is to get Australians in all states and territories vaccinated. That's the deal of the National Plan, and that’s the deal we need to honour.

Journalist: PM, Queensland has said that it won’t open its border to New South Wales, ACT and Victoria.

Prime Minister: I can’t quite hear, I’m sorry.

Journalist: Sorry.

Prime Minister: Don’t come closer because the Chief Medical, Health Officer of the ACT will get upset.

Journalist: Sorry. Ok. Queensland has said that it won’t open its border to ACT, Victoria and New South Wales until it receives a big cash injection from the Commonwealth to improve its hospital capacity. What do you say to this, especially during, you know, the chief ministers and premiers have had 18 months to prepare for the inevitable opening of the international border?

Prime Minister: Sure. Well, first of all, let me be clear. 80 per cent vaccinations in New South Wales, if vaccination rates are lower in Queensland, then I imagine Queensland and Western Australia and other states who have lower rates of vaccination, that haven't moved into Phase C, will continue to have some restrictions. I would expect that. But, that shouldn't stop people from New South Wales or Victoria being able to travel or come back in larger numbers, and they will come back through. I suspect we'll see Victoria follow suit at some point. I know the Premier is keen on achieving that, when that's safe to do so, as well. So, we're not, the question is, well, how can you go to Bali or Fiji, but you can't go to Queensland? I’m sure there's plenty of tourism operators in Queensland who will be asking that question. But, when vaccination rates hit 80 per cent in Queensland, well then there'll be opportunity for Queensland to to join an open country when they hit that mark.

I've noted the comments that have been made on the hospitals. Our Government has increased funding for hospitals across the states by over 70 per cent since we came to Government. The states have increased their spending by about just over 40 per cent. So, if they would like to match us, then I'm sure they're going to be able to close the gap. Been a lot of talk about what the responsibilities of the states are. I can tell you what one of them is, run your public hospitals and get them ready to deal with any surge demand that would come. There has been a lot of opportunity to prepare for this. And, I must say, it's been a high priority item of the National Cabinet, and we'll be considering that again today. But, I don't think the pandemic should be used as an excuse for shakedown politics. They just need to get on with the job, get their hospitals ready. We have showered the states in cash when it comes to the health system, to support them through COVID, when it comes to supporting their industries and economies, whether it be JobKeeper or the more recent economic supports or the COVID Disaster Payment. The Commonwealth has more than stepped up when it has come to steering and carrying state economies through this crisis. Their job is to get the public hospitals ready to go.

Journalist: Prime Minister, Gladys Berejiklian has resigned. What's your reaction? Do you believe she's acted corruptly?

Prime Minister: Well, I’ve been standing here while that's been happening, so I have no knowledge of what the Premier has said today. I can only take that on face value, as what you’ve presented me here today. Gladys is a, is a dear friend of mine. We've known each other for a long time. She has displayed heroic qualities, heroic qualities as the Premier of New South Wales. I have worked with her extremely closely and she has always been a vibrant spirit when it comes to our debates, doing the best for the people of New South Wales. I know how much she is trusted and respected by the people of New South Wales, and I have no doubt that Gladys will always conduct herself in a way that suits the integrity of the office that she's held. And I know how seriously she takes that trust. I've always found Gladys to be a person of the highest integrity. She has been a trusted friend and a, a very respected colleague. I wish her well, if that is the case, and I know that the great work that she has done as New South Wales Premier, throughout the course of this pandemic, will be continued by her Government, who will be a great partner of the Federal Government in ensuring that we move the country forward. Sam.

Journalist: Prime Minister, just in relation to international travel. The UK obviously had a red light, green light system that recently got removed. You seem to be proposing red light, green light, but maybe only for unvaccinated. Is it the case that if you're vaccinated, you can basically go wherever you want without worrying about a traffic light system? And, in relation to today’s announcements, you're opening the borders, you're reshuffling the Cabinet. There’ll be people again that are saying, are you going to an early election this year? What can you tell them?

Prime Minister: No. I've been very clear about this over a very long time. I don't know what more I have to say to the press gallery here in Canberra. I've probably been more clear about that than any other Prime Minister. So you'll have to fill your pages with something else. 

On the other serious point, though, we won't be going down the red light, green light path. We'll be treating this like we do travel advice across travel more generally. It is currently the case that you go to the DFAT website and we might be saying do not travel to particular places currently because of any number of threats. They can be health threats in those countries. They can be terror threats or security threats. And we'll treat COVID the same. And if there are places that we don't believe, based on the advice of the Chief Medical Officer, that we should be giving that do not travel advice or some caution in relation to travel to those places for vaccinated Australians, then we'll provide the advice that way. So rather than running a league table of green light and red light countries, you can go where you want to go. But that is subject only to the normal restrictions and advice that is provided by DFAT, which is put there for people's safety. 

Now, what we are saying, though, Sam, is that vaccinated Australians will be able to travel. At this point, we are not saying unvaccinated Australians can travel because that would be a risk to themselves and a risk to themselves, their own health, because their likelihood of contracting the virus overseas pretty much anywhere, because it's a global pandemic is far higher than for a vaccinated person, obviously, and then risks the importation further of the virus back into Australia. So that's a common sense health position. It's frankly a position being taken by many airlines and others even before governments make decisions. 

To the point, I think you were saying about the airlines before, David, I'm sorry I passed over that question. This announcement today has been flagged with the airlines. They will be playing a key role in the process for vaccinated Australians to depart the country. So when you're checking in, they'll be playing a role there with the vaccination, a record of vaccination. So they're a key partner in this process. And this opens up a significant source of demand when we get into November. That's why I'm saying it in October. So there's plenty of time now for the airlines to go and prepare and plan, look at their demand, not just Qantas and Virgin, but many other airlines as well. And I think the demand for all of this will ensure that we'll see increased number of flights. Now, the facilitated commercial flights I'm talking about, that's now, right now, to assist with the trials of home quarantine. So while the Commonwealth will be ready within weeks, if not before, for this to swing into action, and while New South Wales, I suspect, will hit 80 per cent before the end of this month, perhaps or early in November, the trigger to enable people to leave and come back and lift those caps, that will be a function of home quarantine being enforced at scale. 

Journalist: Prime Minister, just on the international travel, you've announced this will take place next month. That's just in time for the G20 and COP26. Will you be going to both of those summits in person? 

Prime Minister: Well, as I understand it right now, when those are taking place, we will still be subject to 14 days quarantine, based on my understanding of where states and territories are. So I must say, look, it's a very important summit. And as you know, the government is coming together around the commitments we will make there. And we'll work through that process as we are over the weeks ahead. It is a very important summit, as is the G20. I will have spent, if I do that, a total of four times, 14 day quarantine, basically in this building, not being able to engage in my normal duties around the country as much as I would like to. That's a long time for a prime minister to be in quarantine in a six month period. What matters is the commitments. What matters is the commitments that we will make. What matters is the policies that Australia will go forward for. What matters is being able to communicate to Australians what our plan means. Our plan will be important and Australia will always carry its weight when it comes to emissions reduction. We do now. Over 20 per cent emissions reduction. There are plenty of countries out there who have lots of ambition, but frankly don't have the performance to back up what Australia can in terms of what we've achieved. So I am very confident in Australia's position about this and my first and most important group that I need to talk to about our plan is not overseas. It's right here in Australia. It's talking to people in regional Australia, how the Deputy Prime Minister and I believe our plan will help them in their communities, how our plan will help them realise their future. I know there's a lot of international interests, but the interests I'm focused on is that of Australians where they live and what this plan will mean for them.

Journalist: [inaudible] unusual situation where people from Sydney and Melbourne are likely going to be able to go overseas before they can go back to WA. Mark McGowan's given no clear date on when he intends to reopen the hard border. Is that creating a disincentive for vaccination for people in WA at the moment? And just separately, you promoted a number of WA MPs, Ben Morton and Melissa Price. How much was WA voters a consideration in making those decisions? 

Prime Minister: Well, on the first point, when people could fly back into Sydney and we discussed this at the last national cabinet meeting, that'll be the first major port that's open in Australia because of their success. And I pay tribute to the work that Premier Berejiklian has been working with us to get that job done under the National Vaccination Programme. They will be the first to go through this gate. Now, Sydney is the biggest arrivals port for Australia. That's good news if you're anywhere around the world, because that's where most of the flights go. Now, if you live in another state, what will occur is obviously before you leave, you'll need to know that it may well be that your state may not let you back into your state. And so you'll need to remain in New South Wales until they let you do that. Now, that is a matter for premiers. That is a matter for states as to how they manage that. But what I'm not going to do is I'm not going to stop people coming back to Australia because other states and territories are where they are at. I want us to get moving. I want us to get moving. I want people to be able to come home. I want people to get vaccinated. And I want that incentive to be there, which says, let's get vaccinated, let's open up. Now, that's a message for the whole country, not just in Sydney, where they've been in lockdown and across New South Wales and Victoria, where they're in lockdown and here in the ACT. It's a message for the whole country. Sure, it's going to come with some challenges. Sure, it's going to come with some tests. And yes, it can only happen when we exceed those 80 per cent vaccination rates. And if those states haven't reached those marks and that it's totally understandable, as is provided for under the national plan. But we've got to get it done because Australians want their lives back and that's what we want to deliver. 

Journalist: We haven't had the opportunity to ask you since your predecessor addressed the National Press Club, as you're aware he made an extraordinary comment. He said that you are, you have imperilled the national security of Australia. I want to ask your response on that. And secondly, Malcolm Turnbull is also and nuclear experts have said that we do need the nuclear industry to run in tandem with the delivery of nuclear subs here, if anything, to help maintenance and help maintenance on those things. Do you agree on that front. 

Prime Minister: Not in the way that it's been in the past, no, I don't. And that's not advice I have from our Defence Force, our defence officials and and the engagement we've had with both the United States and the United Kingdom. I mean, we may be speaking about different things here and there's terms that are thrown about here. But the idea that Australia has to have a civil nuclear energy industry is not a requirement for us to go through the submarine programme. Of course, we'll be drawing, as I said, on the day of my announcement of this important strategic initiative by our government, that we will be drawing on the great experience of ANSTO and Australia's existing scientific capabilities in the nuclear field, which is exactly why I've appointed Melissa Price into the role of Minister for Science and Technology to aid that process. So we perhaps might be speaking at cross purposes. But my policy has always been to show great respect to my predecessors, thank them for their great service to our country. 

Journalist: New South Wales are very much going to be leading this international return to international travel, how difficult timing wise is it to then have the Premier also quit the parliament and have force a byelection?

Prime Minister: Well, I can't speak to those matters because I'm not aware of the circumstances or even what the Premier has said. So I'm at a disadvantage to be able to respond to that question. But what I would say is this. Everything I have done with the New South Wales Government, I have done certainly with the Premier, but my ministers and I have done it with the New South Wales government, with the Treasurer, with the many ministers, many of whom sit around her crisis cabinet, with the Minister for Health, with the Minister for Economic Development. So we have been working closely together as governments, and I would expect nothing other than an absolute continuity of the pace and the leadership that we've seen from New South Wales. 

Journalist: [inaudible] a very broad vaccine mandate with a long list of workers that will need to get vaccinated to go back to work. Are you disappointed that there hasn't been uniformity achieved in the public health orders around the country? And are you worried that this constitutes a vaccine, compulsory vaccines by stealth? As you previously described it? 

Prime Minister: Our policy, the Australian Government's policy has been only to have mandates in in exceptional circumstances. And that remains our policy. The only policy agreed through the national cabinet process for national level implementation was the vaccination of aged care workers. And the principle that sits behind that is we were seeking to ensure high rates of vaccination with those who are engaging with vulnerable communities. And that's an important policy principle. And I think there's a lot of merit in where people are engaging with very vulnerable elements of the community, I know in the Northern Territory, for example. And we've used similar powers there where there's engagement with quite sensitive indigenous communities. There have been some some exceptional arrangements put in place in those circumstances. But my policy has always been that this is not a compulsory vaccination programme. And I think the way that Australians have responded and the fact that we have gone up 20 points to 55 per cent, we are now ahead of the United States on first dose vaccinations, that similarly across the G7 average and across Europe, we will be exceeding their positions within a matter of weeks. That demonstrates that the race we're running is running hard to the end and it's getting the results. You know, we had our challenges many months ago. I took responsibility for those challenges and those problems and I said I take responsibility for fixing it and I have. And that's why you are seeing the vaccination rates that you are seeing now, which is what we had originally hoped to see by the time we have reached October of that order. And we will continue to see that rise. So I know Australians know what's good for them. I know Australians want Australia to open up. And I think the best way to encourage those vaccinations is to stick to the national plan, stick to the deal. Australians will keep their side of the bargain. We need to keep ours.

Journalist: How long until people can come back to Australia from overseas and not have to quarantine at all. What would you need to see to enable that to happen? 

Prime Minister: Well, it's a very good question. But you take this step by step. The next step is that there'll be no caps on vaccinated Australians coming back at all. And I think that will be very welcome in places like India and the United Kingdom, United States and up in South East Asia. And they'll be coming back in the first instance for a seven day quarantine. And we'll see how that goes. And I think there'll be opportunity to reduce that. And I think next year we'll be in a very different place again. So we'll take it step by step. Australia has always, through this pandemic, sought to do things that a patient and safe way. And we've been criticised for that by some in other parts of the world. But I can point to 30,000 Australians who can agree with our policy today because they're alive. And I have no regrets on that front, none whatsoever. But we also need to know when you need to move forward. And that's what I'm saying today in the national plan will take us forward when we hit those 80 per cent marks. And I think you'll see the quarantine arrangements change over time and become less onerous as we live with the virus. So we'll take those steps carefully, but we must take them. I mean, for example, when it comes to the isolation of people who may be contacts currently who are vaccinated, we're already seeing states move away from that. That's a good move. It's a sensible move, actually. It's just logical that you would do that. And I think that will assist us in managing the pandemic going forward. I've got time for one more. 

Journalist: You mentioned the differing rates of vaccination around the nation. Queensland, WA are behind the rest of the country, have they become complacent, given the relative COVID free environment they've been living in? And are they at risk of holding back the rest of the country in terms of reaching to this next goal? 

Prime Minister: Well, what I'm saying is, no, they won't. I'm not going to hold back New South Wales and Victoria and the ACT from what they've achieved to go and access the things that they should be able to achieve once you hit 80 per cent. I want them to realise that. That's why I'm going to keep my part of the deal with Australians on this. I'm going to honour that deal, and work and do everything I can to work with those states which have lower rates of vaccination, which, let's be honest, is also a function of the low rates of COVID in those states. So I'm not being critical about that. They've had a different set of challenges to overcome in those states and territories. Tasmania is a bit of a standout on that front, which I referred to before. But that said, we've just got to work together to get people vaxxed. That's just what we have to do. I don't think there's a need for criticism, only support and encouragement and doing what we can to assist them. I think that's. I left out the Courier-Mail, I can’t do that.

Journalist: Prime Minister, thanks very much. With Australia moving forward, a seven day quarantine when international travel is back, is that going to leave facilities, purpose built quarantine facilities like Wellcamp and Pinkenba as white elephants? How often are they going to be needed?

Prime Minister: Can I tell you what is principally driven, principally driven my decision on those issues? It goes back to the night when the flight was coming from Wuhan and there were not, and there has never been scaled facilities to deal with where a flight like that might go.  In the future we could be faced with these circumstances any given day. And I think it's important for us to have those facilities. So my decision was based on the long term need, not the short term requirement, because we're going to home quarantine, you know, hotel quarantine, it's got a used by date on it, 14 day quarantine, it's got a used by date on it. That will recede, it will go away and we'll move into a new phase. But the need to have some specific specialist facilities like we put in place up in the Northern Territory and have these other facilities on an ongoing basis, I think that meets a strategic need for the medium to long term. And so, you know, those projects will continue. But I would flag that the idea that they were somehow going to replace hotel quarantine, in fact, it was the reverse. It was our very clear instruction in the guidelines about this, that it wasn't replacement capacity, it was additional capacity. And it has a longer term, in my view and my government's view, purpose. And that's why it is of of importance. Thank you all very much.