Q&A, National Press Club

Transcript
01 Oct 2020
ACT
Prime Minister
E&OE

Sabra Lane: Thank you. You touched on industrial relations a couple of times in your speech and in fact the last time that you were here, as you acknowledge, you launched JobMaker, where you talked about the need for change on industrial relations and you voiced a time-bound approach with September as the deadline with a number of round-table groups, where you also appealed to people to put down their tribal - traditional tribal allegiances to one side. September's come and gone. Can you tell us where that process is at? Is IR reform still part of your agenda? And will it be announced in the weeks ahead?

Prime Minister: It certainly, certainly definitely is. I want to thank all of those who have participated in what has been a fairly feverish paced possess and there has been a lot of good faith and goodwill. There have been a few disagreements along the way, not to be unexpected. But at the same time, people have remained at the table. And the Attorney-General and I have been very grateful for that, as has the Treasurer. And we have finished that round of the process, and that is being distilled by the Attorney-General, as Minister for Industrial Relations, and he is now fashioning a plan that will come forward to the Cabinet. We've already had a number of discussions about where that would take us. I think we have been able to make some good progress and the government will make further decisions about how much further we would go beyond what has been discussed because ensuring that we have an industrial relations system that can employ more people, particularly now, is so critical. We can't have the rather militant response and approach that we're currently seeing out there in Port Botany. I mean, we're talking about a dispute here where they are seeking to reduce automation technology at our waterfront. To resist the improvements in productivity that will support farmers get their products to international markets. I mean, the process has to be, surely, about making the enterprises that employ people work better for everybody. Our ports are a critical link in our economic chain with the world. And we can't do industrial relations that way. My hope is that that is an outlier, that that is an aberration, that that is not a position that is more broadly shared amongst those in the industrial relations area. And so I hope some commonsense will prevail there and the interests of Australians right across the country, from the paddock to the cities, will be respected in resolving that as quickly as possible.

Lane: Reminder to my colleagues, please, one question per person. David Crowe.

David Crowe: Thank you Sabra. David Crowe from the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age. Thanks for your speech, Prime Minister. You mentioned research and development several times during your speech. Before the Senate at the moment, the government has a bill that changes taxation on R&D, saves money. One of the critics of that bill is a company called ResMed, which of course has made a big contribution this year by making ventilators.

Prime Minister: True.

Crowe: At the moment, you seem to be spending $1.5 billion on manufacturing, at the same time you save $1. 8 billion on R&D tax concessions. Does that make sense? Are you open to rethinking the R&D tax changes so that you can actually encourage more research and development?

Prime Minister: We certainly want to encourage more research and development. And our answer to that question will be delivered by the Treasurer next Tuesday night.

Crowe: So there will be more in the Budget?

Prime Minister: His answer will be to that question in the Budget next Tuesday night.

Crowe: Can I have a third question?

Lane: That is very cheeky.

Crowe: Can you offer any more guidance as to what kind of changes you are thinking about?

Lane: Goodness gracious.

Prime Minister: The Budget speech starts soon after 7:00pm.

Lane: Thank, David. Rosie Lewis. From The Australian.

Rosie Lewis: Rosie Lewis from The Australian. Treasury's best case assumptions in the July budget were quickly derailed.

Prime Minister: Sorry, can you start that again Rosie?

Lewis: Treasury's best case assumptions in the July budget update were quickly derailed. We had Victoria's lockdown extended and new border closures come into play. How confident can you be in next week's Budget assumptions as the country reopens again and how vital is it that once states do open they stay open?

Prime Minister: On the last point, I mean absolutely important. That is why we have to be patient about the process we're currently engaged in. We do not want to see a third wave in Victoria or a second wave anywhere else in the country. So that's why getting it right and making sure the testing, tracing and the outbreak containment measures are totally up to the mark and to ensure that we contain any outbreaks that may occur and it wouldn't be surprising to see other cases occur as states and territories open up. But as New South Wales has demonstrated, you can do that and keep your economy open. I think New South Wales, as I've said on many occasions, provides the gold standard about how you actually achieve this. In relation to the Budget numbers themselves, Australia is in as good a position, if not better than most, to be able to assess where our finances will go and how our economy will perform. But we are living in the most uncertain times any of us have seen in trying to get an understanding of what these numbers will be. I think what we've seen over the last four or five months, backed up the wisdom of having the Budget now, not in May. It would have been a very different budget in May. I am sure Mathias would agree to what we are now handing down next week. And it was wise to be patient, to not rush, to ensure we better understood what was happening with COVID-19 and our capacity to deal with it. Now, Australia has been able to balance both the health and the economic objectives better than almost every other country in the world today. Certainly every other developed country. As I said, only Norway, economies like Taiwan, then countries like South Korea and Finland as well, I could probably add to that list, have been able to combine these dual objectives as well as Australia has. But that said, we're in the same global economy as everyone else. Australia's economy, we can do everything we can to boost it here in Australia, through the measures that will be in next week's Budget and the JobMaker plan over the next five years. But we will also be vulnerable to the global economy. 4.5 per cent fall this year, 45 times worse than the GFC. That is something to reflect on. So, in that environment, I think Treasury's task, and the Reserve Bank's task for that matter, the OECD and others, their task is very, very difficult. And so that's what we will know next week. If circumstances change again in the future, as you've seen the government do, we've quickly come together, considered any changes that are necessary, and we've acted. And that's what you have seen for the last six months. That's what Australians will continue to see.

Lane: Phil Coorey.

Phil Coorey: Hi, PM. Phil Coorey from the AFR. Just on your comments on sovereign manufacturing capability plans, you said the crisis is not an excuse for protectionist policies to subsidise inefficient firms to make things here locally. Do you consider government procurement protectionist? In other words, a state or federal government agreeing to effectively underwrite the manufacture of critical products here by agreeing to by them. Do you see that as protectionist or otherwise?

Prime Minister: On those issues, we will always abide by the World Trade Organisation rules and they are always a key consideration in how we frame our procurement policies. And we cast them as being Mathias's responsibility as Finance Minister for setting those. You have to balance your ambitions as an open, trading nation and you do that by respecting those rules and playing your part in upholding those rules, and modernising those rules, which we're doing. But at the same time, understanding that we have a great opportunity through how we procure as a country, whether it is in defence or anywhere else. I mean, I was advised today that 95.7 per cent by volume and 91.6 by value of the contracts awarded by the Australian government in 2018-19 were to businesses with an Australian address. I think Mathias has done a pretty good job on that. That has been assisting, supporting, modernising, energising Australian small and medium-sized businesses all around the country. So, Phil, you abide by the rules, and that's what the rules are designed to protect against - that is against protectionism. And if you are complying with those rules, well, I think you're in the right spot. That is where we find ourselves.

Lane: Andrew Probyn.

Andrew Probyn: Prime Minister, Andrew Probyn from the ABC. In recent weeks and months, you and the Treasurer and perhaps Mathias Cormann as well have been talking about aggregate demand. And for those people who haven’t studied economics, it is basically getting a lot of consumption, whether it is through government spending, business investment or through household investment. My question is about households. Given that we can probably expect some tax cuts next week, how, what are the methods by which you can get households to consume and spend in the stimulatory way that the Budget requires?

Prime Minister: You're right to point to aggregate demand. And I set out there were three components to the Budget. The first one was to cushion the blow. The second one was to recover what was lost. And the third to build for the future. Now, the JobMaker plan, of which the manufacturing strategy forms an important part, is very much part of that five-year to 10-year plan around boosting the productivity and performance of the Australian economy. So, as we shock absorb the blow of COVID and we recover what was lost, then we can grow into a more productive economy domestically. But the second point around recovery and cushioning that blow goes very much to aggregate demand. And with aggregate demand, those measures have included JobKeeper, it included JobSeeker, it included cashflow support, it also included the boost to the instant asset write-off. It's already had in place, I mean, the wisdom of getting in place personal income tax cuts two years out from when this occurred. So right here, right now, Australians have more money from what they have earned in their pocket in a time when they have needed it more than at any other time. That was something worth fighting for. It was something worth fighting for at the last election and Australians were right to endorse it and we were right to legislate it. And we had our opponents. We had those who tried to stop us. We had those who actually ran against us at the last election not wanting those income tax to come into place. They are important contributors to aggregate demand. There have been support payments that have been made through the welfare system, to welfare beneficiaries and particularly to pensioners and those on the disability pension and other benefits. All of these combine together to support the volume of activity in our economy. And that's why they do play an important part in our demand.

Probyn: But you don't want them to save it. You want them to spend it.

Prime Minister: That is what aggregate demand is.

Probyn: I know. My question was about how do you encourage people to spend it rather than save it?

Prime Minister: Well, point 1 - I never tell people what to do with their own money. Ever. Because you know why? It's theirs. And particularly when you are talking about income tax cuts, they're just getting to keep more of what they earn. Now, in these times, we have seen, particularly when it comes to retail and particularly on household items, we have seen, I think, quite extraordinarily an increase in the response in those areas, and that has responded to the aggregate demand stimulus we have put into the economy. So I would argue, Andrew, that the measures that we have put in place have done exactly what you are suggesting should be done. And measures like that will continue to get those outcomes and they will be important and they're an important part of the Budget.

Lane: Katharine Murphy.

Prime Minister: But I'm not going to get into giving an edict to Australians about how they should spend their money. There are plenty of people out there who like to tell people how to spend their money. The Liberal and National parties are not two of those organisations.

Lane: Katharine Murphy.

Prime Minister: Andrew, Katharine. As always. I am sure you guys set this up. You’ve had a meeting, said that should be the process.

Katherine Murphy: Almost like someone set it up. Hello, Prime Minister. Katharine Murphy from the Guardian. You have been critical of Labor in the past for failing to quantify the costs of their climate and energy policies. So, in that vein, has the government quantified the cost to taxpayers of your gas-led recovery? Obviously, you have telegraphed $53 million in the Budget next week. But you have also foreshadowed opening a number of new gas basins, you have foreshadowed potential underwriting of infrastructure and common sense tells us that some of these projects may require taxpayer indemnities. So, what is the total cost? Has the government modelled the impact of these initiatives on your own government's climate policies? And also, where do your employment estimates come from, given the Grattan Institute in a forthcoming report indicates that only 1 per cent of manufacturing workers work in gas-intensive manufacturing?

Prime Minister: 40 per cent of their costs, as Andrew Liveris tells us, is in gas. I mean, the thing about gas that I think has been misunderstood - gas is both a way of supporting renewable investment, renewable energy sources to firm it. Because when you look at the costed per unit cost of electricity that comes from all the various sources, whether it's solar, or wind or gas or others, you need to compare it on a reliability measure. And to make the record investment that we've had in renewables work better for the system, it needs the firming capacity. Now, we know that batteries are not at that scale yet. They're not at that scale yet. That is understood. And gas is, as I said, it selects itself because there is not another resource that can so quickly peak to support the renewables, to ensure that it has that reliability to support heavy industries. So, I would contest the assumptions that have been made that you have referred to, because gas not only provides the energy support, but it provides the feed stock. I mean, you can't make plastic with wind. You can't make plastic with solar. You make it with gas. You can make it with hydrogen as well. But gas is both a feed stock to support industry and manufacturing sectors, and it is also a source of power that supports households. Now, the interventions that we may undertake are interventions that we would prefer to be done in the market sector, and, in particular, whether it is the gas peaking plan, as Angus and I have been talking about up in the Hunter, we would prefer if AGL did that. And they’re going through their estimates at the moment. If we were to do it, well it wouldn’t be so much central government that would be doing it, it would be Snowy Hydro that would do it. They would do it on a commercial basis. That would be part of their business plans. In terms of what investment may be made in areas of the distribution networks, again, I think there are very strong commercial arguments for how that infrastructure can be expanded. But at this point, the gaps in that and the costs of that are yet to be determined and so we will consider that at the time. When it comes to our investment in the Clean Energy Finance Corporation and ARENA, we have set those costs out in terms of where we are going to be investing. Those investments in both of those initiatives, their purpose is to lower emissions, and that's why we believe both ARENA and the CEFC require a broader remit. Because if the purpose is to lower emissions, why would you leave out things that lower emissions? We actually know to achieve, whether it is our 2030 target or those that get set for beyond that, then you need to be investing in the technology that achieves that more than 10 years from now. And so that's why we want to expand the remit of the CEFC, that’s why we want to extend the remit of ARENA and we have set out what those costs are. So at present time, there is a clear direction of government policy. We want to see actually the private sector invest in these areas. Where the private sector, for whatever reason, because sometimes that's the way oligopolies work, sometimes oligopolies like supply to be constrained so prices can be higher. We don't share that view. We know that if we don't increase the supply, whether it's of gas or otherwise into the system, for energy prices after Liddell goes, that electricity prices will go up. That's not an outcome we're prepared to countenance. So, I don't think these are easy assessments. There will be plenty of models that make all sorts of punts at this but those models will struggle, I think, in the current environment to make a lot of sense of this. But the direction that we have set, I think, is very clear. Gas is the transition fuel. It is what enables us to move from the energy economy we have now to an energy economy that's going to be there in the future. And importantly, as a feed stock, and through no less an advisor than Andrew Liveris, who knows a bit about this, he made it pretty clear - if you don't fix gas, you can't fix manufacturing. It is in vain.

Murphy: And just a quick one...

Lane: No. I'm sorry, Katharine, everybody else has got to get a crack. Mark Riley. And one question.

Mark Riley: One question, one question.

Prime Minister: You had about 30 on the weekend, Mark.

Riley: I know, I have had plenty, thanks, PM. Mark Riley from the Seven Network. Prime Minister, we are talking today about developing the manufacturing industries of the future. I want to ask you about an apparent deep problem with the manufacturing industries of the present. COVID aside, the data from the website today for the Department of Employment and Skills, which is just pre-COVID, shows serious skills shortages in areas like sheet metal workers, fitters, mechanics, panel beaters, bricklayers, carpenters and joiners, glaziers, plasterers, plumbers, electricians, refrigeration mechanics - it goes on and on and on. We are going to have a record pool of young potential employees and record skills shortages. What will you do to match those two issues?

Prime Minister: That is why many, many months ago I came here and said we needed a JobTrainer fund. That is why we put $1 billion, together with the states and territories, to create 340,000 new training places for exactly those sorts of things this year. This very year. And that commitment of an additional half a billion dollars by the federal government, which I brought to the Premiers and Chief Ministers through our National Cabinet process, and I said you match this. But I don't want you to just match it for this year, we need to move to a whole different way in which we run skills investment in this country. It is run with a rear vision mirror. It is run trying to train people for jobs that were needed five years ago. We need to turn that around. That is why we set up the National Skills Commission, which is now operational. Adam Boynton, the Skills Commissioner, has already briefed the National Cabinet and Federal Cabinet on where those future opportunities are, and how we have to redirect resources into those sectors, particularly those sectors that will be supporting the skills sectors, the sorts of industries I talked about today. By setting priorities, which is what we are doing here, people talked about picking winners. No. We are setting priorities. All manufacturing businesses will be winners from dealing with industrial relations, from getting energy costs down, from getting their taxes lower, by getting the skills areas that we're now talking about, Mark. To be able to support that. They will all win from that. Then we focus on priorities and particular priorities in the roadmaps in each of the sectors, which Karen has been assiduously working on, is to ensure there are training plans and skills development plans in the skill areas they are going to support. Whether it is in aerospace, or whether it is in plastics manufacture and composites to support robust armoured vehicles. That is where we need the people. In the past, I have been an immigration minister and I was furiously frustrated at the way skills were being identified that were actually informing the skills list for immigration. It was terribly outdated. And these were things that were fed up from the ground and were so outdated by the time they hit a list, it just created great frustration. We've turned that on its head with the establishment of the National Skills Commission and now the National Skills Commission is identifying where the future opportunities are. That gets plugged into these plans. That gets plugged into where the billion dollars is spent. That is what the National Cabinet ministers - premiers, I should say - and chief ministers, together with myself, have agreed to with a whole new skills agreement that has already signed a heads of agreement that I referred to earlier. So, Mark, it is a massive part of the manufacturing plan. That's why skills I have been focusing on every single day in this job.

Lane: Prime Minister, we're almost at time. But given your speech went over, are you happy to take some more questions?

Prime Minister: As always, Sabra.

Lane: Excellent. Chris Uhlmann

Chris Uhlmann: Prime Minister, Chris Uhlmann Nine News. More than 90 per cent of Australian's pharmaceuticals are manufactured offshore. You have set a priority focus on medical products. Does that include pharmaceuticals? And should perhaps that industry given the circumstances we have recently seen, be geared up a little bit more quickly, with a little bit more government money?

Prime Minister: The short answer to that question is yes. And that is why medical is a key - one of the priority sectors we have identified for exactly that purpose. We are going to see that pretty soon, should we get the vaccine, go through its trials. $1.7 billion on its way to have two vaccines produced here in Australia. And not just for Australians - every Australian would get a vaccine, but that would also extend to countries in the Pacific and hopefully also to support in South-East Asia as well. Yes.

Lane: Kieran Gilbert.

Kieran Gilbert: Kieran Gilbert, Sky News. PM, thanks for the address. You mentioned a few times that up to 40 per cent of costs for industries - their cost structures are gas. Is there scope - are you willing to enforce retailers to reduce their price closer to the wholesale price? For those industries?

Prime Minister: Yep. Well, the netback price, I think, is what you're referring to. There are three things we are doing in gas. I outlined this up in the Hunter a few weeks ago. The first one is we need to unlock more of the gas. So I welcome the decision in New South Wales on Narrabri. I think it is great. We are talking about massive investment here, thousands of jobs, both in construction and ongoing. The boost into that, as Michael McCormack will know, into that region of New South Wales will be tremendous. With a lot more rain recently, the Narrabri is looking a lot brighter than it has looked for some time. I think that is to be welcomed. So you have got to get more access to the gas. You have to increase the supply of gas to actually get the price down. The second thing you have got to do is ensure the distribution networks through the grid are not serving the interests of gas companies but serving the interests of customers. And that in particular includes not just household customers, but business customers as well. That's why we are taking a similar approach to a gas grid and gas hub. Modelled in part on what occurs with the Henry hub in the United States. Because a distribution and hub system gives you greater certainty about the - both the supply and the forward pricing of gas, which means people can make judgements about where they are investing in their future lines and what the price of gas might be. There is too much volatility, there’s too much uncertainty, but more certain distribution and through a hub arrangement actually deals with that. Then there are market reforms that come on top of that. That's what the National Cabinet is working on, has been tasked with through the energy subcommittee that Angus Taylor leads. And the market reforms there, combined with the work that is being done with the exporters of gas on ensuring that we don't send offshore what we need here in Australia. There is work being done around a reservation system to that end. So, there's all of those things working together. There is no-one thing that does it. You have got to do all of it. That is why we announced such a comprehensive plan to reset, in particular, the east coast gas market, which Angus is leading.

Lane: Stela Todorovic.

Stela Todorovic: Thank you. Stela Todorovic, Network Ten. Thanks for your address, Prime Minister. With this particular announcement you're looking at hopefully creating some 80,000 direct jobs, even more indirect jobs. If you were to combine your announcements to date since the start of the year, how many realistically- how many job seeking Australians will be in these roles and employed by Christmas time?

Prime Minister: We have already seen, as I said, some 760,000 jobs come back into Australia. That isn't just jobs - that, what you called measured employment. But these are jobs that were reduced to zero hours. And when the pandemic hit, I was pretty up-front with everyone. Even though the measured unemployment rate - you know, was not above 10 per cent, I said the true story is far worse than that. It got up to almost 15 per cent in what we call the effective rate of unemployment. Now, that takes into account jobs that have been reduced to zero hours, people who have left the labour force. Now, that has been reduced down to 9.3 [per cent]. And that has seen 760,000 jobs already come back. Now, that - we lost 1.3 million, by the way. So there is still - still a long way to come back. Now, I would hope to see by Christmas, particularly as we see Victoria open up, and we see the restrictions around the borders ease, the opening, I hope very soon to see New Zealanders coming and holidaying in Australia. I can't tell you when Australians will be able to holiday in New Zealand, but that's their problem. I'm happy for the Kiwi tourists to come here and spend money in New South Wales and South Australia. They're very, very welcome. And I hope we can do that very soon. The more we have shown in the past, particularly as we led up to June. The more you open up, the more you get back on the front foot, the more you will see these jobs come back. That is potentially in the hundreds of thousands. As we have already seen, with the record jobs recovery that we have seen in the months up until now. Now many of the things I have talked about today aren't just about jobs over the next three months. They're about jobs over the next five years, over the next 10 years, and I was - and to give you an idea of how it goes even longer than that. I was down at the Osborne shipyards in Adelaide on Saturday now, that is now the most - with Mathias Cormann - the most modern technologically advanced shipyard in the world. It is going to build 9 frigates. $45 billion dollars. I met the young apprentices who were just coming on board there. Their children will work at that shipyard. So, it's not just jobs for now, it is jobs for tomorrow and it is jobs for the future.

Todorovic: Thank you.

Lane: But you can't put a number on it before Christmas?

Prime Minister: Look, no, I don't think - in this environment and the uncertainties that exist today, I think making those sorts of punts would be, could be very misleading.

Lane: Brett Mason.

Brett Mason: Thanks PM. One of the big impacts on the economic growth for the next financial year will be the migration mix. We know that permanent migration will fall probably to one of its lowest levels. Are there mechanisms where refugees who are in Australia on temporary protection visas can help fill that void, given we know these are remarkably resilient taxpayers, often highly skilled, highly motivated that want to make a contribution to the Australian economy?

Prime Minister: Yes. And there already are. We already have visas that enable people in particular who are afternoon temporary protection visas to go out and work and live in regional areas. I was the Minister that introduced it. And I would encourage them to take it up. Because there are more jobs out there and  I would encourage them to go get them. Because they work hard and will find themselves with a lot of opportunity. And under the [inaudible] process, if you are there for three year, then you can actually establish a pathway. And so those arrangements are already in place.

Mason: New mechanisms was the crucial word - new, in this Budget?

Prime Minister: You don't need to fix something that's not broken. There is already a mechanism there to provide for that.

Lane: Michelle Grattan.

Michelle Grattan: Michelle Grattan from The Conversation. Prime Minister, you've had the income - retirement incomes review since July. There is a big debate going on about the future of the superannuation contribution and you will make a decision in a few months. Why don't you release that fact-based report immediately so the debate can be better informed.

Prime Minister: Right now, Michelle, we are very focused on the Budget. And the Budget measures that relate to areas of superannuation - they will be announced next week. As I said to Mark in the interview we did on the weekend, the Superannuation Guarantee levy rise is not scheduled to take place until July of next year. We've always been quite cautious through the course of this pandemic to try and make decisions at a time when the information is at its best. And we're not at that point, when it comes to making a number of those decisions. And so we would seek to make that before July of next year, and so there will be plenty of opportunity, I think, to work through those issues between now and then, but for now we will focus on the Budget and when it comes to the release of that review we will make further announcements after the Budget.

Lane: Lanai Scarr.

Lanai Scarr: Lanai Scarr from The Western Australia. Thank you for your speech. Prime Minister, we know the pandemic has had a hugely detrimental impact on the mental health of Australians. Kids Helpline this week released data that showed there'd been a 39 per cent increase between March and August of duty of care interventions. So that is where an ambulance or police had to be sent out to a child's house. So, the government is yet to respond to the Productivity Commission review into mental health. It's hard to see how Australians can get back to work in the way that we need them to when they're struggling with their mental health. What is the government going to do about this? And are we going to see some significant funding in the Budget on mental health?

Prime Minister: I'm glad you asked me that question. As you know, there are two initiatives - the Productivity Commission on mental health and there is also the report I will be receiving later this year from Christine Morgan, who is my national advisor on suicide prevention. There is also the Royal Commission in Victoria, which is dealing with the same set of issues. You will recall in last year's Budget, three-quarters of a billion dollars in additional investment was put into mental health resources. That included around half a billion dollar packages on suicide prevention. Now, since then, there has been hundreds of millions of additional that has been put through in the course of the COVID crisis, particularly into mental health. The telehealth initiative alone, which I think is now seeing almost 50 per cent or thereabouts of consultations that are happening in mental health, are actually happening through a telehealth provider. That has been a significant investment of resources to support mental health. In addition to that, there's been further resources provided, whether it's to lifeline, or headspace or other many of the other providers. That's been incredibly important. 15 walk-in mental health centres in Melbourne have been established and are operating right now for the very reasons you have outlined. At the moment and over these last few months, we have been very focused on, if you like, the acute needs of dealing with the crisis on the ground and the many places which have been affected. We have not held back a cent. Not a dollar. Not an effort when it has come to addressing the mental health needs of people going through this terrible crisis. And in the areas where it's been felt most severely, and that has been in Melbourne. I mean, the stories of stress and distress that have been on families, they have been dealing with loss of employment or being kept at home for long periods of time, young children, also trying to homeschool at the same time as do your own job, this has put enormous stress on people. That is why we put the resources in. Now, we will provide a comprehensive response to the Productivity Commission, to the report provided to me by Christine Morgan and also working with the Victorian government on the Royal Commission as well. And that will be substantively in next year's Budget. But we will continue to invest heavily in mental health resources right here and right now and that will continue on and we haven't had to wait for budgets to make those announcements. We have poured the resources into mental health. I talked to Pat McGorry actually quite regularly. We have a Deputy Chief Medical Officer Ruth Vine who has been appointed specifically to focus on the issues of mental health. I speak to Ruth, along with Christine, several times a week. And where there is need for additional resources, it flows. So, you won't have to wait till next week. You haven't had to wait until next week. It's been flowing each and every day. Where there's a need, we have been rising to the occasion to meet it. The longer term structural, well, there was the first instalment of that in last year’s Budget, three-quarters of a billion dollars into those resources. I said it was a national priority and it is and the budgets that have happened under my stewardship have all reflected that and will continue too.

Lane: Everybody, please join me in thanking the Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

[END]