Prime Minister: Today is a day so many have been looking forward to. A day when things we take for granted, we’ll celebrate. Being with family and friends, getting a haircut, grabbing a meal together, going to the pub and having a beer with your mates. These are things that across New South Wales and particularly in Sydney, people will be able to do again today and I know all around the country that will be true, particularly in Victoria and here in the ACT.
I want to thank Australians for the incredible job that they've done in getting vaccinated. Over the weekend, more than 400,000 vaccines were administered across the country. That is the biggest weekend we've had throughout the entire vaccination program and that tells me one thing: that Australians have been totally up for this the whole way through. They are getting the job done.
Whether you are in a state like New South Wales which is opening up today, a state like Victoria that soon will be, or over in the west or up in Queensland, where the impact of COVID has not been the same, but still we need those vaccines to ensure that when COVID inevitably comes, that in those states you will be able to continue on as you have. So let's keep going, Australia, with the vaccination program. To all those particularly in Sydney and across New South Wales today who are opening up today, enjoy the moment, enjoy it with your family and friends. I'm looking forward to seeing my family as well, having come out of this quarantine.
On the other big issues, though, we need to keep going ahead, whether it is protecting Australia’s national security or ensuring our economic recovery, because as we open up, the economy will bounce back strongly and those jobs will come back and people will be back in work and we will see that month after month after month, as we get more and more people back at work, back in jobs, back in the economy. But we also must deal with the big challenges. Addressing climate change is a challenge that we must do together. As Prime Minister, it is my job to bring people together on dealing with this big change. The world is moving into a new energy economy. We all know that. It is now a question of how not if, and how is how we can ensure that those communities right across rural and regional Australia can look at this change and understand that there are big opportunities and there is a way through.
My government is committed to ensuring that rural and regional Australia transitions to this new energy economy in the future stronger, with their jobs and their communities intact and they can look forward with confidence and they can plan for the future with confidence. We've got to come together on this issue. My government will come together on this issue. The country will come together on this issue and we will tackle this challenge, just like we have tackled the challenges already before us. Thanks, everyone.