Prime Minister: There is no more important responsibility of any prime minister or any federal government than to keep Australians safe. Whether that's been keeping Australians safe during the course of this terrible pandemic, where together we have achieved the result where more than 30,000 lives and indeed more have been saved, working with governments across the country.
We've worked together over many years to countenance the threat of terrorism here on our own shores. Working with partners all around the world and an increasingly uncertain world is our responsibility to ensure we keep Australians safe and we're able to ensure that we can pursue our national interests and the peace and stability of our region.
Since coming to Government, we have lifted Australia's defence effort. We have lifted it from a point which was lower than where it was before the Second World War, to over two per cent of our national GDP, the size of our economy. In doing that, we have sent a very clear message that Australia will always look to others, but we will never have to leave it to others. That we'll be able to sit at the table with our partners and our friends to create a more secure and more stable world, particularly here in the Indo-Pacific.
As I embark now to go and see our friends in the United States and meet with many others, both from Europe, from the UK and the United States. This is all about keeping Australians safe. This is all about, always about ensuring that Australia's sovereign interests will be put first to ensure that Australians here can live peacefully with the many others in our region, because that's what we desire as a peaceful and free nation. The peace and freedom of all of those who live across the Indo-Pacific. So I look forward to having these engagements. They're very important, as we follow on from the significant announcement we made last week with our American and British friends. But it's also about engaging with so many more who uphold the cause of peace and freedom. So I look forward to those meetings. And as always, my job is to keep Australians safe. Thank you.