Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport is entering a monumental new phase today as major earthworks commence.

The new phase will lead to construction of the terminal, runway and all airport infrastructure, and pave the way for thousands of local jobs.

It also signals that the Morrison Government's $5.3 billion Western Sydney International is on track to commence operations in 2026.

PRIME MINISTER: Well thank you Bathy, good to see you, Allen thank you for the welcome to country, I’m going to appropriate some of those stories I can tell you from time to time. It’s wonderful to hear, to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation and elders past, present and future. It’s also wonderful to be able to recognise any veterans who are with us here today and serving men and women of our defence force, including our reservists and I’m sure there’s plenty of those at Qantas as well, and just simply say thank you for your service.

Australia welcomes the commencement of the trials of four suspects in the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17.

The trials are a significant step towards achieving justice and accountability for the 298 victims of MH17, including 38 people who called Australia home. Prosecuting these crimes in an open and independent court sends a powerful message that alleged perpetrators will face justice.

The Australian Government has committed to a 50-50 shared health funding deal with the states and territories to ensure a rapid health response to the evolving COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

The Australian Government will pay 50 per cent of the additional costs incurred by state and territory health services as a result of the diagnosis and treatment of patients with COVID-19, those suspected of having the virus or activities to prevent the spread of it.

PRIME MINISTER: Thank you for coming together this morning. Just have a brief announcement today, and that will be followed by the Minister for Health and Dr Kelly to update on a couple of other matters. Yesterday I said that we will be working closely together with states and territories to ensure that we had a fair set of arrangements to ensure we work together to meet the costs, particularly the public health costs in responding to the coronavirus. Last night, Treasurers linked up by phone hook-up, and today that was followed through by Health Ministers, as a result.

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