PRIME MINISTER: Before we go to questions, Riles, as a separate note on behalf of Jenny and I, and my whole family, could I just think all of you who have extended such kind condolences to me and my family in recent times. My brother and my mother and I very much appreciate it. I mean, the outpouring has been quite overwhelming, frankly. Thousands and thousands of people. We’ll remember him tomorrow and I'm not going to say any more than that, because I’ll lose it.

The Australian Government is working across agencies to assist the departure of isolated and vulnerable Australians from Wuhan and to put strict quarantine arrangements in place.

Australian diplomatic and consular staff have been working very closely with the Chinese authorities and with other partner countries to develop options for the departure of Australians in Wuhan and Hubei Province, in what continues to be a difficult and complex situation.

PRIME MINISTER: Thank you very much Sabra, and thank you for all attending here today. I am particularly conscious, particularly in this city, where we have had this most recent, again, reminder of the terrible bushfire season we have had with the bushfires coming so close as they did last evening. And I extend all of my sincere empathies to those particularly around the capital today on what has been a difficult night.

PRIME MINISTER: Well thank you, Scott and I’m pleased to be back here in Blayney with you again. Just over a year ago, we announced the Drought Communities Programme in Blayney, and I know at that time you already had your thoughts organised as to how you might get about that and here we are just over a year ago, back seeing that money put to great work. 

Funding for farmers, small businesses, families and schools in drought-affected communities across Australia will now start rolling out as part of a $57 million support package.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said it was important that those people and businesses suffering from the drought continued to get the support they need.

“While we know the nation has been gripped in recent months by the bushfire crisis I want all Australians impacted by drought to know that you have remained firmly in our Government’s focus,” the Prime Minister said.

PRIME MINISTER: Welcome everyone. Your Excellencies, Governor-General, Mrs Hurley, Danielle Roach and your wonderful team at the Australia Day Council, to our Australians of the Year, you are magnificent, thank you so much, to Ministers who are here with us today, parliamentary colleagues and importantly,  Australians all.

But especially to you, Aunty Tina, and to the Ngunnawal people. I start today by acknowledging you, our first Australians and pay my respects to elders past, present and importantly emerging, which is the future.

The first sitting day of the Parliament this year will be dedicated to honouring and thanking all those who have so bravely and selflessly served through the ongoing bushfire crisis, in particular those who have lost their lives.


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