Prime Minister – Message – Sinhala and Tamil New Year

M PORTRAIT Colour Hi Res


The Hon. Scott Morrison MP

Prime Minister



The New Year is usually an occasion for great celebration, hope, and renewal.

Sadly, this year will be very different as we face an unprecedented health crisis.

Coronavirus is a once-in-a-century event. We are distancing ourselves from each other during this New Year, so that next year and beyond, our families and communities can gather again.

All of us have a role to play in keeping our community safe: employers, nurses, doctors, teachers, scientists, friends, family and neighbours. I know we will rise to the challenge.

Life has changed, and it will continue to change in the coming months. But Australians are a remarkably resilient people, and we are working together with a new sense of purpose.

Though we cannot gather together in our homes or congregate in public celebration for Sinhalese and Tamil New Year, we can be together in spirit.

We can draw strength from the values of generosity, hope and strength that I know the Sinhalese and Tamil communities uphold.

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Am I eligible for the jobkeeper payment? Here’s everything you need to know to register

jobkeeper payment

The Australian government has announced a $1,500 per fortnight wage subsidy to eligible employers amid the coronavirus. Check your eligibility, how much you’ll get and how it works with the jobseeker payment

Source:The Guardian

The Morrison government has announced a $130bn support package with a new jobkeeper payment – a wage subsidy to keep Australians in work.

So who exactly is eligible for this payment and how much will they receive?

How much is the payment worth?

The federal government will pay eligible employers $1,500 per fortnight for each eligible worker, about 70% of the national median wage.

Jobkeeper is about $400 a fortnight more than the $1,100 JobSeeker payment with the coronavirus supplement for those out of work.

Who is eligible for jobkeeper?

In order to receive a payment, both the employer and employee must meet eligibility criteria.

Eligible employers are businesses (including companies, partnerships, trusts and sole traders), not-for-profits and charities:

  • With a turnover of less than $1bn that have lost 30% or more of their revenue compared to a comparable period a year ago.

  • With a turnover of $1bn or more and with at least a 50% reduction in revenue compared to a comparable period a year ago.

The big banks subject to the banking levy are not eligible.

Eligible employees:

  • Were employed by an eligible employer at 1 March 2020

  • Can be sole traders, full-time, part-time, or long-term casuals employed on a regular basis for longer than 12 months as at 1 March 2020.
  • Are at least 16 years of age.
  • Are an Australian citizen, the holder of a permanent visa, a protected special category visa, a non-protected special category visa who has been residing continually in Australia for 10 years or more, or a New Zealander on a special category (subclass 444) visa.

The government estimates that six million workers will receive this payment. Gig economy workers will be covered, as they are sole traders.

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The Hon. Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister


As Australians, we belong to an ancient land with a story that spans 60,000 years.

Our national story begins with the oldest continuing culture in the world. Our most modern chapter has been written by millions of ordinary citizens driven by hard work, hope and courage, who, together, have forged a nation that is the envy of free peoples everywhere.

We are a free, diverse and accepting people who uphold democratic ideals and believe in seeing the humanity of others regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender, sexuality, age, disability, or income.

As we have learned anew in recent times: ours is a story of achievement and pain, effort and sweat, prosperity and struggle, and it is a story of a people grappling with the most tenacious and beautiful continent on earth.

This Australia Day we celebrate Australians who have in recent months fought bushfires, protected communities, tended to wildlife and supported the bushfire relief and recovery efforts.

Our volunteers and service personnel are a mirror to the Australian soul. Our willingness to generously support each other is a reflection of the gritty practicality that has always been part of our national character.

We draw strength from all who have given so much over this summer and we rededicate ourselves to the values that make us who we are.

Whether our families came here tens of thousands of years ago, generations ago, or are taking the Australian citizenship pledge today, all of us can be proud and grateful for this free and peaceful land.

We have much to be thankful for and still much to strive for.

Happy Australia Day! 

The Hon Scott Morrison MP

Prime Minister 

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The Hon. Scott Morrison MP
Prime Minister


The Hon. Paul Fletcher MP
Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts


Wednesday 22 January 2020


The 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards are now open for entries until 28 February 2020.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Awards recognise the outstanding work by Australian authors and acknowledge the importance of literature in the cultural life of the nation.

“I am pleased to announce entries are now open for the 2020 Prime Minister’s Literary Awards and encourage our nation’s many great writers to submit their work,” said the Prime Minister.

“Each year I am impressed by the diversity of Australian voices expressed through our literature and historical exploration, and I look forward to seeing another collection of challenging, interesting and entertaining work.”

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher said the Awards celebrate Australian stories and the significant contribution literature, history and poetry makes to our understanding of the world and our place in it.

“Our cultural and creative sector entertains and educates us, and makes a profound contribution to our national identity. The Prime Minister’s Literary Awards provide a place of national recognition for the extraordinary work of our authors, historians, illustrators and poets,” Minister Fletcher said.

The Awards are presented in six categories – children’s literature, young adult literature, fiction, poetry, non-fiction, Australian history – with a total prize pool of $600,000.  

If you have published or released work during 2019 you may be eligible to enter.

For more information about the Awards and to apply visit:




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The Hon. Scott Morrison MP

Scott Morrison

Prime Minister

Minister for the Public Service

The Hon. Peter Dutton MP

Minister for Home Affairs


Friday 6 December 2019


The Morrison Government is increasing counter-terrorism measures across nine airports by boosting the Australian Federal Police’s capability to disrupt and deter high-risk-incidents.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said 135 additional police and protective service officers, as well as firearm and explosive detection canine handlers, would be rolled out over the next 18 months.

“My first priority is to keep Australians safe and these new measures will help protect thousands of Australians that travel and visit airports every day,” the Prime Minister said.

“We will take no chances when it comes to keeping the community safe and these new enforcement officers will now have increased firearms and protection capabilities to respond to a changing crime environment.

“These highly trained officers run towards dangerous incidents, not away from them, and it is vital they have every resource necessary to help them do their job and protect the community.” 

The new AFP Protection Operation Response Team (PORT) officers will be armed Mk18 Short-Barrel Rifles barrelled rifles, have new body cameras and receive training in hostile threat and behaviour assessment, alongside new teams of firearm and explosive detection canines.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said this action was based on longstanding ASIO threat assessment advice.

“Recent global events serve as an important reminder that the threat posed to the public by terrorism and other crime types hadn’t diminished,” Mr Dutton said.

“This national roll-out is a necessary and timely measure to counter aviation security threats and will support the dedicated officers of the AFP in protecting our community.

“We know that Australia is at risk. In July 2017, a major terrorist plot was disrupted targeting a passenger flight departing from Sydney and just this week our law enforcement agencies have arrested a 21 year old who is alleged to have been involved in advocating and preparing for terrorist acts.

“I want to pay tribute to the AFP and all frontline law enforcement officers who dedicate themselves to preventing potential tragedies here on Australian soil – the Morrison Government is committed to ensuring they have the best training and are equipped with the necessary capability to keep Australian’s safe,” Mr Dutton said.

Today’s announcement is part of $107 million package to strengthen aviation security, with funding announced in the 2018-19 Budget.

The rollout of this capability across the nine designated Australian airports will be phased in over the next 18 months. 

Australian’s travelling through Canberra or Brisbane will see these new officers patrolling

before Christmas.

Over the next six months officers will armed with the new capability will be present in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth and the Gold Coast, followed by, Cairns, Adelaide and Darwin Airports in 2021.

The travelling public should be aware while there won’t be any changes to the way they move through Australian airports, they will start seeing PORT members patrolling alongside general duties members, specialised firearm and explosive detection canines and rapid appraisal officers, who are responsible for rapid, targeted assessment of potential explosive threats.

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The Hon. Scott Morrison MP

Prime Minister


Senator The Hon. Marise Payne

Minister for Foreign Affairs

Minister for Women

The Hon. Paul Fletcher MP

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts


27 November 2019


The Australian Government will return three culturally significant artefacts during the Prime Minister’s visit to India in January 2020.

The artefacts, which were held by the National Gallery of Australia (Gallery), were purchased in good faith, but extensive research undertaken by the Gallery has led to its decision to voluntarily return these artefacts to India.

The artefacts being returned are:

  • Pair of door guardians (dvarapala) 15th Century, Tamil Nadu, India – (two works); and
  • The serpent king (Nagaraja) 6th to 8th Century, Rajasthan or Madhya Pradesh, India.

“Like India, we understand the value of our ancient cultures and artefacts,” the Prime Minister said.

“The return of these artefacts is the right thing to do. This is another demonstration of deep relationship between Australia and India.”

Both India and Australia are party to the UNESCO 1970 Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transport of Ownership of Cultural Property.

“The strong ties Australian and Indian institutions have made in recent years have helped develop important professional relationships and share culture. The return of these artefacts also underscores the world’s debt to India’s magnificent culture, history and legacy,” the Minister for Foreign Affairs Marise Payne said.

“Historic artefacts play a significant role in modern society by allowing communities to acknowledge and celebrate their shared history and culture. The National Gallery of Australia recognises this, and is strongly committed to the ethical collecting of cultural material and best practice collection management. I commend the Gallery for resolving these legacy issues,” the Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts Paul Fletcher MP said.

Criminal law proceedings are currently underway in India and the United States against former New York art dealer Mr Subhash Kapoor, from whom these artefacts were purchased. The Australian Government does not have any role in these proceedings.


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The Hon. Scott Morrison MP

Prime Minister

Scott Morrison

The Hon. Alan Tudge MP

Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure

The Hon. Dan Tehan MP

Minister for Education

The Hon. David Coleman MP

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs


Saturday 26 October 2019


The Morrison Government is stepping up its commitment to regional Australia by ensuring our migration system encourages skilled migrants to live and work in our smaller cities and regions.

In March this year, the Government announced it would reduce the permanent migration cap from 190,000 to 160,000 places, and within that set aside 23,000 places for regional visas.

Following unprecedented growth (124 per cent) in the number of regional visas granted in the first quarter of this programme year, the Government is increasing the total number of regional places to 25,000.

The definition of regional Australia for migration purposes will also change. Perth and the Gold Coast will no longer be classified as major cities, ensuring they remain an attractive destination for skilled migrants and international students.

The new definition will come into effect on 16 November.

Locations outside of Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane will have access to the 25,000 visa places, priority processing and international university graduates who live in these locations will be eligible to apply for more time in Australia on a post-study work visa. 

The new system is a key pillar of the Government’s Population Plan. It will ease the pressures in our three largest capital cities, while providing incentives for migrants to live and work in regional Australia.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: “We’re using our migration programme to back our regions to grow to take the population pressure off our major capital cities and by supporting strong regions we’re creating an even stronger economy for Australia.

“These changes will boost the appeal for so many cities and regional centres that are looking to grow their population to support local services like schools and health care, while attracting new workers and students, meaning more jobs and more investment.” 

Minister for Population, Cities and Urban Infrastructure Alan Tudge said the boost in regional migration formed a central plank of the Government’s plan for managing Australia’s future population.

“Almost 70 per cent of our population growth in recent years has been into Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane, increasing the pressures being felt across our major cities,” Minister Tudge said.

“Migration has been the primary driver of this growth, and these changes means more migrants and international students will live, work and study in our smaller cities and regional areas.”

Minister for Education Dan Tehan said attracting more students, both Australian and international, to study in the regions is part of the Morrison Government’s focus on regional higher education. 

“International Education made a $35 billion contribution to the economy last year, yet just three per cent of the 690,000 international students were enrolled in regional Australia,” Minister Tehan said.

“We want the entire country to share in the job, business and cultural opportunities that come with international students. International students who study in regional Australia also rate their living and learning experience higher than students based in metropolitan centres.”

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services and Multicultural Affairs David Coleman said the Government would continue to with work State and Territory Governments and regional communities to ensure Australia’s migration system meets the needs of our cities and regions.

“We know areas of regional Australia want to grow – grow their economies, grow their education sectors and grow their communities,” Minister Coleman said. 

“We will continue to review our regional migration settings to ensure they continue to support regional Australia.”

To ensure the Government meets its targets and continues to support regional Australia, Minister Coleman has deployed Regional Outreach Officers to the regions to promote skilled migration initiatives and provide dedicated support to regional employers, helping them understand their skilled visa options.

Migration definitions

Definition Locations Regional incentives
Major Cities Sydney




  • NA
Cities and major regional centres Perth


Gold Coast

Sunshine Coast Canberra Newcastle/Lake Macquarie

Wollongong/Illawarra Geelong



  • Access to the dedicated 25,000 regional places.
  • Priority processing on regional visas.
  • Access to the Regional Occupations List – more jobs compared to non-regional lists.
  • International students studying at regional universities will be eligible to access an additional year in Australia on a post-study work visa.
Regional centres and other regional areas All other locations




  • Access to the dedicated 25,000 regional places.
  • Priority processing on regional visas.
  • Access to the Regional Occupations List – more jobs compared to non-regional lists.
  • International students studying at regional universities will be eligible to access an additional 2 years in Australia on a post-study work visa.
  • Priority in negotiating region-specific Designated Area Migration Agreements (DAMAs).

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Thursday 10 October 2019

Scott Cam to lead uptake of more skilled trade jobs

Scott Cam will inspire the next generation of tradespeople in his new role as Australia’s first National Careers Ambassador, helping young Australians take advantage of surging demand for skilled workers. 

Mr Cam will highlight how practical and technical training can lead to high paying and fulfilling jobs, while also working with the National Careers Institute, alongside government, industry, education providers, career advisors, parents and employers to improve career options.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said as our economy changes we need people to have a mix of skills and experience and this includes having more Australians with technical, trade and practical skills.

“For many years going to university has been the default expectation imposed on our young Australians, but it’s not the only path to rewarding and successful employment.”

“It’s time we broadened our view and recognised the many other successful avenues available to young Australians and talked about the opportunities in fast growing industries like health and construction through technical and skills education.

“I want to see more Australians become plumbers, electricians and bakers than lawyers and consultants. I would like to see more of them going on to become their own boss.

“Scott Cam is proof that undertaking a trade can be a very valuable, rewarding and successful career choice, and there are plenty more who can tell a similar story to Scott.

“In my own electorate in southern Sydney, there are numerous stories of Australians who have been able to look after themselves, their families and make a real contribution, often starting their own businesses and creating jobs and livelihoods for others.

“By learning a trade you’ll earn more, your skills will be in demand and you’ll help build our country and keep our economy strong.”

Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business, Senator Michaelia Cash, said vocational education and training was key to building our future workforce.

“The Morrison Government is committed to creating more than 1.25 million jobs over the next five years and alongside that goal we are rolling out a $100 billion infrastructure investment.

“To take advantage of this, we will need to make sure people and businesses have access to the right skills at the right time, and understand how their skills relate to current and emerging career pathways,” Minister Cash said.

“As National Careers Ambassador, Scott will help Australians at all ages and stages to make informed decisions about learning, training and work pathways. Working with the National Careers Institute, Scott will make sure individuals and businesses can take advantage of the pathways on offer.”

The Morrison Government is currently undertaking a major modernisation of the vocational education and training sector.

The Government’s first instalment of our modernisation plan, a $585 million skills package, is now rolling out.

This package includes increased incentives for up to 80,000 new apprentices and expanded apprentice wage subsidy trials in rural and regional areas and 10 new Industry Training Hubs in areas of high youth unemployment to better connect schools with local employers, industries and training providers.

The National Careers Institute is holding co-design workshops around the country from 4 October 2019.

For more information on the National Careers Institute and to engage in the careers conversation go to

Contact: Rosa Stathis, 0417 669 223

Prime Minister’s Press Office

Press Office of the Hon Scott Morrison MP, Prime Minister, Canberra


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The Hon. Scott Morrison MP

Prime Minister





PRIME MINISTER: Well it’s great to be here, it’s great to see you again Rhys, great for us to catch up, thank you for stepping up and being here this evening.

Can I also acknowledge the Ngunnawal people tonight, their elders past and present, and future, can I acknowledge if there are any members of the Australian Defence Forces here tonight, any veterans who may be with us and simply say to you on behalf of a very grateful nation, thank you very very much for your service.

And our migration community over generations have made up those numbers certainly, those who’ve served in uniform to defend the very country that they’ve come to call home. And so particularly tonight, those members of our Defence Forces those who’ve served, as veterans, who’ve come from other places and called, not only this nation home. But then turned up to defend it as well in our uniform. Thank you so very very much.

To Innes, I thank you for your leadership of the council, Carla you have been doing a fabulous job, I remember many years ago when I was in opposition and I was working in these areas and was working with you when you were working in one of the Ministerial offices at the time, you’ve showed a, I think, commitment to this area of work in Australia’s nation-building which is outstanding. I reckon the OAM is a pretty good call.

To Peter Scanlon, Peter is an extraordinary Australian. I’ve known him for many years. He’s tried to convert me into a North Melbourne supporter in the past, with some success to the extent that it’s extracted a sympathy whenever North Melbourne is playing.

But it’s been the work that The Huddle has done down there in North Melbourne which is world-leading and nation-leading. And I remember one of the first times I visited, and I was so excited about what was being achieved there and we talked before about the [inaudible], and that’s true all around the country. So Peter, thank you for your tremendous philanthropic leadership in this important area.

David Coleman is here tonight as Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Multicultural Affairs.

As are my Cabinet colleagues, Anne Ruston as Minister for Families and Social Services; and Stuart Robert who’s the Minister for Government Services and NDIS; Michael Sukkar is here, as Minister for Housing and Assistant Treasurer, Senator Kenneally is here as Shadow Minister for Immigration, a role I know well from times past.

And I know Anthony will be joining us in the near-future and I think it’s great that we can come here tonight as this event always has been, we’ve been coming here for many many years, a bipartisan affair as we really celebrate the things that make Australia so strong and Andrew Giles I understand is also here as the Shadow Minister for Multicultural Affairs.

Paris Aristotle is here, he’s a great mate, he’s been doing tremendous work in the settlement services area, over a long period of time; and Joseph Assaf. I suspect I’ll see many of you Monday night for the Ethnic Business awards which is Jenny’s favourite event of the year as we see the amazing work that is done by ethnic business leaders in our country, creating jobs and the stories are just sensational.

But tonight is a celebration of Australia’s migration program and Australia’s settlement.

And we are, and give yourselves a round of applause, we are the most successful immigration, and multicultural nation in the world.


Some may say that’s debatable, I don’t agree. It’s not debatable, it’s an established fact.

And tonight we acknowledge the work, and honour the work you do to make sure that remains the case, assisting new migrants to settle, and refugees to settle in our country successfully; to promote greater understanding within the community of the migration program; of fostering partnerships across government, corporate Australia and the community sector so services make a real difference.

All this means Australians are kept together, which is our goal. Our national unity.

Please, never lose sight of what an impact of what you do, does for our nation.                                            

It builds a strong and cohesive Australia.                                                                                                               

Because when you organise an English language conversation club at your church, or local café, or host welcome barbeques for new arrivals in your community, or hold networking events at neighbourhood art and craft groups, or help migrants with job and rental applications or with the paperwork for school enrolments, what you’re doing and so much more than that has ripple effects far beyond the level of that one individual for whom you’re changing their life.

You’re knitting Australians together, you’re strengthening the bonds that actually bind us all as Australians, and that means we all benefit.

All Australians.

Regardless of our background.

And when our local streets and towns feel vibrant and welcome and comfortable; when we connect together because we recognise our similarities and what we have in common and our great passion for this wonderful country, with ease and mutual respect, this is why we can make that claim.

That’s harmony and that’s cohesion – quietly at work within our community.

And that’s why, as I said, we are the most successful multicultural and immigration society in the world today.

Now we’ve long understood that our nation is greater because of the ideas, and ambitions and energy and dedication and sacrifice of immigrants to our country.

And you know what, if you’re not a first Australian, you’re an immigrant. It’s just an issue of timing.

Our story has three chapters as a nation:

The chapter that we acknowledged at the commencement of tonight’s proceedings, of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples — including those who left us long long long ago, and whose stories are still unfolding, and the contributions of those who will emerge in the generations to come is truly exciting.

Then of course there was the chapter of the arrival, of the settlement period, of the British and the democratic institutions that were brought to Australia that we rely on to this day.

One of those arrivals, he wasn’t a £10 Pom, he didn’t pay for the privilege, it was compulsory, was my fifth great grandfather, William Roberts, who came here on the Scarborough in the first fleet, for stealing £5 and some yarn valued at nine shillings; and he married my fifth great grandmother Kezia Brown, who came here on the Neptune, the second fleet, for stealing clothing from her employer.

We’ve all come from somewhere else at some stage. It’s just a question of timing.

And the stories of immigrants whether those of my great-great, many long times, grandparents, who are married at St Phillips in Sydney and carved out a future for themselves and their family in what was a difficult environment in what is now western Sydney.

That story, although it is historical, is not different from the second chapter of immigration in this country.

Where people have come, from all corners of the earth – a chapter bursting with dreams, daring and ambition.

They too found difficulties and challenges, and felt a long long way away from what was familiar.

The Afghan cameleers who explored our brown outback, and the Japanese pearl divers who fanned across our blue oceans, and the Chinese who panned for gold.

The migrants who escaped horrors of Europe as Rhys was saying, to work on the Snowy Hydro. Seventy years ago, we celebrated just in these last few weeks.

The post-war new Australians whose hands built the West Gate Bridge and so many roads, railways and ports.

And are doing again today.

They broke new ground – literally and figuratively.

And new migrants continue to do so, until now, and beyond.

We have in Australia a lot to offer.

And in return, our migrants have had a lot to give, coming to make a contribution, not seeking to take one.

That’s why our migration program will always be valued. And why I always will value it.

It’s why we must ensure it continues to receive stewardship of the highest order.

Our approach to regional migration, I think is a good example, and something Minister Coleman has been taking a strong lead on.

Regional visas form a central element to our broader Population Plan – a plan geared to easing pressure on the big capitals while supporting the growth of those regions that want more people.

Like those from Shepparton who I was meeting with today.

Shep has been an extraordinary, I think example of what can be achieved in regional migration in this country.

As you know the Government, we have a permanent migration program of 160,000 places, and within that cap, now 23,000 places for regional visas up from the 18,000 places that we established before.

Because we put a priority on regional settlement.

We are seeing very positive results, with more than 6,350 regional visas granted already in the first quarter of this program – an increase of 124 per cent compared with the same period last year.

I think this is great!

And we are well on track to meet that 23,000 regional visas by the end of the program year.

But Ladies and Gentlemen, migration is only successful if we continue to build the community trust and support for it to really work, as everyone I think here tonight understands.

Public confidence in our migration program is one of the great achievements of modern Australia, and the surveys that Peter has been supporting for many many years, Peter Scanlon, demonstrate that.

It’s been upheld though by some important foundational pillars: a skills-based migration program, at its heart. And a strong border protection framework which gives Australians confidence, as Secretary Pezullo said, the rest of the world wants what we’re having. When it comes to our migration program.

They, I can tell you as I move around the world today, people understand the success of migration in Australia and the arrangements we put around it, and they want to know how we do it.

And on settlement services, as we were hearing before, not just world standard, it’s the best in the world. There is no one who does settlement services, in the world today, better than Australia.

And these things provide the assurance that the program is there to serve our national interest and to add value, but one point I think Innes would agree with me on, in addition to what I’ve said, a skills-based program, a strong border protection framework so people can know that the program is working in the national interest.

There’s another one we’ve got to do better at.

To support social cohesion, public interest, in supporting migration.

And I want to  spend a few minutes if you’ll indulge me to talk about that, and that is the capacity of our national training system. Our vocational education and training sector. To train Australians for the jobs of today and tomorrow.

See, people support our migration program, and they also want to see Australians go into those jobs. And they understand that when we’re training Australians for the jobs that we need, they understand that our opportunities are greater than that. And we need the migration program to continue to support it.

We don’t want people to think that we need a migration program because we’re not training Australians well enough. We want them to know both!

That we are training Australians to the best that we can to make sure that they’re having those opportunities, and indeed the second generation, the children of migrants and great grand children of migrants, but then others will come because so great is the opportunity here in Australia that we will continue to have that invitation to skills and migration throughout the world.

So the quality of our skills training is vital to maintaining public confidence in our migration program.

There are around 4 million VET students in Australia.  Some 20 per cent of those students come from homes with English as a second language.

These are Australia’s future plumbers, builders, nurses, computer technicians. They deserve the same first-class education as students at our best universities.

And we need to fix our skills system.

There’s an obvious thread connecting the skills Australia is producing and the skills that we seek from overseas.

And that’s what I hear from business leaders, from small business, and others who are looking to get people into a job, and to get Australians into a job.

The VET sector is complex, it’s difficult to navigate, and it is not producing enough people with the right skills that businesses, industry and the economy need.

There are many excellent VET providers, don’t get me wrong. TAFE amongst them. But the overall system is not keeping pace with the needs of these individuals and businesses that employ them and a changing economy.

We’re too slow at identifying the skills Australia needs now, and what we’ll need in the future.  And too many Australians are locked out of the labour force due to a lack of relevant skills.

And that leads to the skills shortages which are holding businesses in Australia back from employing so many more.

And it means we’re at risk of not preserving the hard-won public confidence in our migration program – which relies on skilling our workforce at home, even as we seek skilled people from around the world.

So we’ve got to honour that compact. Too much is at stake.

We need a system that simply focuses on getting people the skills that are needed today that employers are wanting to employ people with.

We need a system focused on those who are the beneficiaries of the program, not the providers of it.

I’m not that fussed, through which chain of delivery the training comes. Public sector, private sector, there are great operators in all of these sectors.

But I don’t want them to be focused on them, I want them to be focused on the skills we need and the businesses that are going to employ those people.

That’s why we commissioned Steven Joyce prior to the last election to undertake a root-and-branch review of our vocational education and training system.

The background to the Joyce recommendations is a new era of technological change transforming the nature of jobs.

We know the labour market is continuing to shift towards higher skilled jobs. Emerging technologies, the internet of things, AI, automation are driving a shift from routine to non-routine, cognitive jobs.

Yet what’s not been fully appreciated is the central conclusion of his report.

It’s a misconception, he argues, that university education is the only or even the most suitable stream for learning the skills Australians need to succeed.

“If anything,” he says- and I quote, “it’s likely that vocational and work-based training will be more important in the future as technology-driven changes to jobs and tasks need to be quickly transmitted across industries and around workplaces.”

So these are real opportunities for Australians of all ages, of all backgrounds, if we get this right.

And I want to thank particularly the state and territory Premiers and Ministers, who have engaged with the Commonwealth on this task. Putting politics aside. Understanding the real weaknesses in the system. And joining up together in a real federal effort, to have a good go at ensuring we get the changes we need to make.

We know that among the areas of most acute skills shortage are technicians and trades workers, ranging across construction trades, electricians and automation trades workers.

We are also facing higher workforce demands across the disability, aged care and child care sectors.

According to Deloitte, growth in demand for good VET qualifications – advanced diploma, diploma and certificate III and IV qualifications, is expected to outpace growth in supply over the next five to ten years, leading to a tightening skills market. 

So in the Budget this year, we made significant investments to improve the architecture of the VET system and to position it as a modern, agile alternative to classroom-based education.

We’re working as I said with the states to achieve all of that, moving people into great jobs. And we must all pull together and do the hard work to deliver better training.

So that’s how we keep our promise to the Australian community – by making all of these pillars, you might say well why has he come here tonight to talk about VET? We’re all sort of involved in settlement services, and we’re all here involved in assisting migrants to come to Australia. And that’s great! But what I need to be focused on as a Prime Minister, with my Ministers. Is not only ensuring that we continue to support those important services, as David is doing such an excellent job of doing, but it’s not just about saying we believe and know that Australia is the best immigration country in the world today, it’s about doing the things that make sure that Australia stays that way.

So maintaining that discipline, and that targeted focus on skills based education and training, maintaining that focus on ensuring that the skills migration is the heart of the program, and ensuring that we run a border protection regime that gives Australians confidence about the whole scheme, so it can continue to perform is very important.

So tonight, we are paying tribute to all those who are making such a tremendous contribution to our multicultural nation

And again thank you to the Migration Council of Australia for your continued guardianship of Australia’s extraordinary multicultural and migration success.

And I want to congratulate all of tonight’s nominees and all recipients for bringing strength, and character and unity to our nation.

Thank you.


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Prime Minister – Joint Media Release – Cheaper Medicine for over 500,000 patients – Monday 30 September 2019




Scott Morrison





Monday 30 September 2019

Cheaper medicine for over 500,000 patients

Cheaper medicine is on the way for more than 500,000 patients from October 1, with price reductions for common scripts and new medicines added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), in some cases saving over $100,000 per patient.

Medicines to treat lung cancer, lymphoblastic and acute leukaemia, and nausea associated with chemotherapy will now be available to patients on the PBS from tomorrow for just $40.30 per script, or $6.50 with a concession card.

A further $390 million in mandated price reductions across 175 medicine brands will also flow through to patients from tomorrow, making medicines more affordable.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Coalition would continue to list medicine on the PBS as quickly as possible.

“Our strong budget management means we can give Australian patients with access to life-saving and life-changing medicines quicker than ever before, without raising taxes,” the Prime Minister said. 

“This stands in stark contrast to Labor whose failed budget management drove the budget into deep deficit, forcing them to stop listing lifesaving and life changing medicines.”

“From tomorrow, some of our most unwell Australians, many battling cancer, will receive a significant boost in the fight for their health.”

The new or extending PBS listings from tomorrow include:

  • Tecentriq® and Avastin®, will be extended on the PBS to include first line treatment of patients with stage IV metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer. Without PBS subsidy it would cost patients more than $11,400 per script (around 16 scripts per course of treatment); or more than $189,100 per course of treatment. An average of 755 patients per year (for six years) could benefit from this listing.

  • Besponsa®, will be extended on the PBS to include patients with relapsed or refractory Philadelphia chromosome positive (B-CELL precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia). Without PBS subsidy, patients would pay more than $44,500 per script (around 3 scripts per course of treatment); or more than $122,900 per course of treatment without subsidised access through the PBS. An average of 16 patients per year (for six years) could benefit from this listing.

  • Blincyto®, will be extended on the PBS to include patients with relapsed or refractory Philadelphia chromosome positive (B-CELL precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia). Without PBS subsidy, patients would pay more than more than $74,900 per script (around 2 scripts per course of treatment); or more than $122,900 per course of treatment. An average of 16 patients per year (for six years) could benefit from this listing.

  • Apotex®, will be made available through the PBS for the treatment of patients with Nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. Without PBS subsidy, patients would pay more than $80 per script (around 1 script per course of treatment). In 2018, 7,269 patients accessed a comparable treatment for this condition.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt said every six months, prices on a range of PBS medicines are also reduced as a result of the Government’s Price Disclosure Policy.

“With these price reductions, a trip to the pharmacist will be cheaper for thousands of Australians, and more life-saving drugs can be listed on the PBS,” Minister Hunt said. 

Fifteen common medicines – sold as 175 medicine brands will be cheaper for general (non-concessional) patients, and these include:

  • Pregabalin: around 208,000 patients per year who have seizures or nerve pain will now pay $28.27 per script for 75 mg capsules, a saving of up to $5.11 per script
  • Ezetimibe: around 60,000 patients per year with high cholesterol levels will now pay $33.86 per script for 10 mg tablets, a saving of up to $6.44 per script
  • Ezetimibe with Simvastatin: about 245,000 patients with high cholesterol levels will now pay $37.77 per script for 10 mg tablets, a saving of up to $2.53 per script.

Every medicine was recommended to the PBS by the independent expert Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee. By law the Federal Government cannot list a new medicine without a positive recommendation from the PBAC. 

The Government’s commitment to ensuring that Australians can access affordable medicines, when they need them, is rock solid. This includes continuing to cut the cost of medicines for patients through the PBS safety net. 

From 1 January 2020 the threshold to receive free or further discounted medicines through the PBS will be lowered by 12 scripts for pensioners and concession card holders and the equivalent of 2 scripts for non-concession card holders.

Since 2013, the Morrison Government has listed over 2,100 new or amended items on the PBS.

This represents an average of around 31 listings per month – or one each day – at an overall cost of around $10.6 billion.

Our plan for a strong economy continues to deliver record funding for essential health services that saves lives.



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