No handshakes until 2021: Why we’ll be elbow bumping for the rest of the year – as Scott Morrison flags help for cinemas and theatres that have shed a staggering 180,000 jobs
- Prime Minister is working on an assistance package for entertainment industry
- He has also announced new infrastructure spending to stimulate the economy
- Government will start building the Western Sydney Airport train line this year
- The move will create 14,000 jobs with $3.5billion cash boost from governments
Australians will be bumping elbows instead of shaking hands for the rest of the year, Scott Morrison said today.
Asked how long the advice on handshakes will last, the Prime Minister told 2GB radio: ‘At this stage, I couldn’t see that changing for the rest of this year, to be honest.’
During an interview with the station’s new breakfast host, Ben Fordham, Mr Morrison also said he was working on an assistance package for the entertainment industry.
Cinemas and theatres have been crippled by coronavirus lockdowns with 180,000 workers in the arts industry losing their jobs since March.
Australians will be bumping elbows instead of shaking hands for the rest of the year, Scott Morrrison said today
Mr Morrison revealed his government is working on a tailored support packaged to help entertainment companies raise money when they are allowed to re-open. Pictured: A cinema in Bankstown, western Sydney
Mr Morrison revealed his government is working on a tailored support packaged to help entertainment companies raise money when they are allowed to re-open.
‘One of the challenges is that the entertainment sector will find it difficult to get capital moving again because they’ve had to draw down on it so significantly and getting started again will be hard,’ he said.
‘So we’re looking at issues like that. We’re looking into the film industry and we want to ensure that we’re getting those sectors of the economy moving again as soon as they can.’
The Prime Minister said he met with people from the entertainment industry over the weekend.
‘We’ve gone from the big, big, broad strokes of JobKeeper and JobSeeker. But as time goes on, we’ll be able to narrow it in and focus more on those sectors which need that longer term support,’ he said.
Mr Morrison also confirmed the government was considering handing out cash to stimulate new home building.
‘We are more interested in the larger projects and new home builds and things like that,’ he said.
The Prime Minister (pictured today) said the wave of looting, arson and vandalism that has rocked the US over the weekend made him ‘cringe’
‘We are looking at a bit of drop off in that current home building that’s going on. That’s not good for tradies and not good for jobs.’
He said it would be important any construction industry measures helped local tradies rather than major contractors.
The federal and NSW governments will spend an extra $3.5billion to start building the Western Sydney Airport train line this year, creating 14,000 jobs.
‘This is how Australia makes its way back out of the COVID-19 crisis,’ Mr Morrison said today.
The airport is due to open in 2026 and provide 29,000 jobs.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport was a key part of the state’s record $100 billion infrastructure pipeline.
‘Now more than ever we need projects that provide jobs to support families and this project is major economic stimulus right in the heart of western Sydney,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
Scott Morrison has slammed violent protests in the United States (pictured are protesters in Minneapolis on Thursday) over the death of African-American man George Floyd
The Prime Minister slammed violent protests in the United States over the death of African-American man George Floyd and urged Australians not to get involved.
He said the wave of looting, arson and vandalism that has rocked the US over the weekend made him ‘cringe’.
A peaceful protest in solidarity with Mr Floyd, who died in police custody on Monday, is planned in Sydney’s Hyde Park on Wednesday – but Mr Morrison said it was unnecessary.
‘There’s no need to import things from happening in other countries here to Australia. Australia is not the United States,’ he told 2GB radio on Monday.
The Prime Minister said Mr Floyd’s death was ‘shocking, upsetting and terrible’ but that he deplored the violent response by thousands of protesters.
He said: ‘I saw a good meme on the weekend. Martin Luther King didn’t change anything by burning anything down and looting any shops.
A protester standing in front of a burning building set on fire during a demonstration in Minneapolis, Minnesota on May 29
‘And so as upsetting and terrible is the [alleged] murder that took place, and it is shocking. It’s… that also just made me cringe.’
Mr Morrison said the shocking images made him glad to be Australian.
‘And I just think to myself how wonderful a country is Australia. We have our problems. We have our faults. We have our issues. There’s no doubt about that.
‘But when I see things like that, I’m just very thankful for the wonderful country we live in,’ he said.
Tens of thousands of Americans have been protesting after Floyd’s death ignited nationwide outrage over police brutality and systemic racism.
Floyd, a 46-year-old father-of-two, was filmed gasping for breath as policeman Derek Chauvin allegedly knelt on his neck for eight minutes before he died in custody of the Minneapolis Police Department on Monday.
Protests in Minnesota began on Tuesday before fanning out across the country.
The ‘BLM (Black Lives Matter) & George Floyd Peaceful Protest Sydney’ will take place at Hyde Park, in the CBD, on Wednesday at 5pm, with event organisers promising a ‘peaceful protest’
‘This is a PEACEFUL PROTEST for the misrepresentation of our Indigenous population in the legal system, as well as in solidarity to George Floyd,’ the Facebook event read. Pictured: Protestors are seen during the Invasion Day rally in Brisbane, January 26, 2020
The ‘BLM (Black Lives Matter) & George Floyd Peaceful Protest Sydney’ rally will take place at Hyde Park on Wednesday at 5pm.
A Facebook event for the rally read: ‘This is a PEACEFUL PROTEST for the misrepresentation of our Indigenous population in the legal system, as well as in solidarity to George Floyd.
‘Although Australia is far from where the [alleged] murder took place, we have a voice. We stand with Minneapolis and their people calling for a raise in the degree.
‘Australia however, is not exempt from injustices faced for people of colour and the Indigenous population.’
So far 900 people said they will be attending Sydney’s protest, with nearly 3,000 interested in going.
In Minneapolis, riots spiralled out of control Saturday night local time as cop cars were torched, stores were looted and at least 11 states activated the National Guard on a fifth night of protests that show no signs of stopping.
Officer Derek Chauvin (pictured) was identified as the officer allegedly pinning down George Floyd in video footage that was widely shared on Tuesday