Scott Morrison sends message to family of girl found dead, but commits a BIG blunder
Prime Minister Scott Morrison hoped nine-year-old Charlise Mutten would be found alive, despite the discovery of human remains in a barrel near the Blue Mountains that had been identified as the missing girl.
Asked about the case at a press conference on Wednesday morning, Mr Morrison said he had been following the case “privately”.
“My thoughts and prayers are honest with the family and with that little girl today,” said Mr. Morrison.
“And I hope she’s okay. I really. I’m sure we all do. Let’s hope that has a happy ending.’
At the end of the reply, Mr Morrison briefly noted that he had not been made aware of the matter before the press conference.
Towards the end of the press conference, Mr Morrison was informed that Charlise’s body had been found.
‘Sorry. I hadn’t seen that before I came out today. That is devastating news,” said a shocked Morrison.
“I’m very sorry that… I’ve been busy with other business since early this morning, as you can no doubt imagine.
“After hearing that news, that’s… It’s just… devastating.”
Asked about Charlise Mutten’s case at a press conference on Wednesday morning, Mr Morrison said he had been following the case “privately” and hoped the girl would be found alive, but after being told her remains had been found, the police choked. Mr Morrison turned himself and said the news was ‘devastating’
‘Sorry. I hadn’t seen that before I came out today. That is devastating news,” said a shocked Mr Morrison
Earlier, Mr Morrison acknowledged that Australians had experienced “a frustrating summer” as the Omicron variant swept across the nation when he announced a new program to bring overseas students and backpackers back to Australia.
Mr Morrison said Omicron has caused “major disruption” around the world and that: Australians should respect Omicron ‘but not be afraid of it’.
“You’ve seen queues, you’ve seen rising cases, you’ve seen pressure on hospital systems, you’ve seen supply chain disruption, you’ve seen a shortage of tests, you’ve seen all of this in all these countries around the world. ‘
“That’s what Omicron brought.”
The prime minister announced a scheme to reduce the $630 visa application fee for about 150,000 foreign students and about 23,500 backpackers as the government plans to increase its workforce.
“We have to respect it with sensible, balanced rules, sensible precautions, but at the same time not lock up Australia, not lock ourselves up, not destroy people’s livelihoods and bring our society to a standstill.”
“We understand the great concern, especially in the early stages of Omicron a few weeks ago when we knew it was contagious, but we weren’t sure at the time how serious it could be,” admitted Mr Morrison.
“Good news – yes, it is much more contagious, we know that, but the good news is it is much less severe, about 75 percent less severe, which has given us more options once we have more certainty about the severity of the impact .’
The Prime Minister has detailed his government’s response to the outbreak in a wide range of areas, including healthcare, RATs, supply chains and support for people on pandemic leave.
Mr Morrison has urged backpackers to ‘come down’ to Australia, saying travelers would get a discount on their visa applications for the next 12 weeks.
Mr Morrison urged backpackers to ‘come to Australia’ and said travelers would get a discount on their visa application for the next 12 weeks.
“We want you to come to Australia and enjoy a holiday here in Australia, traveling across the country, while also joining our workforce and helping us in our agriculture sector, in our hospitality industry and so many other parts of the economy that depend on that labour,’ said Mr Morrison.
“We will support that with $3 million that will be given to Tourism Australia to support a marketing program targeting backpackers and students to get them out.”
For the next eight weeks from today, foreign students will also be able to get their visa application fees back.
The government is also relaxing the ’20 hour rule’ for student visas, allowing them to work more than 20 hours a week despite their student status.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the scheme would cost taxpayers $55 million.
Morrison said the return of backpackers to Australia was “slower” than the return of foreign students.
International passengers, including foreign students, are returning to Australia after the border reopens on December 15. Students will have relaxed work restrictions and reduced visa application fees to encourage their return to Australia
“We also want them to come here and be able to fill some of these critical staff shortages, especially those who work and are trained in healthcare, aged care, those kinds of sectors, that’s going to be incredibly helpful,” he said.
Mr Morrison defended his administration’s achievement in securing rapid antigen testing, telling reporters that comments were made “with hindsight rather than foresight.”
“When it comes to delivering the tests we need to deliver, states and territories have always had a responsibility to deliver those tests in their countries, just like the PCR test,” Mr Morrison said.
The Prime Minister said Omicron “has changed everything” in terms of the need for RATs.
“The advice was that we could stick with the PCR test and those PCR tests could be done in the early days of the virus,” he says.
Rapid antigen testing was not widely used in Australia for much of the pandemic. Until we reach December and Omicron arrives.”
Morrison defended his comments about rogue Queensland MP George Christensen who said yesterday that parents should not have their children vaccinated against Covid-19.
I don’t think I could have been clearer yesterday, don’t listen to him,” said Mr Morrison.
“He’s not a doctor, he can’t tell you what to do with vaccines.
“Australia is a free country, you can’t lock people up for what they say as Australians.”
Mr Morrison said he could not guarantee a uniform approach to school return by 2022 as education was a state responsibility, but said the national cabinet will try to ‘harmonise’ return to school arrangements.
“If schools don’t open and stay open, another 5 percent of your workforce will be laid off and that has a very serious impact,” he said.
The prime minister said he will receive an update on the capacity of state hospitals to deal with the current Omicron outbreak at a national cabinet meeting tomorrow, after Victoria yesterday announced a ‘code brown’ for its tense hospital system.