Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he feels optimistic about 2021, but has warned Australians must remain vigilant as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
In his New Year video message, the Prime Minister said Australia had confronted its greatest challenge since World War Two.
“We’re a nation that prevails and we are making our way through this crisis in a very Australian way — guided by our own enduring principles and values that have served us so well, and together we have done better than almost any other country in the world,” he said.
Mr Morrison acknowledged Australia’s “indomitable” spirit, but said there were still a lot more challenges ahead in 2021.
“I have the hope and I have the optimism and the confidence in my fellow Australians — in you — about our country and our capacity to respond to whatever continues to come our way,” he said.
“This is not a faint or vain hope, but one based on our experience together, especially over this past year.
“We have worked together to save lives and save livelihoods. Every part of our country has stepped up.”
Mr Morrison specifically thanked all Australians who had sacrificed so much and served their country.
“From our health workers collecting test samples and tracing the contacts, tending to our elderly, counselling on our helplines and supporting our quarantine arrangements, ably assisted by our defence forces and our police and emergency service personnel,” he said.
The Prime Minister also acknowledged the broader community for complying with health orders, as well as struggling business owners.
“I know you’ve been struggling with the uncertainty that a pandemic brings, but you’ve been keeping your show together and pressing on,” he said.
“Our economic recovery plan will continue to get even more Australians back into work and restore their livelihoods driven by a business-led recovery.”
About 80 per cent of the jobs that were lost during the pandemic had already been recovered and 450,000 businesses had graduated from JobKeeper, Mr Morrison said.
The Prime Minister also noted the importance of an effective vaccine to help with Australia’s recovery.
“We must stay vigilant as we continue our comeback — a comeback that is now well underway despite the present challenges we face,” he said.
“A safe and effective vaccine validated, proven by our scientists, by our doctors, will be available to all Australians and will be a key step in our recovery in 2021.”