CANBERRA: An emotion Scott Morrison has struggled to get through a media call here this morning at which he announced a major breakthrough in the fight against COVID-19.
The Prime Minister had to pause frequently in his courtyard address at Parliament House and compose himself as he unveiled plans that would “bring spiritual hope to many decent Australians and improve the financial position of some”.
“One only ever enters public life to serve the people and to make their lots as happy and as productive as possible,” Mr Morrison said, holding back tears.
“This major breakthrough is the culmination of those years of selfless service to my people.”
As the PM began to detail the plan, one of his aides explained to The Bug why Mr Morrison was overflowing with such pride and understandable emotion: this breakthrough idea was his and his alone.
“The PM has always given credit to the entire national cabinet where credit has been due in the ongoing fight against coronavirus but one aspect of that battle has dominated and concentrated his thoughts for days now: what to do if Australia can’t reopen for normal business as quickly as people want and need it to, or if there’s a second surge in cases.
“What to do if large gatherings of people are still not allowable by, say, the start of July? And what if international air travel is still shut down by then? Or complete shutdowns are reintroduced?
“And then the solution came to the PM just last night and he’s immensely proud of it, largely because of its simplicity.”
Under the PM’s plan, Sydney Airport, the highrise short-term accommodation blocks that surround it, the inner-city roadways to one particular inner-city convention centre and the centre itself will all be excised from Australian territory.
This will mean that as foreign territory not subject to Australian laws, special chartered flights will be able to land at Mascot and its passengers will not be subject to the usual customs and silly and unnecessary health checks.
Nor will they be subject to any Australian laws requiring two-weeks isolation on arrival or any movement limits, either in distance or reason for travel, which means the Horizon Church’s big annual conference planned for July 3 to 5 can now go ahead after all and all those thousands of Pentecostal devotees can attend and buy up a spiritual storm of merchandise to help get at least one small part of the nation’s retail sector on the road to recovery.