Hunt faces penny-pinching claims

COVID-19 FIGHT:

The Morrison Government has denied it is cutting corners with its new nationwide campaign to distribute personal protection face masks as part of its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the government would fund the distribution of free masks in packets of 12 to all Australians for them to wear whenever they were in a public space.

Mr Hunt said the new multi-media campaign would use the slogan “If it’s not on, it’s not on”.

Fronting a news conference at Parliament House in Canberra, the Minister demonstrated one of the new masks (main picture) while denying the government was attempting to run a vital personal safety campaign on the cheap by recycling a safe sex campaign from the 1980s.

He rejected suggestions that the government had taken the cheap way out because it had run out of money but wanted to give the impression it was being proactive in tackling the pandemic.

“Of course we are in very constrained times when it comes to spending public funds,” Mr Hunt told reporters. “But I deny outright that we are doing this campaign on the cheap.

“We as a government are acting responsibly by making sure every Australian household gets a free pack of masks.

“Australians should have no problem wearing them because some of these masks are so thin you’d think your’re not wearing one, while others are ribbed for your pleasure.”

Facing a barrage of further questions, Mr Hunt cut short the news conference and, as he left the lectern, could be heard instructing a staff member: “Don’t play the Grim Reaper video.”