Prime Minister Scott Morrison has no road map for the situation we are in. Picture: Gary Ramage
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has no road map for the situation we are in. Picture: Gary Ramage

National response to coronavirus could be the making of us

Regardless of who you might have voted for last May, I think every Australian of goodwill would be cheering the Prime Minister to succeed right now.

These are, as we keep saying, extraordinary times and for the man at the helm, that means there's no road map. Often in public life, there's the lessons of the past that you use as a guide. Nothing is ever exactly the same, but history is a great teacher.

Not so for Scott Morrison; this coronavirus crisis has no modern parallel.

Before when we've hit economic trouble, government has put money into the community and urged people to go out and spend. Now we demand they stay home. Before we've fired up business to get back in the black. Now we're going into the red to shut them down. And that's because the killer here isn't a sluggish market, but a disease that's more contagious than the common-cold and risks killing tens of thousands of Australians if they all get sick at the one time, and our health system is overwhelmed.

Almost two months ago when I said this was coming, I said how we handled it would be a serious test of character, for us, and our nation. Some have failed, that's true; but the vast majority of Australians have not. And that in itself gives me hope that we still are the people we once were, and that if we come out of this crisis determined to use it to change course from where we were headed, on big issues like energy, climate policy and water management, then this coronavirus challenge could be the remaking of us.

Originally published as National response to coronavirus could be the making of us

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy. Picture: AAP/Lukas Coch
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Chief Medical Officer Brendan Murphy. Picture: AAP/Lukas Coch

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