Prime Minister Scott Morrison has delivered his most rousing speech to date, as he vowed to defend Australian sovereignty amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking in parliament on Wednesday afternoon, the PM issued a rallying call to the public to unite with the government and work together to protect the Australian way of life, which he said he “will not surrender”.
“We gather again today in unusual circumstances, during extreme times to consider extraordinary responses to the twin crises our nation faces – to our nation’s health and to our economy,” the prime minister said. “What we do today is what Governments have always done in such circumstances, when our nation is under threat that previous generations of Australians have done before us.”
Morrison went on to say that his government, along with the rest of parliament, and the entire nation, must come together now to protect Australia’s sovereignty, as Australian lives and livelihoods are “under attack” as a result of the current Covid-19 crisis. He called on people from all walks of life, including nurses, doctors, farmers, priests and even parents and grandparents, to respond in kind.
Continuing his powerful address, he added: “Our sovereignty is measured in our capacity and freedom to live our lives as we choose in a free, open and democratic society. We are not a coerced society. We act through our agreement and our wilful support of the national interest, through our many institutions, including this Parliament and the many others around this country. And we will not surrender this.
“Our sovereignty is enabled by having a vibrant market economy that underpins our standard of living that gives all Australians the opportunity to fulfil their potential. To have a go and to get a go. And we will not surrender this. Our sovereignty is demonstrated by the quality of life we afford Australians, with world class health, education, disability, aged care, and a social safety net that guarantees the essentials that Australians rely on. We will not surrender this.”
Morrison wrapped up his speech by defining the country’s sovereignty as “what we believe as Australians, what we value, and hold most dear, our principles, our way of doing things”, and said that, while there is a fight ahead, it will be “a fight we will win”.
“Protecting our sovereignty has always come at a great cost, regardless of what form that threat takes,” he said. “I want to commit to all Australians as Prime Minister, that once we have overcome these threats – and we will – we will rebuild and restore whatever the battle takes from us.”