‘We’re All Melburnians Now When It Comes to the Challenges We Face,’ PM Says

By AAP
July 8, 2020 Updated: July 8, 2020

Victoria recorded 134 of the nation’s 147 new coronavirus cases on July 8, the state’s second worst rise after almost 200 people were diagnosed with the disease on Tuesday.

The ACT lost its virus-free status after three people aged in their 20s contracted the disease following a visit to a hotspot Melbourne suburb.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said there was always a risk Melbourne’s outbreak could spread to other states.

“We’re all Melburnians now when it comes to the challenges we face,” he said.

“We’re all Victorians now because we’re all Australians and that’s where the challenge is right now.”

The prime minister is two weeks from outlining the future of coronavirus support payments including JobKeeper wage subsidies and the boosted JobSeeker dole payment.

“Because of what has happened in Victoria, obviously the need there will be far greater than was previously, and that need will be met,” he said.

Political leaders are preparing to cut the number of flights into Australia to ease the burden on the quarantine system.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison will discuss international arrivals with state and territory leaders on July 10.

“I’ll be taking a proposal to national cabinet to slow that down,” Morrison said.

The nation’s chief medical officers have also been asked to investigate the hotel quarantine system, after major failures in Melbourne fanned dozens of new infections.

More than 72,000 international passengers arrived in Australia in the month to July 7, with more than half landing in NSW.

Daniel McCulloch and Matt Coughlan in Canberra