Meeting of National Cabinet 9 December

Prime Minister

National Cabinet met virtually today to discuss national priorities.

COVID-19

National Cabinet received a briefing on COVID-19 from the acting Chief Medical Officer, Professor Michael Kidd.

First Ministers agreed to a strategic framework to support the transition of measures and policies to a sustainable COVID-19 steady state.

We are moving towards managing COVID-19 like any respiratory illness but in a way that keeps Australians safe and protected.

The framework builds on the principles agreed by National Cabinet on 30 September 2022, to support a nationally consistent approach to transition Australia’s COVID-19 response.

The Framework is published at www.federation.gov.au.

First Ministers agreed to extend the High Risk Settings Pandemic Payment over the summer period, to provide targeted financial support to casual workers in high-risk settings.

National Cabinet will monitor the need for the payment to continue.

Health

National Cabinet noted the Commonwealth and States have been working closely on co-developing a range of innovative primary care models that aim to reduce pressure on hospital emergency departments.

The Commonwealth will contribute $100 million to this initiative and work closely with states to implement these models across the country.

The pilots will be free and accessible, integrate with the broader health system and be tailored to local needs.

Energy

First Ministers noted that rising energy prices are placing pressure on Australian households, businesses and industry, due to global energy price shocks, including Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

The National Cabinet agreed to the Energy Price Relief Plan that will limit gas and coal prices, provide targeted energy bill relief for households and businesses, and drive investment in cleaner, cheaper more reliable energy for the future.

National Transformation Principles

First Ministers agreed National Transformation Principles for an orderly transition to a clean energy future.

The principles demonstrate a shared commitment by the Commonwealth, States and Territories to support regional communities transforming as a result of decarbonisation to capture the benefits of the energy transition.

The principles are the foundation for closer collaboration between governments and with key stakeholders; including local government, regional communities and industries.

Governments look forward to further engagement with stakeholders as this work progresses.

The Transformation Principles are published at www.federation.gov.au.

Disaster recovery and resilience

First Ministers tasked Planning Ministers with developing a national standard for considering disaster and climate risk, as part of land use planning and building reform processes

This is a significant step forward in protecting Australians from extreme weather events. First Ministers agreed that the days of developing on floodplains needs to end.

Planning Ministers will report back to National Cabinet in 2023.

National Cabinet also noted progress on reforms and improvements to the Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements by National Emergency Management Ministers and tasked Treasurers to consider ways to improve insurance affordability.

The reforms are aimed at streamlining the delivery of disaster support to impacted communities.

Early childhood education and care

National Cabinet noted an update from Education and Early Years Ministers on the development of a national long-term vision for early childhood education and care (ECEC).

This update included progress on efforts to address ECEC workforce shortages.

National Cabinet operations

First Ministers agreed to Terms of Reference for the governance and operation of National Cabinet. The Terms of Reference are published on www.federation.gov.au.

National Cabinet remains committed to working together on national priorities and will meet again in early 2023.

This media statement has been agreed by First Ministers and serves as a record of meeting outcomes.

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