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11 May 2020



AMA President, Dr Tony Bartone, said today that the success of the National Cabinet in managing the COVID-19 crisis provides a very strong case for it to become a permanent feature of Australian politics.

Dr Bartone said the National Cabinet – which comprises the Prime Minister and the State and Territory Premiers and Chief Ministers, and is guided by expert advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), made up of Chief Medical Officers – has operated efficiently and made key decisions quickly to guide Australia through the crisis.

“The National Cabinet has largely taken the politics out of politics,” Dr Bartone said.

“We have seen a level of coordination and cooperation in the national interest rarely seen in peacetime in the Federation.

“The leaders of Coalition and Labor Governments have worked as one to protect the health of the nation.

“And, despite the enormity and breadth and economic impact of some of the decisions made, the National Cabinet has delivered effective outcomes with a minimum of red tape and bureaucracy. 

“But, above all, it has listened and acted on expert medical advice.

“This is how government should work.”

Dr Bartone said the AMA would strongly support a permanent National Cabinet when the issue is inevitably discussed when the COVID-19 pandemic is controlled. The machinery of how the National Cabinet would operate as a permanent entity alongside the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) would be a matter for governments.

12 May 2020

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Published: 11 May 2020