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To many of us here today, this is a most solemn and earnest occasion. Australia is in a continuous fight against COVID-19 and like the rest of the world, we are facing the potential for devastating impacts from this fatal disease. However, through decisive action and by working together we were able to open a window of hope. Since March 2020, millions of dollars worth of fruits and vegetables have been lost. Grocery bills have gone up by 30% for many households and the prices of food have risen by 63%. In these grave times, and one of the most fateful in history, we are once again at war. Not with anyone, but with a fatal virus. Just like our floods, droughts and fires, COVID-19 has flipped the world upside down and has tragically caused the loss of lives. We have always said we would act early and decisively but it seems the trajectory has become clear. We must act now or risk the virus taking hold as it has elsewhere.

The coronavirus that is sweeping the world will continue to change the way we live. But we cannot allow it to change who we are as Australians. We must summon the spirit of those who came before us, of those who have shown us the way through overcoming challenges and tests. We must summon the spirit of James Ruse, the farmer who produced the first successful corn harvest on this nation — on this land. Even though his first crop failed, he continued with unwavering persistence the next. And what do you know? It was successful. We must now share the same determination that James Ruse felt on that sorrowful day and must continue to battle the virus with courage, mateship, fairness and determination just like our ANZAC soldiers. We must stand together against COVID-19 to prevent the devastation that has occurred in other countries from repeating itself here. This is our legacy.

Well, I believe, the Australians of today, are ready to act worthy of themselves, ready to do whatever is required to ensure the health and safety of our children, and our children’s children. The impacts of the two-week lockdown will not go away in days, weeks, or months. But they will go away. Here, I would like to especially thank the Australian agricultural community who have faced—during the last three years—devastating bushfires, droughts, and floods but are now facing a worldwide pandemic. Farmers, you all have done astonishing work through these challenging times and every day you prove to us your compassion. Be strong, be patient and be calm.

Lockdown, lockdown, lockdown: we hear it all the time and it is what we must rely on. I recognize this would be known as a frustration among our farmers. It is important to know that even though you are isolated, you are not immune to the virus. So, it is vitally essential that you should embrace prevention measures such as staying at home and practising social distancing to stop the spread. In addition, I would like to acknowledge that the state government has taken several measurements to reduce the impacts of the lockdowns on everyone including our farmers by providing the JobKeeper payment scheme. This scheme is worth $130 billion and is used to keep Australians in their jobs and support businesses affected significantly by Covid-19.

JobKeeper was the lifeline to our people’s livelihood, rescue to businesses, and most importantly provided support to our farmers. We must ensure that seasonal work will continue allowing for the transport of food while following the health guidelines. So, please, farmers, stay at home when requested, stay safe and stay healthy, don’t forget you are providing food to 25 million Australians.

I know that many farmers had and will have tough times due to the lockdowns. Some may argue that most farmers and their workers are working at a lower risk compared to the crowded indoor spaces in other businesses. Others may complain that the JobKeeper plan may deter unemployed workers from seeking work on farms. However, while these arguments seem logical, they are not supported with factual evidence. The last survey data, from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, found that the average farmers’ age is 56 years old and the mortality rate due to Covid-19 for the age group between 50-59 years is 1.3%.

The basic moral in Australia is that every Australian matters, every life matters, and every future matter. With an overall of 30,048 cases and 910 deaths in Australia, COVID-19 has built quite a reputation for being extremely dangerous to our nation. As you know, we do not know the people who died, their names and their circumstances, but that does not mean that we and who we love are safe. COVID-19, in essence, is like a bushfire, blazing across Australia destroying lives, the economy, and businesses. The lockdown is the perimeter to protect our nation from a potential catastrophe. By tolerating the lockdowns, the farmers and their workers will have the opportunity to return to work and contribute to a faster economic recovery and growth. It is worth mentioning that the JobKeeper scheme was a necessity to achieve a fast recovery. Soon, there will be no fear, and farmers will no longer need to watch their crops go to waste.

Therefore, once again I state, for us to prevail through these tough times, we must work together as a team, as a nation, as Australians. The lockdowns have proven to prevent the spread of the virus, and the JobKeeper assistance payment is there to comprise our painful economic losses. Farmers of Australia, stand with unwavering persistence and push through determinedly because the future of our nation lies in your hands and your hands only. All Australians appreciate your hard work and sacrifices.

Type Of Service: Academic Paper Writing
Type Of Assignment: Essay
Subject: English
Pages / words: 4/967
Number of sources: N/A
Academic Level: High SChool
Paper formating: MLA
Line Spacing: Double
Language style: AU English

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