The Prime Minister and Opposition Leader have used their Christmas messages to thank essential workers and acknowledge the difficulties that have faced Australians this year.
While both leaders appeared serious and sombre when talking about the scale of impact felt by people across the country and the world this year, Labor leader Anthony Albanese’s ended on a more comical note.
It is the second year in a row where both Scott Morrison and Mr Albanese were speaking during a time of emergency – last year both thanked emergency workers as bushfires raged across the country.
As well as thanking doctors, nurses, researchers and scientists for working to protect Australians during the pandemic, Mr Morrison also gave thanks to retail workers, public servants, volunteers and carers.
Well done Australia! Latest numbers show more than 96,000 COVID tests in the last 24 hours, a new record. A big thanks to all the health workers who will be working through Christmas to keep us safe. Let’s all keep doing our bit to stay COVIDSafe.
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) December 24, 2020
“This year has not been easy for any of us,” he said.
“Some of us have faced the loss of loved ones, others the loss of jobs and livelihoods.”
Mr Morrison said the year had been a time of “stress and uncertainty” for many.
“Yet through it all, we have rallied to each other, together,” he said.
“This year the Australian spirit has shone brightly again.”
We can't – and won't – let 2020 beat us. pic.twitter.com/FL4Gr774KJ
— Anthony Albanese (@AlboMP) December 18, 2020
Mr Albanese also acknowledged how tough the year had been, saying Christmas this year was not just a joy “but a relief”.
“Australians have risen to the challenge, especially our essential workers,” he said.
“May the festive season bring peace to you and your loved ones.”
The Labor leader ended his message with a joke, taking a magnet of a 2020 calendar off his fridge and throwing it in the bin.
“And may 2020 get in the bin,” he said.