Australia’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

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The Australian response to the coronavirus pandemic has been one of suppression through imposing tight restrictions on external borders and strict limits on social distancing and interaction. The handling of the crisis within a decentralised federal system has been generally competent and effective in flattening the curve for infections and containing the number of deaths. Political executives at the federal and state/territory levels have generally displayed commendable individual and collective leadership and made judicious use of the advice from health experts and committees. Public services have engaged in transformative behaviour in responding to crisis conditions. Australia has emerged as a low risk country.

The toughest restrictions are being relaxed incrementally with action on large gatherings now occurring, although external borders remain closed. The emphasis has been shifting from public health to economic recovery. In exiting the crisis, new debates have exposed tensions about the economic-health trade off and the position of people lacking social and employment support, and new uncertainties and anxieties have emerged about the possibility of a second wave and economic prospects in a recession.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGood Public Governance in a Global Pandemic
EditorsPaul Joyce, Fabienne Maron, Purshottama Sivanarain Reddy
Place of PublicationBrussels
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9782931003022
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2021


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