PM Scott Morrison has urged all Australians to keep their heads up, as the jobless rate climbs and COVID-19 infection rates rise.
A day after official figures showed 992,300 people were unemployed, Mr Morrison will turn his attention to jobs in the arts sector with the launch of a film industry support package on Friday.
It followed the announcement on Thursday of a multi-million dollar plan to upskill school leavers and sacked workers.
“Let’s keep our heads up and let’s keep going forward,” Mr Morrison said.
The coronavirus death toll has risen to 113.
The prime minister described a worsening Victorian outbreak as a big setback to economic recovery, but is pleased by the rapid NSW response to a growing pub infection cluster.
“Hopefully we will see that situation improve as well, but as we know there are no guarantees, we are always in uncharted waters,” he said.
On Thursday, Victoria recorded 317 more cases in the past 24 hours – the largest daily increase since the start of the pandemic.
There are 109 people hospitalised in Victoria including 29 in intensive care.
NSW recorded 10 new cases including three more people linked to the Crossroads Hotel cluster in southwest Sydney.
Worryingly, at least one person in NSW became infectious within 24 hours of contracting the disease – well ahead of the usual incubation period of three to four days.
But experts do not think it represented a new form of the virus.
Labor health spokesman Chris Bowen said it appeared Sydney’s outbreak was concentrated in one location.
“I think everybody’s working hard to try and get that contained so that we don’t need to contemplate going back to a lockdown in Sydney,” he told the ABC.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews has talked down the prospect of moving to even harsher lockdown rules, given Melburnians are only one week into stay-at-home restrictions lasting six weeks.