Optional to send kids to NT schools now
TERRITORY schools will stay open for now but it will be optional for parents to send their children to school, Chief Minister Michael Gunner said today.
"From tomorrow for the rest of the term, to send kids to school will be a choice," Mr Gunner said at a coronavirus update press conference this morning.
"I trust parents to know what is best for them and their kids."
However, Mr Gunner said any parent deciding to keep their children home from school had a responsibility to ensure they were then kept at home, and not allowed to go elsewhere.
If parents could not ensure this then children should be kept in school, he said.
" (Children removed from school) have to be at home," Mr Gunner said.
"If they can't be at home, or with you, please, send them to school."
School is expected to be compulsory again from Term 2 at this stage, the Chief Minister said.
And Mr Gunner asked Territorians looking to do their bit to keep local restaurant and cafe businesses alive to coninute to order take-away as he also announced a $50 million small business survival fund.
He said the fund would be used to help keep NT businesses open and help them adjust to the strict restrictions on pubs, clubs, restaurants and cafes and many other venues announced yesterday by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to help slow the spread of the deadly virus.
Mr Gunner said details on his newly-announced fund will be released later this week with business owners able to apply for support from Friday.
"Half measures are not helping. We must act so we don't become another Italy, America or UK," he said.
The Chief Minister said the measures announced by Mr Morrision last night, which included closing or restricting the services of pubs, clubs and many other venues, such as gyms and casinso, would help stop the virus from reaching the NT.
"My big fear, the thing that is keeping me up at night, is the coronavirus wave is coming to the Territory," Mr Gunner said.
"Until now we have the been the safest place in the country and I am going to keep it that way."
Originally published as Optional to send kids to NT schools now: Gunner