PM jokes to Canberra press gallery ‘keep off the grass’

The Prime Minister couldn’t help himself this morning.

After his press conference was interrupted by a man telling media to get off his grass yesterday, Scott Morrison had a few words for the journalists he was speaking to today.

“Before we go to questions, there is one new rule in the press gallery,” he said.

“Not just social distancing but people have got to keep off the grass.

“We’re safe here in the courtyard. To our friend out there, we wish him all the best.”

That friend was a man in the New South Wales town of Googong, about 25km east of Canberra.

Mr Morrison was addressing journalists to outline the Government’s new HomeBuilder grant when the frustrated resident ventured out from his house.

“Can you guys get off the lawn please?” the man yelled, interrupting Mr Morrison mid-sentence.

“Hey guys, I’ve just reseeded that,” he added, pointing to the grass that reporters, cameramen and photographers were crowded on.

Mr Morrison dutifully instructed the horde to move forward on to the road.

“Sorry, man,” the resident offered.

“It’s all good, thanks,” Mr Morrison replied, giving him the thumbs up – a conciliatory gesture that the man returned.

Speaking later on 2GB Radio, the PM said “people are very house proud”.

“This bloke had just built his house and all the media was standing on part of his lawn,” the PM said.

“And so, he wasn’t yelling at me but he came and said, ‘Get off my lawn.’ So I ushered them all off the lawned area and he was quite happy then, he said thanks and went back inside.

“So, it was quite funny actually.”

After the brief interruption, the media conference continued, with Mr Morrison explaining details of the already controversial $25,000 payment designed to support the flailing construction sector during the coronavirus crisis.

Under the scheme, households with a combined income of $200,000 can secure a $25,000 grant to build a new home or for major renovations but only if the contract is worth more than $150,000.

The Government is forecasting a take-up of between 25,000 and 30,000 new home builds or significant renovations.



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