Scott Morrison sends message to family of little girl found dead - but makes a ...

Scott Morrison sends message to family of little girl found dead - but makes a ...
Scott Morrison sends message to family of little girl found dead - but makes a ...

Prime Minister Scott Morrison hoped nine-year-old Charlise Mutten would be found alive despite the discovery of human remains in a barrel near the Blue Mountains being identified as the missing girl.

Asked about the case at a press conference on Wednesday morning, Mr Morrison said he had been following the case 'privately'.  

'My thoughts and prayers frankly are with the family today and that little girl,' Mr Morrison responded. 

'And I hope she's alright. I really do. I'm sure we all do. Let's hope that that has a good ending.'

At the end of the answer Mr Morrison briefly noted that he had not been updated on the case before the press conference. 

Towards the end of the press conference Mr Morrison was informed that the body of Charlise had been found.

'I'm sorry. I hadn't seen that before I came out today. That is devastating news,' a shaken Mr Morrison responded. 

'I'm very sorry that... since early this morning, I've been engaged in other issues, as I'm sure you can imagine. 

'Having heard that news, that's... It's just... devastating.' 

Asked about the case of Charlise Mutten at a press conference on Wednesday morning, Mr Morrison said he had been following the case 'privately' and hoped the girl would be found alive but after being told her remains had been found, Mr Morrison choked up and said the news was 'devastating'

Asked about the case of Charlise Mutten at a press conference on Wednesday morning, Mr Morrison said he had been following the case 'privately' and hoped the girl would be found alive but after being told her remains had been found, Mr Morrison choked up and said the news was 'devastating'

'I'm sorry. I hadn't seen that before I came out today. That is devastating news,' a shaken Mr Morrison responded

'I'm sorry. I hadn't seen that before I came out today. That is devastating news,' a shaken Mr Morrison responded

Earlier Mr Morrison acknowledged that Australians had experienced 'a frustrating summer' as the Omicron variant has swept the nation as he announced a new program to bring foreign students and backpackers back to Australia.  

Mr Morrison said Omicron has caused 'great disruption' all around the world and that Australians must respect Omicron 'but not fear it'. 

'You have seen queues, you have seen rising cases, you have seen pressures on hospital systems, you have seen disruption of supply chains, you have seen shortages of tests, you have seen all of these in all of these countries all around the world.' 

'That is what Omicron has brought.' 

The prime minister announced a scheme to rebate the $630 fee for a visa application by about 150,000 foreign students and for around 23,500 backpackers, as the government seeks to boost workforce numbers. 

'We must respect it with sensible, balanced rules, sensible precautions, but at the same time, not shutting Australia away, not locking ourselves up, not destroying people's livelihoods and bringing our society to a halt.' 

'We understand the great concerns particularly in the early stage of Omicron several weeks ago when we knew it was contagious, but we didn't quite know then just how severe it could be,' Mr Morrison admitted.

'Good news - yes, it is much more contagious, we do know that, but the good news is that it's far less severe, some 75 per cent less severe which has given us more options once we could have greater certainty about its severity impact.'

The prime minister detailed his government's response to the outbreak in a wide range of areas, including health care,

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