Scott Morrison slams 'false' RAT claims as national cabinet rejects 'kids in forklifts' proposal

Claims suggesting rapid antigen tests are being redirected by the federal government are "categorically untrue", Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said.

Plans to lower the minimum age someone can attain a forklift licence in order to ease supply chain shortages have also been scrapped.

National cabinet concluded its meeting on Thursday afternoon with Mr Morrison stating the consensus between state and territory leaders was to retain arrangements allowing close contacts for essential workforces to return to work once they test negative on a rapid antigen test.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Picture: Sitthixay Ditthavong

Major rapid antigen test shortages have continued to plague the country but the Prime Minister said claims from private retailers that the Health Department had redirected the finite available supplies to the federal government were "false".

"These claims are categorically untrue," he said.

"Supplies of rapid antigen testing kits are not being redirected to the Commonwealth and, at no time, has the department sought to place itself ahead of other commercial and retail entities."

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It comes as federal Health Minister Greg Hunt earlier said retailers telling customers that stocks of rapid test kits are being redirected to the federal government's national stockpile are "lying".

The Health Minister said he would report the companies to Australia's competition watchdog.

Mr Morrison also said on Thursday an industry proposal to lower the minimum age for forklift licences from 18 to 16 was considered but dismissed by national cabinet.

"We agreed to proceed no further with the issue of 16-year old-forklift drivers," he said.

"We had a good discussion about it today and that is not something that we believe collectively that that should be pursued at this time."

More to come.

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This story PM slams 'false claims' over RAT supplies, rules out kids in forklifts first appeared on The Canberra Times.