Australia politics live news: calls to stick to national plan for reopening; NSW works on getting children back to school

Posted by on August 23, 2021 5:45 pm
Categories: Global Stories

Scott Morrison challenging the states to stick to reopening as outlined in Doherty report as Gladys Berejiklian promises return-to-school plan by week’s end. Follow updates live

10.44pm BST

Scott Morrison though, along with Gladys Berejiklian, is pushing for the national plan to be followed – which would mean an end to lockdowns once the eligible population vaccination rates hits 70-80%.

Here’s Morrison on the Nine Network (he was very similar on the Seven network. It’s almost like he has lines prepared)

The idea of covid zero is not the issue once you get to 70 and 80%. Any state and territory that thinks that somehow they can protect themselves from COVID with the Delta strain forever, that’s just absurd. New Zealand can’t do that. They were following an elimination strategy. They’re in lockdown.

(After tracing back an infection to the Sydney outbreak)

10.44pm BST

Scott Morrison is on the breakfast TV circuit, explaining the national plan.

He’s trying to get ahead of premiers who are balking at opening up before NSW gets its case numbers down.

But there’s political brinkmanship here too of the most obvious kind. Morrison is setting up a blame game. If the country doesn’t reopen once we’ve hit 70% vaccination rates, the prime minister wants frustrated people to blame the premiers. Seeing that manoeuvre coming, some premiers (the people who run health systems that could be overwhelmed) sprinted ahead of the prime minister last week, foregrounding the various risks, identifying the crossroads Australia had now reached. How many hospitalisations are Australians prepared to tolerate? How much serious illness? How many deaths? What about kids?

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