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Prime Minister: ‘Australians would have to get used to 1000 cases day’

Oliver Peterson
Article image for Prime Minister: ‘Australians would have to get used to 1000 cases day’

For the first time in 537 days, the Prime Minister has returned to Western Australia.

Speaking with Oliver Peterson, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said West Aussies needed him to be “at the helm.”

“That helm was in Canberra and that’s where I was focussed,” he said.

He also blamed “national challenges” as to why he didn’t campaign with his state colleagues, which saw them suffer a landslide loss to Labor.

“I was travelling in various parts of the country at the time,” said Mr Morrison.

“Which prevented me on some occasions from getting to Western Australia because of the restrictions.”

Despite the criticism over the delayed vaccine roll-out, Mr Morrison said Australia’s program is still ahead of many other countries such as France, Sweden, Japan and New Zealand.

“While it’s not the same as what you’re seeing in the UK and in the United States, they’re countries operating in complete emergency crisis mode.

“That’s not happening here in Australia.”

The Federal Government is recommending people under 50 don’t take the AstraZeneca vaccine but Mr Morrison insists it’s still safe for everyone else.

“So our goal right now we’re working very steadily towards achieving, is ensuring we get our most vulnerable vaccinated,” he said.

The plan from there is to see vaccinated Australians be able to travel overseas without going into hotel quarantine when they return, but Mr Morrison said the states wouldn’t agree to that yet.

“We’re still some time away from that,” he said.

However, Prime Minister Morrison stressed that vaccinations are “not a silver bullet.” He said Australians have become to used to seeing low case numbers and zero community transmission.

“If we were to lift the international borders [too early] then no doubt…. Australians would have to become used to dealing with a thousand of cases a week or more.

“I don’t think West Australians would welcome restrictions and closures again.

“Everyone needs to get on the same page with that.”

The Prime Minister also used his visit to Perth to announce Australia will follow the lead of the United States and leave Afghanistan by September this year.

At the press conference, an emotional Mr Morrison read the names of all 41 Australians who died in the country saying their sacrifice will never be forgotten.

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Oliver Peterson