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‘We have to give our public hope’: Josh Frydenberg slams zero-COVID strategy

Gareth Parker
Article image for ‘We have to give our public hope’: Josh Frydenberg slams zero-COVID strategy

The Federal Treasurer says eliminating COVID-19 is near impossible.

Earlier this week Premier Mark McGowan indicated he would still pursue a zero-COVID strategy even when vaccination rates reach 70 to 80 percent.

But Josh Frydenberg told Gareth Parker states need to balance restrictions with economic and social impacts.

“They have signed up to a national plan, and that plan very clearly says if vaccination rates are 70 and 80 per cent, in their words, stringent lockdowns become unlikely,” he said.

“We have to give our public hope, that there is going to be an easing of restrictions, that we are going to get back to living with the virus in a very COVID-safe way.

“We can’t avoid the hard discussions that living with the virus means that there will be deaths, it means that there will be serious illness.

“We can’t live in a lockdown mentality forever, we can’t live with state borders forever, we have to at some point live with the virus.”

He said once the country reaches its vaccination targets, Commonwealth funding will be significantly reduced.

“There should be no expectation from any state or territory that the Commonwealth’s significant emergency economic support will continue as it is today, at the same scale, when we get to those 70 and 80 per cent targets.

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Gareth Parker
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