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Victorian Labor MPs must back the COVID-19 National Plan

Victorian Federal Labor MPs representing the Corio, Corangamite, Ballarat and Bendigo electorates must back the four phase COVID-19 National Plan which will keep Victorians safe, end lockdowns and reopen our borders through phased vaccination and management of Covid-19.

The National Plan is based on the best possible scientific, medical and economic advice available to any government in the world.

As the Prime Minister has reiterated, federal and state leaders agreed on Australia’s COVID-19 reopening plan “on three occasions”.  This included the Victorian Government.

As I stated in a speech in Parliament today, I am most concerned that Premier Daniel Andrews has failed to guarantee he will stick with the National Plan, after confirming that he won’t impose a state-wide lockdown at 70 and 80 per cent vaccination rates “unless it was advised.”

So many Victorians have endured more than 200 days in lockdown. So many Victorians have suffered.  Enough is enough.

On the current national vaccination rate of some 1.8 million doses a week, 70 per cent of Victorians aged over 16 will be vaccinated by late September, with the 80 per cent vaccination rate to be reached by mid-October.

Doherty Institute modelling highlights once we achieve 70%-80% vaccination we will see less transmission of COVID-19 and fewer people with severe illness, and therefore fewer hospitalisations and deaths.

Zero COVID is no longer the goal once you have 70 to 80 per cent of people vaccinated.  Whether you start at 30 cases or 800 cases you can still open up safely. This level of vaccination will make it easier to live with the virus, as we do with other viruses such as the flu.

Labor agreed to the National Plan and it needs to stick to the plan, not stand in the way of it.

24 August 2021

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