Australia politics live update: Pauline Hanson introduces ‘vaccine discrimination’ bill; 1,029 Covid cases in Victoria

This is this is actually about making sure that we keep all Australians together through the process of finalising our responses to Covid-19. We’ve done so well as a country through 2020 and 2021. Estimates show that the national response to Covid has saved in excess of 30,000 lives, from closing our international borders to the work that we’ve done with states and territories right across the country – Labor and Liberal have all done – have saved tens of thousands of Australian lives.

They’ve also, from our economic responses such as jobkeeper and other policies, saved many thousands of Australian businesses and hundreds of thousands of Australian jobs – estimates of more than 700,000 jobs being saved through our national responses to the pandemic.

The vaccine rates across this country now are some of the highest in the world – 91% first vax, in excess of 85% now second-dose vaccination. These are world leading rates and now should give us confidence to try to move together as united as possible into the next stages, which the prime minister will further outline today in terms of opening our international borders – as we’ve been doing safely and progressively – to fully vaccinated international students and essential workers coming back to our country.

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