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With lockdowns set to ease, Frydenberg talks up rapid rebound


Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is confident Australia’s economy will bounce back from crippling COVID-19 lockdowns as NSW prepares to ease restrictions.

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Lockdown is on track to end for the fully vaccinated from Monday after NSW reached a 70 per cent full vaccination rate for people aged 16 and older.

“If you have the jab, as so many people in NSW have had … you will get your freedoms back,” the federal treasurer told the Seven Network on Thursday.

“As for the economy, we are confident it will bounce back as it has done before when we have gone into lockdowns.

“The Delta strain has delayed but not derailed the economic recovery.”

The ACT is close behind NSW on double-dose rates, with more than 68 per cent fully vaccinated according to federal data.

Victoria’s full vaccination rate is about 54 per cent.

Tasmania has double-dosed about 62 per cent of its over-16 population, the Northern Territory 54 per cent and South Australia 52 per cent.

A national agreement has set an 80 per cent vaccination rate as a major milestone to restore a range of freedoms.

But concerns remain about lagging jab rates in parts of the country that have avoided major coronavirus outbreaks.

Western Australia and Queensland both have double-dose rates sitting just below 50 per cent.

Health Minister Greg Hunt stressed the best protection was for people in those states to join the effort.

Senior cabinet minister Simon Birmingham emphasised there was no reason to wait for a vaccination.

Victoria reported 1420 new local cases of COVID-19 and 11 deaths on Wednesday.

Infections continued to fall in NSW, which recorded 594 cases, as well as 10 deaths.

Another person died in the ACT, while a baby at a Canberra hospital was among 28 new cases.

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