Deputy Premier John Barilaro made the statement after NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian revealed a new three-step plan to ending the lockdowns that includes 70% of the population receiving both doses of a vaccine. Barilaro said, according to Sky News:
"A further and final message to regional New South Wales ... that parts of regional New South Wales that are currently open. The 70 per cent road map does apply to the whole state so there will be individuals in regional and rural New South Wales who choose not to be vaccinated who will lose their freedoms on 11 October."As Sky News reported, some areas of NSW are not under stay-at-home orders, which allows the unvaccinated to move about almost freely. But starting October 11, when the state expects it will reach 70% fully vaccinated, only those who are fully vaccinated will be freed from the lockdowns.
Barilaro also thanked those who had already been vaccinated and implored the unvaccinated to go get the shot. Barilaro said:
"We are seeing vaccination rates climb right across the state including in the regions. I am very proud of that. Thank you to those regional communities. We have a number of walk-in clinics without bookings right across the state, with Moderna coming online and the additional Pfizer supply and AstraZeneca in abundance there is no excuse in rural and regional New South Wales not to get vaccinated."As The Daily Wire has reported, Australia has been under some of the world's most extreme lockdown measures in response to the pandemic even though the entire continent has had just 101,000 cases and just over 1,200 deaths. That puts the continent on par with Alaska as far as cases go and Washington, D.C., in relation to deaths.
Sydney, the capital of NSW, enjoined the local military to help enforce its lockdown measures in late July. Reuters reported at the time:
"Residents there will be forced to wear masks outdoors and to stay within five km (three miles) of their homes. With even tighter restrictions set to begin on Friday, New South Wales Police said it had asked for 300 military personnel to help enforce lockdown orders."When the military was deployed, Sydney residents were only allowed to leave their homes to exercise, to work if their jobs were deemed "essential," to seek medical care, or to shop for necessities like food. At the time, the Australian Lawyers' Alliance released a statement blasting the lockdown measures:
Calling on the Australian Defence Force to enforce lock down rules in Sydney virus hot spots sets a dangerous precedent so the role of defence force personnel must be clearly defined, says the Australian Lawyers Alliance (ALA). Mr. Greg Barns SC, spokesperson for the ALA, said:The reason for the lockdowns is Australia's impossible goal of "COVID-zero," or a full period without a single infection. Since the lockdowns were put in place, thousands of Australians have protested for their freedom, with hundreds getting arrested."The government must urgently explain the nature of the request to the defence force and outline what defence force personnel will be doing to help manage the response to the virus."We understand that public health emergencies require the government to take extraordinary measures but using the military to enforce local laws sets a dangerous precedent. Using the defence force to ensure compliance by Australians or to deter civil disobedience is a concerning use of our armed forces. The role of any police or enforcement agencies should be help meet the needs of residents so they don't have to break the rules."