Modelling: Berejiklian to deliver death for Christmas

Don’t blame me, I’m just the messenger:

Modelling by a new scientific lobby group projects that NSW’s road map to reopening may lead to all the state’s intensive care unit beds being full for five weeks over Christmas and almost 1000 people dying from COVID-19.

The modelling is the first release from OzSAGE, a group of high-profile scientists who have come together to call for Australia to change course on reopening.

OzSAGE’s membership includes some of Australia’s best-known scientists including leading epidemiologist Tony Blakely, Burnet Institute head Brendan Crabb, the Grattan Institute’s Stephen Duckett, the Kirby Institute’s biosecurity program head Raina MacIntyre and ANU vice-chancellor and Nobel-prize winning astronomer Brian Schmidt.

It strongly advocates for Australia to achieve COVID-19 “elimination”, similar to polio or measles, in which there is no sustained community transmission and outbreaks are rare.

Of course, Gladys has it sorted:

At Sunday’s press conference, the Premier declared she would face the cameras again “when I feel I need to be accountable”.

Four minutes later, the press conference was cut short and Gladys Berejiklian left.

You go, girl.

Houses and Holes
Latest posts by Houses and Holes (see all)


  1. “when I feel I need to be accountable”.

    At least that means I won’t have to see her ugly mug again.

    • Premier Gladys Bodybag’s performance was of Olympic standard
      The backward forward sommersault, with twist.
      Highly commendable.

  2. SnappedUpSavvyMEMBER

    “It strongly advocates for Australia to achieve COVID-19 “elimination”, similar to polio or measles, in which there is no sustained community transmission and outbreaks are rare.”

    how? these are supposedly smart people right

      • People transporting flight crew and passengers to hotels while not wearing masks! Not mandating mask wearing until you have over twenty cases in the city! Waiting until you had over 100 cases in the community before putting QR codes in all businesses (while other cities had them since early in the year or longer). With that ineptitude NSW was lucky to have lasted this long.

          • No but, they didn’t infect NSW either.

            Edit: They should have slammed the border shut ASAP but, without federal support this was always going happen. There’s too much traffic between NSW and Victoria

    • It’s more than a fair question. what we are talking about here is a lobby for a policy position with
      – significant long term economic and social impacts
      – which no other nation has achieved and only one is attempting to achieve; and
      – other expert opinions clearly oppose it. Who is seriously advocating that a CVOID style virus with its current variants can be eliminated like polio? Prof Sarah Gilbert seemed quite clear in her recent interviews that such a strategy is simply no longer possible.

      So on that basis, the onus is 100% on the authors to;

      – outline exactly how that should be achieved (pretty element critical element given that even full VIC lockdowns can’t control the current spread….)
      – what the costs/benefit outcomes are expected to be vs other creditable alternatives; and
      – do so across a number of key metrics (as uncomfortable as it is , COVID illness and death is not the only metric).

      Now I have not personally read through the detail, like almost all others, I’m just responding to the reported conclusion. The problem is not you or I, it’s that those whom are paid to or at least ought to be interested in that detail couldn’t care less. They have clicks to generate, a daily twitter virtue count to reach or a lobby groups expectations to meet.

      It should be noted that the same onus applies to MB here, “Death for Christmas” is a great headline for your business model but simply posting up the conclusions from this ‘study’ with no other analysis and that headline implies full endorsement of the conclusions without addressing any of the above points. Though if the whole point is just a NSW LNP rant then I guess that detail doesn’t really matter….

      • I would say the onus is actually on the person who let COVID into the country, and is asking the community to “live with it” not the other way around. At this point anyone who opposes in particular the NSW government’s position is probably more correct than not.

      • BB_AU They look like an evidence based group of scientists ensuring independent scientific scrutiny of the government plan is given some airtime.

        Our Aims

        be an additional resource for federal and state governments, opposition, business, community and non-government agencies in Australia.

        formulate independent advice on public health, health systems and other policy matters relevant to COVID-19 control, with diverse and multidisciplinary perspectives.

        provide decision support, underpinned by the best scientific evidence, modelling and other research, to inform the choice between policy alternatives.

        provide rapid advice during urgent public health events.

        assist with the safe opening up of Australia.

        We are guided by the values of respect, diversity and inclusion, justice, equity, transparency, authenticity, compassion and solidarity. We use the precautionary principle, ethics, use of real-world examples and understand that recommendations may change over time as evidence or needs change.

    • run to the hillsMEMBER

      That Professor Raina McIntyre is the biggest panic merchant of the lot, ABC news breakfast trot her out every few weeks to renew the fear campaign, if she had her way we’d be locked down for eternity. As heartless as it sounds, in the long run a temporary collapse of the health system is better than a permanent collapse of the economy. My view is Gladys and Scomo have come to this realisation and the question will be how many deaths can the voting public stomach.

  3. Read Leigh Sales today.
    I’m blocked by 3 of the OzSage people. Not for being rude but for daring to question them 18 months ago on lockdown effects versus lives saved including the typical lives saved.
    They are a dangerous group. You are the messenger for a dangerous group.

    • Why because you asked them a question and they didnt want to answer? That would make a lot of people members of a dangerous group….

    • This peak of cases now must be from the peak predicted peak last Xmas when there was going to be all that super spreading at the cricket. It was going to be a catastrophe 8 months ago.
      It is good that there is no scrutiny of any of the accuracy of these guy’s previous predictions or statements.

      • You are correct. 3000 cases per day by January 8 that did not get even close. Any accountability on that wild statement? No. Why is it that we focus on the doomsday modelling rather than models that are more positive? Fear sells and the fearful are more likely to believe the worst case scenario.

      • Still waiting for all those super spreader cases from the gathering of ISIS sympathising horse punchers. If there was a way to genetically link a fart to one of those events it would have been front page news for days……. alas??? crickets?

    • Let me guess – your concerns are for mental health?

      Interesting how the ‘let it rip’ brigade are soooo concerned all of a sudden about mental health issues.

      • I know. Last year I was asking why the party of Robodebt suddenly started caring about people’s mental health. Then I realised they’re concerned about the mental health of those poor Liberal voters who are doing it tough in their mansions with the pools and backyard tennis courts.

    • reusachtigeMEMBER

      I think he is the messenger of this totalitarian rubbish because he has become one of the chicken sh1ts it would seem by the general decay in his tone around all this, unlike his partner who has become a bit more circumspect.

      • What about the “general decay” in your tone? I remember when you used to be funny all the time.
        PS: There is a legitimate concern that some leaders are telling us they are protecting “freedoms” while they are in fact forcing us into choosing a less optimal path. We do need to hear more than one set of opinions on this.

  4. It strongly advocates for Australia to achieve COVID-19 “elimination”, similar to polio or measles, in which there is no sustained community transmission and outbreaks are rare.

    Welcome to South North Korea Comrades.

    Honestly, I would be OK with that if the government paid my mortgage, my kids education, living expenses and retirement savings and medical care. In other words, if never have to worry about money again, I can spend what is in my bank account on Friday, knowing it will be replenished on Monday without fail.

    But that is not the world I currently inhabit. Elimination, for me, thus far has meant effectively working for 9 out of the last 18 months. When someone is going to pay my way in the world beyond poverty level handouts, then I might consider elimination as a way forward.
    The ivory tower epidemiologists who haven’t lost a days pay have totally lost touch with the population. Residents of Sydney and Melbourne are voting, literally with their feet and going about their business as usual, despite restrictions. The population is over it. People know the government does not have their back financially. Workers need to work, to pay for their families.

    Elimination is nothing but a flight of fancy.

    • People know the government does not have their back financially

      Take that up with your federal member. And your state member in NSW.

      • Now that’s one nasty image, our Bin Chicken screwing the pooch!
        I’m beginning to see why Covid lockdown is such a serious mental health issue. Recurring images like that would have even the toughest street mf’er self medicating.
        Nasty stuff, yuck!

      • It would have got in. The only better outcome would be if it was delayed until we had a higher vaccination rate. Although I really wonder how easy it would be to get the vax rates up in a zerocovid environment.

        As for the deaths, they will be people who refused to get vaccinated. Should we all continue to live in an island prison because these people refused to take their medicine.

        Your disregard for the cost of these restrictions is obvious and troubling.

        • Don’t agree with this. Someone serious about elimination could easily engineer a system to do it. It doesn’t have to be high tech either (see Howard Springs). The cost of even a luxurious version of this is easily dwarfed by the ongoing costs of COVID in our communities. With enough controls in a central place you could reduce the effective probability of spread to almost zero (vaccines, decontamination borders, open air cabins, etc)

          Its just proper risk management. I would say its more “inevitable” that a variant comes that forces us back into lock down especially if we open up. That’s a risk that’s impossible to cater for operationally in advance.

          Although the point may be made that the cost to doing that now that Gladys/Scomo have let it in is exponentially higher – the cat’s been let out of the bag.

          • How does howard springs stop flight crew from sydney airpotr infecting people?(The actual infection vector of this outbreak)

          • Most outbreaks have come from hotel quarantine – so AKs point is reasonable. Bondi not so but, not mandating mask wearing for those driving the fight crew/passengers is nothing less than flat out incompetence. NSW and Victoria are paying for it now.

          • Well in the long term is does on a number of levels.

            – Flight crew should technically never associate with anyone within Australia unless there is a bubble/PPE/etc. Quarantine is all about protecting Australian soil – no one should pass through it unless they’ve been through the process. Any worker stepping into the other side without right gear must also quarantine which should be actively avoided. This is what quarantine is about. People see flight crew as a reason why quarantine can’t work – I argue they weren’t quarantined at all hence the mess. They were an exemption to it.

            – On Sydney Airport: If this is the main way people come and go the model of CBD airports will also become less relevant over time – why use Sydney Airport at all? In fact landing potentially infectious people in the heart of a population centre is silly in a post COVID world. Remember airports are things that are mostly noisy, polluting things that usually benefit a small higher demographic of the community with the negative externalities paid by everyone else (noise, water table pollution, smog, etc etc). Instead locate international fights at out of city airports with a large strip (e.g. QLD has it right with the Wellcamp Airport in Toomwoomba IMO). The people who move there will do so because of the industry and the “danger money” – the rest of us who didn’t sign up for that don’t need to take it. Knock two birds with one stone.

            – Because it is remote and all incoming passengers must hit the quarantine zone

            TL;DR: A buffer “territory/country” that takes the COVID hit so we don’t have to. Will be cheaper than lockdown too, and probably pay for itself since people will want to move here, do things here.

            What I’m thinking is a more FIFO model for running these things – you shouldn’t be crossing the zone on a day to day basis without strict medical controls. It means big changes, however doing all of this (even building a whole new airport in a remote town/area) is MUCH smaller than the cost of COVID or another lockdown if a variant comes along. If it preserves all our freedoms great; and if it allows some higher paid jobs for medical staff willing to work the border its a WIN WIN.

    • If it’s possible to get an Reff less then it’s possible to eliminate. And if NSW has a drop that can be sustained for more than about a week, it’s possible to have an Reff less than one.

  5. Go for elimination of a virus which no one outside of NZ is considering because it’s unrealistic and you have a proven working vaccine available. Where is their modeling as per Cameron Murray re costs and benefits?
    The onus is on the people who suggest locking everyone up and stopping kids going to school is a good policy.

    • They have modeled that this modeling will provide them very good profile and assist in their further career development.

      The burgeoning field of Demographics provides evidence to back this up, just ask Bernard Salt and Dr Demography.

  6. “almost 1000 people dying from COVID-19.”

    In other words, the number of people dying with Covid in Australia in 2021 will be approximately the same as in 2020. It’s a tragedy for this small number of people (0.01% of the population) and their families, but not exactly an end-of-the-world scenario.

  7. Pathetic Gladys. At least Dan fronted the media, held firm throughout the Inquiry and saw it out.
    ‘when I feel I need to be accountable’ is just about the most weasely excuse I’ve ever heard. Pathetic.

    • Nor for or against Glady’s actions here, but I will say that simultaneous collective amnesia of VICs senior public servants under oath with essentially zero personal accountability or consequence after the fact most certainly fits the bill of ‘pathetic’ in my books.

      • Yep, bulwark around Dan and others, only Eccles was left exposed as the fall guy. But all that is not my point, Dan fronted every day, Gladys has run away.

        • Granted, not a good look though to be honest most people I knew tuned out anyway, there was no new information to be gathered most days that could not have done in 3 tweets. Covid news does not have the impact it did during the early VIC days. The most value was being extracted by the press gallery feeding frenzy, without that daily conference most of them are going to have to scroll around twitter for 2 hours to find an offensive post with 8 likes to write about.

      • But in hindsight the failures and incompetence of hotel quarantine (ongoing, not fit for purpose), pale in comparison to the NSW errors- an unmasked unvaxed limo driver taking the piss. Then the let it rip approach to containment of the breach. Pathetic.

  8. What Gladys does not address (nor the Let-it-Rip brigade) is the effect on opening with no children under 12 vaccinated, and seemingly no plan, not even the safe air plan that Vic has, let alone bubbles as the UK had.

    “As schools re-open in October 2021 over 1000 daily cases in the community are likely, and if restrictions are relaxed there will be full classrooms and a high level of mixing amongst children. This is a warning of impact on a much larger scale when schools re-open with widespread epidemic activity and most children unvaccinated. A recent Center for Diseases Control (USA)  study predicts that 75% of school-children would get infected in three months in the absence of vaccines and masks.

    “We can see what is likely to happen in Australia by looking overseas, to places where schools have already reopened with substantial community transmission. For instance, in Florida schools were “drowning” in cases within one week of starting term. In California, one case study showed an attack rate (number of students infected) of 50% in one affected classroom.

    “In England the delta variant took hold during May 2021. English schools took a cautious approach, placing school children in “bubbles” – groups which did not mix. After school, children were required to go directly home and not be in contact with anyone else. Nonetheless, within three months, more children were getting infected than ever before. Cases in July 2021 were around double the previous worst month of December 2020.”

    Ultimately, vaccination of children will be needed to fully control SARS-CoV-2, or it will become a pandemic of the young, with unknown but likely significant long-term health effects. New research has found that one in seven infected children may go on to develop “long covid”, a debilitating illness which can impact patients for years.This is an important area where more research is required given the potential for suffering and long term burden of disease and healthcare costs.

    “In addition to serious outbreaks of Delta in schools, new data shows children 0–3 years of age transmit virus to adults more than older children do, challenging outdated theories that children do not contribute to transmission.

    • Yep the lack of clarity and transparency around kids is poor form. As I said on another thread we have 11 &13yr daughters roughly the same size & weight (13yr old is a lightweight for her age). Both very healthy. I feel like we are going to be some sort of experiment on Long COVID v Long Vaccine.

      • Yep. From the NSW govt’s own report:

        “The higher transmission in schools and ECECs, and risk across the wider community, has made stay-at-home learning necessary for most children during the current epidemic period, while we work to achieve higher levels of vaccination rates among school and early childhood staff, and the adult population more generally.”  

        So what has changed for kids under 12 to warrant opening up child care centres and a return to the classroom?


      • Would you prefer your daughters miss the entirety of their high school education?
        WE are at the point some kids have missed a third of it.

        • Not sure your point Joe – if it makes sense for my 13yr old to be vaccinated then why not my 11yr old given they are the same size/weight and have the same chance of catching it? If it makes sense for my 11yr old not to be vaccinated then why do I need to vaccinate my 13yr old?
          All I’m asking is a bit of transparency with the risks/benefits to both the individuals & community as a whole..

          • Determining those risks takes years of data that doesn’t exist for these, and is why new medical treatments are not in widespread use a year after they are made…

        • No chance of anyone missing high school when most kids start high after their 12th birthday, the one that lets them get vaxxed.

          • Because he was 11 years old and therefore ineligible for a vaccine that has been available to 12 year olds over the entire time he’s been missing school?

          • Joe make sure the kids get to school pronto, Covid has been around in Australia since March 2020. No Child has missed a third of their high school education. None will. Just as many kids have prospered at home as have struggled.

            It is what it is.

    • Arthur Schopenhauer

      There’s also no plan to address the basics, like classroom ventilation, let alone the capacity to implement a plan.

      How a society treats it’s children, is very telling.

    • That’s beside the point! Merdejiklian has got no children.
      Now it’s only the business acumen that matters. Move on!

  9. Brian Schmidt is an astronomer. WTF is he doing with this mob? He’s clearly a smart bloke but this is outside his lane. Classic appeal to irrelevant authority.

  10. Display NameMEMBER

    I suspect it is inevitable that the susceptible will be culled by Delta in the near future. People are not going to put up with much more lockdown, the vaccines do not stop transmission, some mutations such as the SA one have animal (rodent) reservoirs, its here to stay. I suspect that the rate of vaccination will slow and we are unlikely to achieve 80% of the whole population, and possibly not 80% of the over 16s. And given we have less than 50% of the hospital beds (ordinary and ICU) on a per capita basis compared to US, the triage where people are sent home to die, sorry get better, will continue.

  11. “I suspect it is inevitable that the susceptible will be culled by Delta in the near future”

    As Delta is being described as the variant of the young, and we’re not vaccinating under 12s of whom one in 7 will get Long Covid, we seem happy to play Russian Roulette with our future generation (the ones who”ll be looking after today’s generation in a few years, supposedly.)

      • Genuine question. 1 child under 19 has died in Australia from CV-19 but millions of children have missed parts of their education, social engagement, exercise outcomes etc.

        Is saving a few children more important than the overall outcome for millions?

        As a side comment, there is no right or wrong answer here, it’s just interesting to see where you land on the spectrum of opinions.

    • What’s the clinical definition of “long COVID”? Can you please update the regular scientific contributors to peer reviewed journals because they haven’t got the memo yet.

      • As this is a pernicious request I suggest you do your own research.

        Also surmise that your ‘concern’ for the missing parts of kids’ education, social engagement, exercise outcomes etc is as contrived as your ‘request’.

  12. reusachtigeMEMBER

    Those idiot commie totalitarian loving scientists can fark right off! Gawd I hate intellectuals. I guess they’re all at a good age to succumb to this anyway hence their need to impose hell on the healthy.

    • Are you primed for next weekend? I heard Waverley council has you on retainer for #yonisunning in order to clear the beaches.

  13. Your average Australian just wants to ‘Live there Life’.

    But the arrogance and selfishness coming out of NSW is unbelievable.

    The Boomers basically sold the young out to die and you can pretty much guarantee that the young will sell the Boomers out to die to return the favour.

    Millions of dollars spent in Australia from people relocating and not one assassination attempt on the people who made it happen.

    Aussies are so nice. We take it up the a$$ with a smile.