What is a model?
Models are combinations of variables about particular issues which can inform the community as to perceived outcomes when the variables are applied in a particular combination.
Some variables are know from collected data, whilst some data isn’t known but a variable can still be assigned because we know at particular levels that variable may have a significant effect on the outcome of a model.
The model therefore is a dynamic beast, able to be changed easily in light of new data and observed outcomes.
So in the case of Covid 19, a novel virus which has been with us (the World) since December 2019 we have an enormous data set of the original strain of the virus.
Transmissibility is a variable expressed as an R function,
That can then be applied to a population and a number of infected people and how many people they infect be ascertained.
From that and Data we can then see the hospitalisation rate, the ICU rate and the death rate. These are outcomes.
Another variable into the model is the existing Hospital capacity, how much it is being utilised for a plethora of other diseases and Physical ailments and usage of those facilities. The outcome of these variables coupled with the infection rate will inform us as to the likely effect that a serious outbreak will have on other Health issues.
New strains of the virus and their transmission rate can be adjusted by the Variable R. Which also takes into account the Age ranges who are most affected by the Virus.
So the model is dynamic and changing as new data comes in.
As well as the Data on infection rates and severity of health outcomes (by Age range) there is also the issue of long Covid and the opportunity cost of Health if the existing Health facilities such as Hospital beds, ICU beds and surge capacity be used. Also the issue of Staff and their usage and their infection rate and being furloughed.
So a whole lot of variables.
In effect the model enables the health scientist to put hypothetical cases to the model. To test the model and also to have some idea as to likely outcomes. The better the data and how extensive data is which goes into the model the better the output.
Other variables in the model
There are other variables which are also pertinent to the model and how we respond to this virus. These variables are the health and Social measures taken by Chief health officers to combat the outbreaks.
These measures are based on a simple assumption. That the virus transmits itself between hosts by social mingling in a variety of settings.
So the best way to beat it is for everyone to maintain a distance in their own bubble for the length of the infectious period of the virus. ie Total Isolation.
However that is not the best response in terms of living and working in our society. Various State Governments and Territories have had a set of graduated responses to the virus and what to restrictions ask their citizens to adhere to.
Including and by mixing them in groups toward full isolation.
1/ Mask wearing
2/ Social distancing
3/ Staying home and only leaving for 5 reasons
4/ When leaving for those 5 reasons staying within 5 kms of your home
5/ Not doing anything during those 5 reasons which is not specified in the 5 reasons.
6/ Curfew at home between certain times.
7/ Only essential workers working and special protocols in place at their work places
8/ Closure of Pubs and clubs
9/ Closure of restaurants
10/ Total Lockdown.
So these measures are also a variable which can be quantified.
Another variable is the TTIQ (Test Trace, isolate and Quarantine) which also has an effect on the spread of the Virus. The idea of Contact tracing is to find out from infected persons, where they have been and then trace others who have been in these places at the same time, to have them tested and then to isolate until a negative test is returned and/or to isolate for 14 days in the case of Primary contact.
Another variable is the vaccination of the population and at what proportion.
Coupled with this are the characteristics of the people who have been vaccinated. Do they still carry the Virus? Are they still transmitters? Are they still able to get sick with the virus and how bad is their illness.
Does the Doherty model do all of this?
The answer is I don’t know. But I suspect that the professionals at that institute built a pretty robust model.
The Executive summary says the following.
Stated objectives of the immunisation program enabling the transition to Phase B are to
constrain severe outcomes within clinical capacity and reduce the intensity and length of
requirement for socially and economically impactful public health and social measures.
On page 12 of the Doherty report it says the objectives of the modelling were to.
Objectives of the immunisation strategy to enable a transition from Phases A to B are:
1. Minimisation of moderate and severe health outcomes, defined as all identified cases leading to
workforce absenteeism as well as that subset resulting in hospitalisation, intensive care
requirement and death (to be constrained within national capacity for hospital ward and ICU
2. Reduction of the intensity and length of application of socially and economically disruptive public
health and social measures, which are currently the primary means of reducing transmission.
Ongoing ‘light’ restrictions will likely be needed to augment vaccine impacts, but lockdowns
would be deemed unlikely.
So the Objective of the strategy is to meet a Government target.
Following the Outbreaks of Mers and Sars and the number and seriousness of Novel Viruses in the last 20 years one would have expected a model to have been constructed along the lines that Doherty have done, with all the variables already in place to put the hypotheses in place and test that hypotheses with the model.
In effect what the Government is saying the model says is that at 70% of the eligible population vaccinated (fully vaccinated) then it would be safe to open up the economy.
This is a very poor misrepresentation of Science. What the model is actually doing is saying that at 70% vaccination rate, the expected transmission of the virus is
In a tweet at 8.31pm on Aug 23 2021. The Doherty institute said.
In the COVID-19 modelling, opening up at 70% vaccine coverage of the adult population with partial public health measures, we predict 385,983 symptomatic cases and 1,457 deaths over six months.
Their next tweet in the thread (at the same time) said
With optimal public health measures (and no lockdowns), this can be significantly reduced to 2,737 infections and 13 deaths. We’ve learned from watching countries that have removed all restrictions that there is no ‘freedom day’.
The link to these tweets is here.
So the Doherty institute have done their scientific thing, placed the variables in the model and come up with two difference scenarios.
The point about this is that the decision as to whether to open up is not theirs, it is the governments. The real Question is one of how much illness and death are the government willing to trade off for opening up.
That is a political and Ideological decision not a scientific one.
So now we move onto the maths of the 70%.
What does it mean?
Well 70% of the 2016 census population is explained by two methodologies in the Spreadsheet. At rows A78 to A85.
As you can see this calculation is the difference between 857,745 persons in the eligible category not vaccinated if you use 70% of the whole population and 1,828,174 persons in the eligible category not vaccinated if you use 70% of the eligible population.
I have used the Second method.
Using this method it gives the following figure for those in the total population unvaccinated at 70% vaccination. 10,075,789 or 43.06% unvaccinated. This includes all children below aged 15.
(I think I forgot this as a variable as well Age of eligibility as well as availability of vaccines.)
I have also done another calculation which may be of interest to you in the email and who Gladys Berejiklian claims to have been vaccinated and their proportion in the eligible population of new South Wales.
The Number fully vaccinated at 70% means 8,531,480 vaccinations in arms. Different than the 6,000,000 Gladys is claiming.
70% of NSW’s eligible for jab is actually 57.03% of the Total population of NSW.
70% of Australian’s eligible for jab is actually 56.94% of the Total population
What the Doherty model actually does is look at a range of variables which when placed in a Hypothetical way to the model will output a result. In this case being a number of infections and deaths with the major variable being the health measures applied.
Those results are then for decisions by government and their respective chief health officers to weigh up the Infection/death levels they are willing to accept (or the community is willing to accept having been explained the circumstances) and how much the economic cost is going to be under each scenario.
In effect the Health/Pandemic Modelling by Doherty will then be plugged into the Federal Government’s ideological/Economic Model to make a decision about opening up at 70% or 80%.
The choice of the Punter in the street is whether they believe that the economic model has the robustness to stand up to Scientific peer review and then whether the conclusions made by the Federal government accord with their Ideological and economic ideas and ideals.
Wining an Election is about as difficult as it gets.
It’s a hell of an exercise to convince the majority of people in a population of 14,253,393 voters nationally to vote for your party. Then that is broken down into 151 Electorates. So each of the Parties have to win in those electorates as well.
As we know there are two Major groups, consisting of four party groups.
The Nationals and
The Liberal National Party in Queensland.
In the 2019 Election the Proportion of First preferences of the National vote was as follows. (House of Representatives).
Labor Party.................................... 33.34% Won 68 Seats
Liberal Party.................................. 27.99% Won 44 Seats
The Nationals................................ 4.51% Won 10 Seats
The LNP......................................... 8.67% Won 23 Seats
Coalition vote............................... 41.17% Won 77 Seats.
The Minor Parties,
The Greens................................. 10.4% Won 1 seat
Katter Australia Party............................ 0.49% Won 1 Seat
Other Independents.............................. 3.37% Won 4 seats
The reason the Greens Won 10.4% of the National vote and only 1 seat compared to the Nationals who won 4.51% of the national vote and won 10 seats is because the election is determined over 151 seats. NOT on National Vote.
In the 2019 election and all elections.
Here are some of the ingredients they need to win.
1/ A plan to win.
Plans in Politics are called policies. In an analysis I did after the 2019 Election I counted the policies Labor took to the Election. There were 173. The Liberals took 36 and the Greens took 9.
See my analysis here.
Did the Labor party take too many policies to the election?
Many people said that Labor took to many policies to the Election in 2019. They had a strategy of telling the public their plans early and they were all fully costed.
Personally, I think it was a good and correct idea for this reason.
I want to know the ALP’s vision for Australia in detail, where we are going as a Nation and where my family will be situated when I am gone. Hopefully in a much better place than we are in now.
I asked myself if I could get that vision from the Liberal Party/Coalition 36 policies? The answer was NO I couldn’t
I didn’t trust the small government approach that the liberals take to governing, the cutting of Taxes, the Broad Church Rhetoric (Which means nothing) and the small Government they like. All it does is make less money available for services and the means of delivering them (Public service jobs).
A classic example is the Failure of Australia’s Quarantine system, which is a Federal Government responsibility and the ability to protect the population by suitable planning and administration to protect Australians from harm. The utter and abject failure of the vaccine roll out comes to mind in this regard.
There is another point I would like to make here also and that is the policy is there for all to see. Do you remember Tony Abbott’s promises of No changes to Pensions? And No cuts to the ABC?
He lied and cut funding to the ABC.
He lied and reduced pensions by fiddling with the allowable assets. Modelling I did showed that 400,000 pensioners were reduced to living under the poverty line by his cuts. That was in a population that it was estimated 17% of were already living under the poverty line.
2/ A comprehensive messaging strategy to explain the plan
I won’t say that the ALP were an abject failure here, because they were honest in the presentation of their Fully costed plans.
What they came up against was a hostile Press in the form of News Limited and all its penetration in Australia, A clever but devious campaign by marketing professionals who saturated social media with scathing and untrue memes about Labor’s policies and a clever and unprovable slight that “No one liked Bill Shorten”. Clever and believable lies about Labor being a high taxing Party based on policies which aimed at reducing welfare for the wealthy.
I remember being in the playground many years ago when a boy who didn’t like me said tantamount to the same thing as they made up about Shorten. “No one in the playground likes you” saturation coverage worked well for the Coalition and I am sure affected the way people voted.
On polling day I sat in the after party in my electorate and watched the loss. When it was apparent that Labor wasn’t going to win. A lady I didn’t know from a bar of soap turned around and said to me. “I knew it, we lost because no one likes Bill Shorten” I responded “Why do you think no one likes Bill Shorten?” She said “Ask anyone in the room they will all tell you that” So it worked, even on Labor voters. Say something often enough and people will believe it.
Of course political messaging is much more subtle than that and the Liberal party are brilliant at it. They have everyone believing that the union movement is populated with thugs. They even had a Royal Commission about it which found scant evidence but they were able to drag Julia Gillard and Bill Shorten up to give evidence about their imagined misdemeanors.
90 matters were referred to Police and the Fair Work authorities in various States and to date only one of them has gone to court. No one has been jailed and the man who was Commissioner disappeared from Public life after allegations were made against him by several women.
So developing a set of policies and then selling them to a huge public is a really hard thing to do, especially when the press decide to repeat the lies of the Coalition.
The biggest lie told was that the Labor party wanted to Tax people and the Federal Treasurer made up an amount of billions of dollars. Because the press repeated these lies in the Newspapers and on the Television people believed them. They also believed the lies the Coalition continually tell about climate change and the denial of climate change.
So let’s now come to the current day and changes to policy that the Labor party took to the last election.
Not only do we have a worsening climate change situation because of the denials of the Coalition sceptics, we have a largely hidden financial position which an incoming Labor Government would have to deal with.
Much of the dealings of this government (Since 2013) have been cloaked in secrecy and double dealing and so it is very difficult for the person on the street to have an appreciation of what is really going on.
Remember when the Coalition talked in grand terms about “Debt and Deficit” and went on and on about it until everyone believed them?
Well I want to share with you how bad the Coalition are at spending your money and how much of it they have spent in the last 8 years (The Bits that I can find).
Before you read this bear in mind that this is what an incoming Labor Government will have to face before they actually start delivering their fully costed plan for Australia. Bear in mind also that this Coalition believes in small government and not providing service for people, so they give taxes back to the people and then can’t deliver services people need.
They don’t collect the tax that they should and so cut pensions and welfare and the NDIS. Because of their philosophy, their ideology, their meanness and their greed.
Here is a List of Coalition Financial Failures in the Last 7 years.
1/ Failure to Balance the budget over the last 6 years coupled with the failure to collect the correct amount of Tax from Corporate entities.
The facts of this are set out in detail in this Analysis
I added up that they have had cumulative deficits of $174.5 Billion between 2013-4 and 2018-19.
If they had collected 30% of Tax on 20% of gross income (Like BHP/Billiton, Fortescue metals and Hancock mining pay) then that deficit would have become a surplus over that period of $166.8 Billion.
Some Money Managers.
2/ Profligate (a great word which means “recklessly extravagant or wasteful in the use of resources”) spending in the Tenders let complete government work.
Since 2013 when they came to power the Coalition Government have let 485,029 contracts worth a whopping $422.6 Billion. See the Evidence below.
3/ Profligate grants rorting.
This is a difficult area to find the data on before the 1st Jan 2018, because it is held on individual Departmental sites, BUT since 1 Jan 2018, when the Government placed all grants awarded on a central Portal called GrantConnect They have awarded 111,404 grants for a Value of $63.9 Billion. Once again the evidence is below.
I have written and analysed these grants extensively and that analysis can be found here.
So these are three financial areas where Billions of dollars have
1/ Failed to be collected as Tax
2/ Squandered recklessly
3/ Used to purchase votes to buy elections.
Whilst I don’t agree with the changes to The Negative Gearing”” policy or “The Stage Three Tax Cuts”, I am really aware of the need to counter the Lies of the coalition about Labor being a high taxing party.
In my view (and I am not speaking for the party and they have no idea that I am writing this either) Labor have been prudent to look at their Policy offerings in light of the current dire financial circumstances and to adjust accordingly.
It is no good being a purist and being in opposition. Nothing happens in opposition. It is only when they sit on the treasury benches that they can change Australia for the better.
I hope that has put some context around the enormity of gaining Government, particularly against one as corrupt, duplicitous, connected and nasty as this one.
As Australians we are all aware of the Morrison spin about Borders and how sovereign they are, about Operation Sovereign borders and how he “stopped the boats”
How Morrison made on-water matters secret and kept the truth from Australian voters, how the Asylum seekers were locked up in two tropical islands Manus in PNG and Nauru and how many of those Asylum seekers have either died from government neglect of been driven slowly insane by a complete lack of hope for their futures.
This secret playbook has been revealed again and again in the dealings of the Morrison government. Every scandal is swept under the carpet or sent off to an internal inquiry to be sanitised from the public mind.
During all of the scandals plaguing this government there is a similar response. Shut down the information and blame someone else.
To name a few.
Sports rorts. An illegal scheme to reward give money and largesse to Coalition electorates.
Community Development grants. Billions of dollars shovelled into Coalition electorates before the Sports rorts top up.
A series of Regional development Grant schemes. More Largesse for the coalition and cross bench electorates.
Female facilities and Water Safety Stream grants. Another set of millions of dollars for Coalition electorates. With no guidelines and a four year budget, all spent in year one. Again advantaging Coalition Electorates.
Car Park Congestion fund. Yet another slush fund to advantage coalition electorates.
Two of these grants streams have been audited by the Auditor General and that office has found them to be deficient in transparency and administration. The Sports infrastructure grants the Auditor general questioned the Legality of the scheme. Yet that hasn’t been written about much or followed up by a largely Coalition compliant press.
And so we come to Quarantine and the Federal Coalition Government.
When approaching this subject in Australia it is important to look at the history of Quarantine and who is responsible.
For that information we go to Australia’s founding document, the Constitution where Section 51 says.
51. Legislative powers of the Parliament.
The parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for the peace, order and good government of the commonwealth with respect to:
Here follows a list of which:-
There it is in my Pocket edition of Australia’s Constitution which I picked up from my local federal member’s office in 2019.
And just for completeness I have scanned the front, rear and Section 51 (part) to prove that what I am saying is not Bullshit.
Hotel Quarantine in Australia.
Sometime in 2020 Scott Morrison, as is his practice, changed the name of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) to the National Cabinet. He also claims that the papers and proceedings of that body are covered by cabinet confidentiality, so we may not know what goes on there. (Does that seem somewhat familiar? Keeping secrets from Australians?)
In the National Cabinet deliberations on 27th March 2020, following many breaches of home Quarantine around Australia, this Cabinet decided to impose 14 day Quarantine on everyone returning to Australia in order to contain the spread of Covid 19. This period was to be served in Tourist Hotels in the capital cities of Australia.
It followed the debacle of the Ruby Princess return to Sydney on 19th March 2020, where the NSW Government as agents of the Commonwealth under the biosecurity Act, allowed hundreds of people to disembark and return to their homes all over Australia, without testing or screening of any substantial sort.
Hotel Quarantine was supposed to be set up by midnight on 28th March 2020, just 24 hours after the decision had been taken by National Cabinet.
Imagine the Scenario, The big boys at the table (who are responsible under the Constitution and the Biosecurity Act for Quarantine in Australia), and who had no substantive plan or facilities for the containment and arrest of any biological agent entering Australia, managed to abrogate their responsibility for Quarantine to the States and then imposed on them a 24 hour period in which to be up and running.
Is it any wonder that under such circumstances that the Little Boys and girls at the table in National Cabinet, were on a hiding to nothing? Is it any wonder that mistakes were made?
What is most amazing is that the Morrison government aided and abetted by a compliant press has got away with their complete abrogation of responsibility.
It also leaves them with a convenient scapegoat to blame when things go wrong.
And they use that blame at every opportunity.
A discussion of where we are today.
At this juncture of this discussion, it is imperative to know what we are dealing with in Covid 19.
We are dealing with a Novel Corona Virus. Novel in the Cambridge English dictionary is described thus.
used to refer to a new strain (= type) of a virus that has not been seen before:
The COVID-19 pathogen is a novel coronavirus."
Because it has not been seen before there is no vaccine and one had to be developed. Several were developed in Quick time and are now available and being administered.
During the time they were being developed, Australia and indeed the rest of the world had the opportunity to “bet” on successful outcomes and to pre order doses for their respective populations. This is a process known as planning.
Basically what happened was Australia put all of their eggs in the “AstraZenica” basket, with a side order of Pfizer. This has led to an outcome where a complication has occurred in extremely rare cases of blood clotting with AZ and so the health advice has been to limit the population receiving that Vaccine to over 60’s.
Because only a small amount of Pfizer was ordered, supply is limited and so the vaccination of Australians under 60 is now slowed considerably by supply constraints.
The only way to beat this virus is for the majority of the population to be vaccinated.
This is only one major issue. I discuss the others below.
To lockdown or not to lockdown.
No one likes to be made to stay at home and much has been made of the economic impact of the virus. Yet because of its transmissibility, which has become worse as it mutates, infection rates in normal society are very likely to be high. As with all Viruses, they affect people differently. Some are naturally immune but are still carriers, some are mildly ill and some are acutely ill with long lasting effects (Long Covid), whilst others die. So far this virus has claimed 182 million cases with 3.95 million deaths. (2.17%)
Lockdown in Australia has contained the virus, but has had very bad economic effects. However letting the virus run its course has also had disastrous economic immediate effects, with the ongoing effects of death and long lasting illness.
This poses the ethical question of what were are, an economy or a community?
A subset of lockdown.
In April 2020 the statistics show that Australia effectively closed its borders and locked down. (Remember that hotel Quarantine was implemented on 27th March 2020).
The statistics which show the Arrivals into Australia during the Pandemic can be found at
This data goes back to September 2016, so it has been published for nearly 5 years.
When Queensland Premier Anastacia Palaszczuk questioned the numbers of Australians arriving in these figures this week (week ending 02/07/2021) she was met with an attack by Simon Birmingham and also by the home Affairs minister Karen Andrews.
Karen Andrews said the following.
As you can see I reminded her of the commonwealth’s responsibility for Quarantine.
Surely the Quarantine failure has been the Commonwealth Government?
But let’s also look at the figures and what they tell us.
In May 2021, the statistics tell us that 115,620 persons arrived into Australia.
The page also tells us that they consisted of 44,600 Australian citizens arrivals (39%), 9,900 permanent visa holders (9%), 52,300 New Zealand citizens (45%) and 10,100 temporary visa holders (9%). Curious because this adds up to 116,900 a difference of 1280 people.
I wonder where those people are. I thought we had secure borders?
Now Karen Andrews tells us that 80% are Australian citizens, PR’s or immediate family.
Lets unpack that. Well 115,620 is the stated number and we know that 52,300 are new Zealand Citizens and they are in the Australia new Zealand bubble, so don’t need to isolate, The Stats also tell us that 44570 Australian citizens arrived in May 2021 and that 3160 were permanent family Visas. We just can’t tell who the Permanent residents are because the Stats are defined by country of citizenship.
So 80% of the arrivals into Australia (according to Karen Andrews) are 115,620 minus 52,300 NZ citizens from the bubble equals 63,320. 80% of that is 50,656. Leaving 12664 citizens of other countries who have come into Australia in May 2021.
All of those 63,320 should have gone into hotel Quarantine. So let us examine that.
In an article in the ABC website on 5th Feb 2021, they reported the changes (as from 15th Feb 2021) per week of the Hotel Quarantine per State.
Inside that article was a table of new Quotas per state per week.
Assuming that there are 4 weeks in most months, which would give a total Hotel Quarantine capacity per month as 6,362 x 4 = 25,448 capacity per month.
Please note this does not include Howard Springs. But the data in the bureau of Stats series quoted above does include Howard Springs. In the month of May 2021, the NT accepted 2,140 persons. So let us assume that the total available Quarantine is 25,448 in Hotels and 2,140 in a dedicated Howard Springs facility. A total of 27,588. Lets now compare this figure against arrivals.
May 2021 Arrivals were 115,620 minus 52,280 from the NZ bubble (not required to Quarantine). Makes 63,340
Take away Quarantine availability 27,588
Couple of Questions.
Who are these people? And where are they doing their Quarantine?
So Karen Andrews said 80% of those arrivals were Australians or Family or PR and that figure was 50,656 which in and of itself is 23,068 above the Quarantine availability.
The statistics also go into arrivals by state. And these figures don’t add up either. (They are well above the capacity agreed to in 5 Feb National Cabinet).
Other anomalies that the data shows up.
That persons from China were barred from coming to Australia in early 2020.
As you can see from the chart China showed a decline in persons arriving in Australia from Apr 2020, by then so did every other country in the world. Since then the totals have been growing. Australia didn’t ban the Chinese, they banned everyone but dog whistled about the Chinese.
That persons from India were barred from coming to Australia because it was a hotspot.
Between 3rd and 15th May 2021 a travel ban was in force with India, because it was a Covid red zone (hotspot), yet the data shows hardly a blip in arrivals from that country. Was this just another dog whistle?
The whole nine millimetres (Not yards with this mob).
Lets face it, this Covid 19 business has exposed the Liberals and Scott Morrison as classic incompetents and duck shovers as well as blamers extraordinaire.
Planning is the art of utilising the expertise of the Public service to make contingencies for circumstances such as those we face at the moment. With the advent of Mers and Sars (Two other novel Corona Viruses), the experts warned that we should plan for the future, yet no planning was done.
This Liberal Government has failed in the following areas,
1/ Quarantine failure to accept responsibility. Failure to have adequate plans in place to fight bio security hazards generally.
2/ Planning for a Pandemic event
3/ Planning and implementing a Pharmaceutical manufacturing strategy in the light of the novel Corona virus threat.
4/ Planning and implementing a manufacturing capability to produce medical equipment (respirators) and Personal Protective equipment (Masks)
5/ being slow to implement measures to protect Australians from loss of economic well being.
6/ A huge failure in the Aged care system where hundreds died because of their lack of care for the elderly, a Commonwealth responsibility.
7/ failure to plan adequately the purchase and procurement of suitable vaccine stocks.
8/ failure to actually accept responsibility for their job description under the constitution.
By their failure to order the requisite numbers of vaccines and by their failure to plan for proper quarantine facilities, in effect what the Morrison government is doing is importing Covid- 19 into Australia from any country where those wishing to travel have been given an exemption Today (2 July 2021) the Premiers have made him reduce the numbers of arrivals due to their overburdened Hotel Quarantine and finally he has come up with another plan to make Australia safe. How many times can we trust this man?