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- 30th Prime Minister of Australia
As Australia's COVID-19 case numbers skyrocket, Prime Minister Scott Morrison has sent a reminder that the nation has one of the lowest virus death rates in the world.
In a New Year's message issued on Friday, Mr Morrison said Australia has a lot to be thankful for.
"Despite the pandemic, despite the floods, the fires, continuing drought in some areas, the cyclones, the lockdowns, even mice plagues, Australia is stronger today than we were a year ago. And we're safer," his statement read.
Across all states and territories, Australia on Thursday recorded almost 33,000 new COVID-19 cases for the latest 24-hour reporting period.
"We have one of the lowest death rates and the highest vaccination rates from COVID anywhere in the world," Mr Morrison said.
"And we have one of the strongest advanced economies in the world to come through COVID - there's more people in work, more apprentices in training, a secure credit rating and businesses investing in their future with confidence.
"That gives us confidence to face what lies ahead."
Labor opposition leader Anthony Albanese acknowledged a "really tough" 2021 as many Australians faced COVID lockdowns.
"Let's hope 2022 brings health and happiness for all and a much easier time," he said in his brief message.
The two leaders, who face a federal election in 2022, likely to be held in May, were both upbeat about the year ahead.
"In 2022 we are looking forward," Mr Morrison said.
"It's like the kangaroo and the emu on our Coat of Arms - they never take a backwards step."