The Morrison government has doubled down on vaccination targets tied to reducing lockdowns as Australia set a new coronavirus case record.
National cabinet's agreement to reduce lockdowns at 70 per cent coverage and open domestic borders at 80 per cent is fracturing.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison spent another day pressuring state governments in response to the WA and Queensland premiers' concerns about opening with high case numbers.
"The national plan is the clear path Australia needs to live with the virus in the future," he told parliament on Wednesday.
"That is what we must do, we must face that future and live with the virus."
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg entered the fray, insisting the health system would cope with rising deaths and infections once restrictions were eased.
NSW recorded 919 new local cases and two deaths on Wednesday as Australia's toll rose to 986.
Victoria's 45 infections and the ACT's nine took the national daily increase past 950 for the first time during the pandemic.
While official estimates put the number of active Delta variant cases above 13,000 nationwide, the federal government is sticking to the national reopening agreement.
"The government is standing with the states and territories to help them address this very cruel burden but we must proceed with the plan," Mr Morrison said.
Under the deal, the chances of lockdowns are reduced when 70 per cent of the population aged 16 and over is fully vaccinated.
At 80 per cent, only highly targeted lockdowns are likely to be used and state borders are expected to be open.
Mr Frydenberg said the country could not live forever in lockdowns, which are in place across NSW, Victoria and the ACT.
WA and Queensland have called for updated advice because the initial modelling was based on relaxing restrictions with about 30 cases a day.
Doherty Institute director Sharon Lewin said the targets could be maintained with hundreds of daily cases.
Professor Lewin said the strategy relied on maintaining testing, tracing and isolation along with other public health measures at a 70 to 80 per cent full vaccination rate.
"We will be moving from a zero COVID goal to living with COVID and at lower manageable levels that don't overwhelm the healthcare system," she told the Nine Network.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese said the opposition supported the plan after Mr Morrison accused him of undermining it.
"No one wants to see lockdowns there for one day more than necessary," Mr Albanese told the ABC.
He said the prime minister's failures on vaccine supply and fit-for-purpose quarantine caused restrictions.
The NSW government insists the state's health system is coping with the current crisis despite growing stress on hospitals in Sydney's west and southwest.
Australia has fully vaccinated 31.56 per cent of its population aged 16 and 54.37 per cent have received one jab.
Vaccine rollout co-ordinator John Frewen revealed a plan was being considered to allow families to book for vaccinations at the same time.
National cabinet will receive advice on vaccinating children aged 12 to 15 and updated Doherty Institute modelling on Friday.
Australian Associated Press
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.