In Victoria, daily case numbers remained above 7,000 and Queensland reported a record 3,587 new cases.
“As we enter a new year, we are entering a new battle against COVID-19,” Queensland state Treasurer Cameron Dick said.
“If we can slow the spread of the virus, that takes the pressure off our health system in particular,” he said, asking people to get vaccinated and get booster shots, wear masks in indoor settings and work from home if possible.
With only Western Australia and the Northern Territory still to report figures on Sunday, the national tally of new cases was more than 32,200, below Saturday’s record of 35,327.
All Australian states, except for Western Australia, have begun to live with the virus as vaccination levels have risen, and the easing in restrictions has pushed cases higher.
There were five deaths reported in New South Wales and Victoria, bringing the national death toll throughout the pandemic to almost 2,260 people.