Queensland and WA have both reiterated they have no imminent plans to open their borders, despite pleas from Prime Minister Scott Morrison last week.
WA Premier Mark McGowan said on Monday the border closure would protect residents from “outbreaks of infection in the eastern states”, adding he expects the restrictions to last “for some time to come”.
The news comes on the day his government unveiled a huge intrastate advertising campaign urging residents to holiday in their own state this year.
Tourism Minister Paul Papalia said the $6 million, six-month ‘Wander out Yonder’ promotional push was about urging people to “see some of those places you might not have seen for 20 years or indeed, might not ever have seen.”
“[It will be] the biggest holiday in Western Australia campaign the state has ever seen,” Minister Papalia said. “It’s a moment in time where West Australians can get out there and experience their own state and see what the rest of the world already knew about.”
Meanwhile, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk again reiterated her commitment to shut the state from visitors, weeks after hinting they could remain closed until September.
“Let me make it very clear, the border will remain closed for the month of June,” she said.
From midday, Queenslanders will be able to congregate in groups of 20 in pubs and even gyms, after the lifting of personal movement restrictions was brought forward.
Last week, Australian Aviation reported that the Prime Minister piled pressure on states and territories to open up by saying the closures were “never the medical advice”.
On Tuesday morning, PM Morrison separately appeared on Channel 9’s Today Show, KIIS FM and Sky News and reiterated to each that ending free movement within Australia was also never agreed by the national cabinet.
“There is no doubt that those sort of borders do harm the economy, they do harm jobs and it is important that we get those removed as soon as possible,” he said.
The Prime Minister’s continued intervention came after a separate row between NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and her Queensland counterpart over when borders should open.