WA Premier Mark McGowan is refusing to put a time frame on reopening the border, noting other states have “chopped and changed” their policies during the ongoing pandemic.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison wants borders to come down by Christmas and the issue is expected to be discussed at the National Cabinet meeting on Friday.

“We’re not going to agree to bring down the borders. I’ve made that plain to the prime minister,” Mr McGowan told reporters on Thursday.

The premier said WA had better health and economic outcomes with its border stance.

“We’re not setting any timetables … (people) have tried to say ‘set a date’ … and every time you set a date, or you try to set a date, the date moves because COVID is unpredictable,” he said.

“What we’ve seen other states do is chop and change along the road.

“South Australia, Queensland – they’ve changed measures, backwards and forwards, front and back, they’ve gone borders, hotspots, no borders, and they always cause enormous disruption by doing so.”

Mr McGowan added hotspots were not as effective as the hard border.

“If you have a hotspot you basically have a set of postcodes in another city, in say Sydney or Melbourne in which people can’t come, and then you rely upon no one else in Melbourne or Sydney having gone through that hotspot,” he said.

“It’s a very difficult system to administer and it’s very unreliable.”

WA currently has three active cases of coronavirus – all from interstate. The state’s total number of cases stands at 655.

Asked about AFL fans travelling to Brisbane for the grand final, Mr McGowan said there was no guarantee they would be allowed to return to WA.

“They’ve got to apply for an exemption and they won’t necessarily get back in, so that’s the risk you run if you want to do that,” he said.

“Some people are football mad and they might want to take the risk.”


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