Stubborn Mark McGowan vows to keep WA’s hard border until state reaches 90% vaccination target – but only 47% of the population is double-jabbed
- Mark McGowan will not reopen Western Australia borders until 90 per cent jab
- Promise is bad news for separated families as Christmas slowly approaches
- WA has one of the lowest jab rates in country falling behind the national figures
Western Australia premier Mark McGowan will keep state borders closed until 90 per cent of residents have been vaccinated.
Mr McGowan has refused to bend under pressure from the federal government to reopen the border to states like New South Wales and Victoria by Christmas.
‘We have plenty more to do,’ he told Labor’s State Conference.
‘Doing our best to keep COVID-19 out of WA – so we can get as many people as possible vaccinated. So Western Australians don’t needlessly die along the way.’
The closure means thousands of families will be forced to celebrate the family holiday separated from their loved ones for the second year in a row.
Western Australia premier Mark McGowan has indicated he will keep his state borders closed until 90 per cent of residents have been vaccinated
Mr McGowan has refused to bend under pressure from the federal government to reopen the border to states like New South Wales and Victoria by Christmas
Western Australia may not reach the 90 per cent vaccination target anytime soon with jab uptake in the state among the lowest in the country.
Only 65.43 per cent of residents have received their first jab with 47.08 per cent double-vaccinated.
The figure is lower than the national rate with 78.5 per cent of the country on first dose and 55.1 per cent on two doses.
‘The only way to crush and kill this virus is together,’ Mr McGowan said. ‘Together, we followed the restrictions when they were introduced.
‘Together, we have managed to get through the last 20 months of this raging virus, with only 1096 total cases in the course of the pandemic.
‘That’s a total NSW and Victoria have sadly exceeded many times on a daily basis.’
Prime minister Scott Morrison has demanded state leaders open borders when vaccination rates hit 80 per cent to allow families to reunite at Christmas.
The prime minister said he could not see any reason why Australians should be kept cooped up in their states after the milestone set by the national reopening plan.
‘There comes a time when you just got to move on and get on with it,’ he told Weekend Sunrise on Sunday.
‘You’ve got to honour the arrangement you’ve made with the Australian people and that is once you get to 80 per cent vaccination, it is very clear that you can start opening up.’
Western Australia may not reach the 90 per cent vaccination target anytime soon with jab uptake in the state among the lowest in the country
Prime minister Scott Morrison has demanded state leaders open borders when vaccination rates hit 80 per cent to allow families to reunite at Christmas (pictured, people wearing face masks in Perth)
Mr Morrison rebuked Queensland and Western Australian premiers Annastacia Palaszczuk and Mr McGowan for their refusal to open their borders on time.
Ms Palaszczuk previously said she would like more research into the effect of Covid-19 on children before lifting border restrictions.
Similarly, Mr McGowan has shown resistance towards the targets agreed upon at national cabinet and said his borders are unlikely to open before Easter 2022.
While Mr Morrison admitted it was likely people would still have to check in to venues using QR codes and wear masks in some settings for a while, he demanded the rebel premiers give people ‘their lives back’.
‘I think that puts the big challenge on the premiers. I mean, they’ve had the power to do what they’ve been doing. They’re not new powers. They’ve always had them, he said.
‘Once you get to 80 per cent of your population that’s vaccinated, it’s very clear. I can’t see any reason why Australians should be kept from each other.
‘[Reopening by Christmas] is within the gift of governments. And that’s a gift I’d like to see us give them.’