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Flight Centre to sue Mark McGowan if he fails to open the borders at 80 per cent vaccination

Flight Centre threatens to sue Mark McGowan if he refuses to open the borders when Western Australia hits 80 per cent vaccination

  • Mark McGowan is yet to announce when WA will open their borders for travel 
  • Flight Centre boss said he will sue if they are not opened at a ‘reasonable’ level 
  • He said if borders aren’t opened at 70 to 80 per cent vaccinated he will proceed 
  • Mr McGowan understood to be preparing to release a roadmap within the week

Flight Centre claims it will sue the WA Government if domestic and international borders don’t reopen when the state hits 70 to 80 per cent vaccination rates.  

Chief executive Graham Turner said he thought he would have a ‘good chance’ of winning a legal challenge if borders weren’t opened.

Premier Mark McGowan has yet to outline a roadmap for when he will bring back travel but on Wednesday said he would finally outline it this week. 

WA Premier Mark McGowan (pictured) is understood to be finalising a roadmap for when his state will reopen domestic and international borders 

Western Australia has more than 62.8 per cent vaccinated, but is well behind the national average and every other state except Queensland.

‘The constitution states very clearly about freedom of movement and freedom of trade. That’s the basic concept.’ Mr Turner told The West Australian.

‘That’s why I think we have a good chance for success on this. Not everyone in WA will [support opening borders] as some people are quite happy to stay locked up forever, but our clients are not like that.

‘Obviously they want to travel interstate and overseas to see their relatives, to see their parents and grandparents.’

Mr Turner said he would proceed with the legal challenge if the vaccination target for resuming travel was ‘not reasonable’ when Mr McGowan released his roadmap, and some WA companies were already offering to pitch in to fund it. 

He said, in his opinion, a reasonable target would be between 70 and 80 per cent. 

Flight Centre's boss said he will begin a legal challenge to open WA's borders is the roadmap does not say they will open at 70 to 80 per cent of residents vaccinated (pictured: airport workers)

Flight Centre’s boss said he will begin a legal challenge to open WA’s borders is the roadmap does not say they will open at 70 to 80 per cent of residents vaccinated (pictured: airport workers) 

Australian billionaire Clive Palmer in 2020 launched a similar legal challenge against Mr McGowan’s hard border, but was soundly beaten.

Mr Turner said the situation was now different, however, with almost 90 per cent of the country at least partially immunised.

The announcement of resumed travel for many other states and territories put pressure on WA to release its roadmap to provide certainty for interstate families and businesses. 

Earlier in October, Mr McGowan announced a widespread vaccine mandate affecting 75 per cent of WA’s workforce in an effort to speed up his state’s vaccine rollout before making a border opening announcement.