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Marshall calls on WA to re-open borders

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Premier Steven Marshall has called on his Western Australian counterpart to open his state’s borders to South Australians amid a skirmish over Mark McGowan’s no-show for tomorrow’s national cabinet meeting in Canberra.

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McGowan last night pulled the pin on the trip – the first face-to-face meeting of state and territory leaders since the coronavirus pandemic began – citing health advice that it was unsafe to mingle with South Australians – specifically, Marshall.

In response, Marshall appeared to give this explanation short shrift at an Adelaide Airport media conference this morning, noting SA has now recorded 12 days of no new cases since the Parafield cluster flared last month.

“I think Mark McGowan will need to explain his logic,” he said.

“Every other state premier and chief minister have had advice on SA’s health, and they’ll all be at the cabinet meeting.”

He noted SA currently had no active COVID cases, saying: “That’s quite a contrast with WA, where I think they have more than a dozen active cases.”

“But I’ll leave it up to Mark McGowan as to where he’s getting his health advice from,” he said.

“I hope we can open up to WA very soon – I think it’s time for Mark McGowan to lift that border restriction with our state.”

WA’s border was briefly opened to SA last month, before restrictions were reimposed as the cluster emerged.

But Marshall noted SA had not had restrictions for people going to the ACT “for months and months and months”.

“There are plenty of [SA] people there at the moment and there are plenty of West Australians there as well, so it doesn’t make a lot of logical sense,” he said.

McGowan’s office told NewsCorp yesterday that “while it is safe to travel to Canberra based on our health advice, given the restrictions in place for people who have knowingly mixed with residents of SA, it was appropriate that the Premier join the meeting from Perth instead”.

“The signs are looking good for South Australia, and unless there is a subsequent outbreak, they will move to the ‘low risk’ category from Friday [but] like with all other jurisdictions, SA can only become a ‘very low risk’ state once they have recorded at least 28 days of no community cases,” they reportedly said.

“While these restrictions are in place, it’s important the Premier lead by example and follow the health advice.”

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