NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has vowed to ramp up pressure on national cabinet to formulate a logical and uniform approach to domestic border closures now the COVID-10 vaccine rollout has begun.
With Prime Minister Scott Morrison among the first Australians to receive the Pfizer jab on Sunday, Ms Berejiklian said there were no more excuses for rogue state premiers to slam borders shut at the first sign of an outbreak.
National cabinet is due to meet again this month.
“I’m going to continue, at national cabinet, to press the issue of internal borders within Australia now that the vaccine rollout has started and (because) we‘ve seen no community transmissions in NSW for a serious (37 consecutive) number of days,” she told reporters at Batemans Bay on the NSW south coast.
“Even when do have (a case) we have managed it well. We should not shut down borders just because there are a few cases we might be worried about. That is no way to run our nation, internally.”
Domestic borders have reopened following various closures during the past few weeks. South Australia had banned travellers from Victoria during the Holiday Inn outbreak.
Western Australia only allowed travellers from NSW back in the state on February 16 for the first time since the outbreak on Sydney’s northern beaches in December.
Ms Berejiklian warned that if a national approach was not adopted, the economic effects would be crippling.
“I understand the international borders (being shut), but I don‘t understand the internal borders,” she said.
“We need to start thinking about the future because we run the risk of being left behind.
“We (Australians) have done incredibly well on the health side, but we also need to do well on keeping the economy going, keeping jobs going because the rest of the world is opening up.
“We do need to think about how we treat each other as states. ”