The Prime Minister pleads with all states and territories to open their borders to prevent additional “enormous stress and strain” on national and cross-border communities.
Scott Morrison, who attended the Daily Telegraph Bush Summit in Cooma, NSW, said the closed borders were restricting access to critical health care, preventing Australians from working and restricting farmers’ access to their land and markets. As a result he gave examples of a lot of Australians suffering.
“Today, we learnt of the unthinkable and heartbreaking case where a young lady had to take, I think, her daughter to Sydney and sadly passed away. This is heartbreaking stuff and I can understand people’s frustration and anger,” Mr Morrison said.
“I know state borders are putting enormous stress and strain on Australians.
“We need to get these principles established to ease the impact of these restrictions. we’ve got to put aside the disagreements we’ve had about this and get arrangements that can be workable and also protect people’s health.”
The Prime Minister said some progress has been made in the national cabinet, and thanked the NSW and SA Premiers for working with the federal government to address some of the closures issues.
“Much more needs to be done to ensure these border movements are made easier and ultimately to ensure they’re open again,” he said.
“While the scale of the Victorian outbreak meant the borders between NSW and Vic were regrettably necessary — and they are and remain — this does not diminish the principle that border restrictions, especially where there are no or very low cases in regional areas, cannot and should not be sustained.
“Australia was not built to have internal borders. The point of federation was not to have them.”
“We need to get borders open based on a comment set of fair, simple principals taking to account the advice of health professionals that’s convey transparently.
“That doesn’t meant there can’t be borders or border restrictions or that border restrictions in circumstances aren’t necessary, It’s not a binary topic – it’s one that has to be considered reasonably, sensibly and in a balanced way.”