West Australian Premier Mark McGowan will dial in to Friday’s national cabinet meeting to socially distance from South Australia’s Premier, Steven Marshall, who will be there in person.
Mr McGowan will be the only state or territory leader not to join Prime Minister Scott Morrison in Canberra at the meeting.
Western Australia remains off limits to South Australians, although it is on track to open on Friday to people willing to quarantine for two weeks.
A spokesman for the WA Premier said he had sent his apologies to the Prime Minister.
“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 South Australia, it was appropriate that the Premier join the meeting from Perth instead,” Mr McGowan’s spokesman said.
“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 as we have announced,” the spokesman said.
“Like with all other jurisdictions, South Australia can only become a ‘very low risk’ state once they have recorded at least 28 days of no community cases.
“While these restrictions are in place, it’s important the Premier lead by example and follow the health advice.”
South Australia has no known active coronavirus cases and on Wednesday recorded its 11th day in a row without a new case.
SA Health Minister Stephen Wade said everyone needed to make their own decision about their health but South Australians were “very proud” of how well the Parafield cluster had been dealt with.
“I think it’s really important to appreciate that COVID isn’t about to disappear – we have to learn to live with it,” Mr Wade said.
“There is a risk in any form of social interaction, but after more than 10 days of COVID-free cases in South Australia I’d suggest that South Australia is low-risk.”
Hope for Christmas easing
Mr Marshall said he would push for Western Australia to ease border restrictions when he spoke to his counterpart on Thursday night, ahead of Friday’s national cabinet.
Mr Marshall said it was time for restrictions to ease for Christmas.
“I will certainly be asking the Premier there to consider the excellent results we have here in South Australia,” Mr Marshall said.
“I think there are many people in our state who have got friends, who’ve got loved ones in Western Australia.
“They would love to see them for Christmas – we’ve done extraordinarily well.
“I think it’s now time for Western Australia to again maybe consider lifting those restrictions in time for Christmas.”