NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet rejects WA claim eastern Australia is in lockdown
The NSW Premier has rejected a claim by the Western Australian government the eastern states are “essentially in lockdown”.
“NSW is open, there’s no doubt,” Dominic Perrottet said.
“You go out on the weekend, the shops are open, the pubs are open, the restaurants, the bars.”
The comments came in response to a claim by the WA Health Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson that Australia’s eastern states were locked down “in all but name”.
“It’s essentially lockdown by default,” she said on Sunday.
Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews rejected the claim with a cheeky quip about Western Australia cutting itself off from the rest of the country through border closures.
“I can get our ambassador to talk to theirs,” Mr Andrews told reporters in Melbourne.
Ms Sanderson also conceded WA had given up on eliminating the virus and would instead focus on suppressing case numbers.
Mr Perrottet said he supported that strategy.
“You can't hide from the virus,” Mr Perrottet said.
“China and Hong Kong are probably the only jurisdictions in the world going down an elimination path.”
Mr Perrottet also said the WA announcement the state‘s border would remain shut was a tearful day for many NSW families.
“I know that when the announcement was made … many tears were shed,” he said.
“But ultimately, WA knows their health system and their issues better than any of us do.”
WA recorded 24 new local cases on Sunday, the highest result since April 2020, with a total active caseload of 90.
NSW recorded 15,091 new cases on Monday and 24 deaths related to the virus.
Last Thursday, WA Premier Mark McGowan said the state would postpone indefinitely its planned border opening, saying it would be “reckless and irresponsible” to allow travellers from the rest of Australia to enter the state.
Originally published as NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet rejects WA claim eastern Australia is in lockdown
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails