PM announces border plan timeline

 

Every state and territory has agreed to devise a strategy to bring down hard borders and reopen the country by Christmas - except one.

A meeting of the national cabinet today discussed a number of issues aimed to ending months of chaos, confusion and economic damage caused by border restrictions.

But Scott Morrison's bid for unity was derailed by Western Australia, which was the sole jurisdiction to not sign up to an ambitious new goal of reopening by December.

That prompted Mr Morrison to declare that the era of "100 per cent consensus" that had been the basis of national cabinet's operation was now over.

News.com.au has confirmed the Prime Minister opened up today's meeting by telling state and territory leaders that it will no longer be run on a consensus approach.

While states have always been free to go their own way on issues including school closures, the states have interpreted the Prime Minister's declaration as signalling a new way of doing business at the national cabinet.

EARLIER:

Scott Morrison has declared the national cabinet is "no longer a consensus forum" after his hopes of an agreement on definition of hotspots to reopen borders was crushed by Queensland.

News.com.au has confirmed the Prime Minister opened up today's meeting by telling state premiers that it will no longer be run on a consensus approach.

Sources in the Morrison Government also confirmed the Prime Minister's remarks after officials in state premiers' offices contacted news.com.au.

"He opened up with it so it's, 'I am changing the rules so I don't get rolled','' a state official said.


But federal sources said it was a "very positive meeting" with most states happy to sign up to a national definition of hotspots to move towards reopening borders.

The national cabinet meeting is still continuing and the Prime Minister is expected to hold a press conference shortly.

Declaring the national cabinet will no longer be run on a consensus approach will allow the Prime Minister to publicly confirm which states have agreed to various measures including a definition of national hotspots and effectively 'name and shame' those states that won't budge.

 

 

 

 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is a thorn in the PM’s side on borders. Picture: Peter Wallis
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is a thorn in the PM’s side on borders. Picture: Peter Wallis

Earlier, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she wouldn't be bullied into reopening borders.

"It is relentless. It is intimidating. But I will not be intimidated,'' she said.

 

 

"If we all focused our efforts on Victoria and NSW and getting the community transmission under control, right, to the extent that there was no community transmission - and that is the advice of the Deputy Health Officer of the country.

"That is the aim. They moved from elimination, to suppression, to no community transmission. If we focus on that, there will come a time when everybody could open up."

During his daily briefing, Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews was asked if the PM had declared that national cabinet operating on a consensus basis was over.

"I wouldn't see that as an accurate statement," Mr Andrews said.

"It is a very, very important forum and has served us all well, and arguably, once we can get the health problem here settled, and indeed have it settled across the nation, the job of economic repair will be be significantly supported by the work of national cabinet.

"I will let the PM brief you on outcomes of national cabinet."

But Mr Andrews said there had been "very productive discussions" about the movement of agricultural workers.

"I didn't stay for all of the agenda," Mr Andrews said.

"I had to be here with you ahead of Question Time but it was a very good meeting."

More to come...

Originally published as PM rolled on borders by Queensland


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