WA border changes will be announced within days

WA Premier Mark McGowan says he expects to announce changes to the state’s border rules “in the next couple of days”.

Mr McGowan has been facing mounting pressure to reopen the border to Victoria after it passed 28 days without local transmission of COVID-19.

NSW is also on track to reach the same milestone within days.

Mr McGowan said he was considering the latest advice from the chief health officer.

“We will obviously consider everything that has happened, in particular the success of Victoria which has been remarkable, and the ongoing success of NSW,” he told reporters on Monday.

“They haven’t reached their 28-day point yet, but clearly if they keep going the way they are they’ll get to that point later this week.”

Repeatedly asked for a specific day when an announcement would be made, Mr McGowan only said it would be “in the next couple of days”.

But the Premier said he and health officials still had concerns about South Australia following its outbreak.

Perth Airport is expected to become much busier if Victorians are permitted to travel to WA. Picture: Daniel WilkinsSource:News Corp Australia

Earlier on Monday, ABC broadcaster Norman Swan sparked a social media outcry after he tweeted that it was “impossible to underestimate WA exceptionalism” regarding the border.

“They even believe that they’ve never been net recipients of federal disbursements,” he wrote.

“I say this as someone who loves the state. But you can tell a lot by how Western Australians drive. Can’t change lane.”

When asked about Dr Swan’s comment, the Premier clarified with the reporter where Dr Swan lived, then quipped that it made sense.

“We’ve gone through lots of criticisms over the course of the last year … people in the east demanding this and demanding that,” Mr McGowan said.

“What we’ve done has worked. WA has supported the national economy.”

WA’s hard border changed to a controlled border earlier this month but arrivals from some states still must quarantine for two weeks. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

WA has not had any community transmission in eight months and Mr McGowan said his government would continue to be cautious.

“If I listened to a lot of these critics over east, I would have shut down the mining industry and they would have lost all the income that WA provides,” he said.

“If I’d listened to them over east, we would have pulled down the border and the virus would have come back from Victoria.

“Our own model has worked. We’ve had an open trading economy with the world that we kept operating, we’ve had a vibrant economy within WA.

“There will be critics all over the country. Mr Swan is the latest in a long line.”

Mr McGowan added that WA had been “enduring” criticism from people in the eastern states for about 150 years.

“A lot of people in the east aren’t really educated about WA,” he said.

“Many of the people in the east, I know for a fact, have never been here.”

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