Borders, quarantine set to dominate National Cabinet meeting

State and Territory leaders will face off with the Prime Minister over borders and hotel quarantine when National Cabinet meets today.

It’s the first time that National Cabinet has met in over a month.

Last week’s scheduled meeting had to be postponed after Scott Morrison’s RAAF plane suffered technical problems in Cairns.


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Leaders are expected to discuss the next steps in reopening the country to domestic travel.

The Prime Minister is increasing pressure on states to reopen their borders before Christmas.

Mr Morrison is also expected to flag increasing the cap on international arrivals into Australia to 6000 in a bid to bring more stranded Aussies home from overseas.

States last month agreed to lift the cap to 4000.

Related: Stranded Aussies heading home on first COVID repatriation flight

Premiers are also expected to lock horns over the cost of hotel quarantine.

New South Wales has demanded Queensland and Western Australia cough up for the cost of quarantining their residents during the early stages of the program, when governments were still footing the bill.

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian claims it is owed $35 million from Queensland and $8 million from Western Australia.

“We’ve welcomed Australians back from all the other states. It’s about time Queensland coughed up,” Ms Berejiklian said on Thursday.

“I want them to pay their bill especially given they keep their border shut when they really don’t need to. When other states aren’t respectful of that it does get your goat up.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk fired back at the demands.

“I don’t think Gladys Berejiklian should be criticising anyone, frankly. I think she’s got enough of her own internal problems,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

W.A Premier Mark McGowan also rejected calls to pay up.

“If I was unkind I’d say maybe we should send a bill to the NSW government for the Ruby Princess and all the trauma that caused other states,” he said.

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Simple!
Take the cost of hotel quarantine out of the National GST funding for the year and apportion to the States that have worn the additional costs.
Will save weeks of childish political bickering and maybe the states can get on with the job of running their respective State.