National Cabinet agrees on roadmap to open up state borders by Christmas

Good news out of National Cabinet today, with states and territories agreeing to work out a new road map to recovery which will hopefully come into place before Christmas.

The initial national ‘road map to recovery’, had the nation reopened for domestic travel in July, but of course, the outbreak in Victoria put those plans on hold.

Today, at the National Cabinet meeting, seven out of eight states agreed to re-write that recovery, with the aim to have internal borders opened by Christmas.


The new road map will be written according to a new ‘hot spot model’, which leaders have also agreed to abide by today.

“We first agreed where we needed to get to, and that was to get to a sustainable set of arrangements where Australians could move around, using a hot spot model by Christmas,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

“That’s what we agreed today. And what we also have today is a commonwealth-defined hot spot, which is the starting point for having one more broadly agreed by those states and territories, which are going to go down that path.

“And, you know, not everything is gonna turn up every time on the same day at the same time.

“What we’re on is the path to goat to that agreed position. We’ve set out, for the first time, a commonwealth-defined position.

“And for those who agree to go down the path of having a hot spot, well, we’ll now work on the precise details with them now,” the Prime Minister said.

All states and territories except for Western Australia have agreed to this new approach, with more details to be released in the coming weeks.

But the whole of the National Cabinet has now agreed to no longer operate on a consensus approach, meaning they don’t need Western Australia’s cooperation to move forward on this plan.

“Not everyone has to get on the bus for the bus to leave the station, but it is important for the bus to leave the station and we all agree on that,” the Prime Minister said.

There are also plans to invite New Zealand to participate in this new hot spot model, but it may only work one-way.

“When we’re in a position to do so, and when the Acting Chief Medical Officer has come to a set of arrangements with New Zealand, then we would be able to have New Zealanders come to Australia.

“That doesn’t mean Australians can go to New Zealand. That’s a matter for Prime Minister Ardern.

“But if there’s no COVID in Christchurch, and there’s no COVID in Queensland, then there’s no reason both of them can’t come to Sydney,” the Prime Minister said.

Nothing has been set in place just yet for the actual road map, or the new hot spot model. With further details expected to be released over the coming weeks.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian was quick to front media this afternoon, again urging Queensland to open up their border to New South Wales sooner.

“Selfishly, of course I would like to see Queensland move a bit quicker in terms of the eastern seaboard.

“The South Australian Premier has indicated that he hopes there will be easier access for New South Wales residents into South Australia, which is encouraging.

“I call upon the Queensland Premier in particular to consider that as well.

“Because it’s really Queensland and Western Australia that have a very strong view on these issues, every other state and territory has seemed to be quite amenable,” Ms Berejiklian said.