Mr McGowan said on Sunday he did not want to risk reopening Western Australia to Victoria and NSW once it hit 70 per cent vaccinations in the eligible population.
Guided by modelling from the Doherty Institute, Australia’s National Cabinet agreed to plan the country’s pathway out of COVID-19 based on national and jurisdictional vaccination rates.
At a vaccination rate of 70 per cent of the eligible population, states would begin to ease restrictions including borders, while lockdowns would be used rarely and would be highly targeted.
Mr McGowan has staunchly opposed the push to reopen his state to Victoria and NSW – who are experiencing severe COVID outbreaks – even after reaching the vaccination threshold.
Alan Joyce ‘prepared’ for a fight with McGowan over state’s border
“What I don’t want to do is, when we get to 70 per cent two dose vaccination, deliberately infect our citizens it doesn’t make any sense,” he said.
“Because hundreds of people then die, we’ll have to put in place restrictions all over the economy and our economic situation will suffer.
“The idea that we somehow bring down the borders when we’ve got basically a million people unvaccinated and deliberately infect our state, killing people, and then wrecking our economy is somehow a good thing is wrong.”
The Premier also hit out at pressures from the eastern states and the federal government to reopen Western Australia to the rest of the country.
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Mr McGowan said the Morrison and Berejiklian governments in Canberra and Sydney respectively lived “in a bit of a bubble”.
“They don’t actually understand there’s other parts of Australia that are doing well and are supporting them,” he said.
“I think they need to understand these other parts of Australia don’t want to deliberately infect ourselves.
“What they don’t get in the NSW Canberra bubble is that the industries in WA actually provide the economic strength of the county and the tax revenues that they pour into Sydney.”
It comes after Treasurer Josh Frydenberg warned the states against closing off their borders beyond reaching those vaccination milestones, which he said would risk the national economy.
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“It’s in no one’s interests for states to be on different tracks when it comes to opening up,” he said.
“The world is opening up, Australia will open up… Opening up as one country and in accordance with the plan will not only give people hope but provide a springboard for our economic recovery.”
Mr McGowan said the Treasurer was “100 per cent wrong” declaring Western Australia the most “free and successful community in Australia today”.
“We are not living in a cave. Our economy is the strongest in the country,” he said.
“They’re just in cuckoo land if they think WA is somehow holding back the national economy.”

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