Mr McGowan has pushed back against calls to open Western Australia once it hits the 70 per cent vaccination mark outlined by the Doherty Institute over concerns his state would experience numerous deaths.
“I’ve heard that some people over east appear to not realise there’s another Australia outside of Sydney,” the Premier said during a press conference on Tuesday.
“I just cannot understand why there are people over there saying we should deliberately infect ourselves.
“There’s this sort of mindset in Sydney that somehow we should all be like Sydney. What? Locked down, infected, with no one going to work, the economy in free fall, people dying?”
Mr McGowan said while NSW and Victoria were locked down, Western Australia’s economy was flourishing and supporting the rest of the country.
“Can’t they see that there is another Australia outside of Sydney that is open, successful doing well and supporting Sydney,” he said.
“For the life of me, I cannot understand why some of these people in Sydney want all the revenue we generate to stop.
“What’s wrong with them?”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been one of the vocal proponents of states following the national plan to begin living with the pandemic.
Mr Morrison said on Tuesday he understood Western Australia’s cautious approach, but urged the state to “step off the shore”.
“I understand that people want to be cautious, and I understand that Western Australia has done, you know, very well in keeping COVID out, and that’s to everybody’s credit there,” Mr Morrison told 6PR Radio.
Morrison: National COVID plan will ‘reconnect the states and Australia to the world’
“But, equally, once you get your vaccination rates up at double what they are now in Western Australia… it’s like living in another world. And, at some point you’ve got to step off the shore. Now, you’ve got to do it safely. 
“People think that borders protect people from COVID. Well, no, I’m sorry, the Delta variant is stronger than borders, and the best protection is getting vaccinated.”
Mr McGowan has pushed for reopening his state past the stage agreed upon by National Cabinet as more than half of the Australian population remains in lockdown with severe COVID-19 outbreaks in NSW and Victoria.
“(At) 70 per cent – opening up, deliberately infecting our citizens therefore closing down potential industries like construction, mining, hospitality, it’s a catastrophe and I don’t want to do that,” he said.
“When it’s above 80 per cent we’ll make a judgement at that time.”
Mark McGowan will not open WA when Australia hits vaccination target
National Cabinet – informed by Doherty Institute modelling – set double dose vaccination targets of 70 and 80 per cent of the eligible population for the country to move into phases B and C respectively at which point restrictions could be lifted and freedoms returned.
Mr McGowan said rather than rushing through the process, he would consider setting a date after the state had exceeded the 80 per cent full vaccination rate.
“When we get above that rate we’ll probably set a date at some point in time in the future when we’re confident we have enough vaccine then and people have the opportunity to get themselves vaccinated,” he said.
“Pre-empting things, setting out hard and fast dates doesn’t work because things change.”

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