WA flags border reopening date imminent

Australia’s hermit state could soon rejoin the nation after WA Premier Mark McGowan flagged an announcement on the reopening date of the state’s hard border is on the way. 

He said an announcement about when the state’s hard border would ease would be made by the end of the month.

The state was supposed to reopen to the rest of Australia on February 5 but was delayed because of the Omicron outbreaks in eastern states.

It was also delayed to allow more time to increase the booster dose rate in the state, which was lagging behind the rest of the country.

WA’s booster rate has since doubled to around 52 per cent and is on course to surpass 80 per cent sometime next month.

Liberal senator James Patterson said the WA government’s vaccine mandate for politicians was “bizarre”. 

“I’m less concerned about the MPs themselves, I’m concerned about their constituents who go unrepresented in their state parliament, not have their voice heard,” he told Sky News on Tuesday. 

“West Australia’s not the only state parliament to have done this, Victoria has done this as well, and I just find it very difficult to justify or understand.”

Meanwhile officials from the department of health along with Aged Care Minister Richard Colbeck, Social Services Minister Anne Ruston and NDIS Minister Linda Reynolds will front a Senate estimates hearing on Wednesday.

They will be questioned on health services including aged care services, immunisation and the healthcare workforce. 

There were a further 50 COVID-19 deaths reported on Tuesday, with 20 fatalities in Victoria, 16 in NSW, 10 in Queensland and four in SA.

There were 23,817 new infections and both NSW and Victoria registered more than 8000 cases, Queensland recorded 5286, 1138 in SA, 513 in Tasmania and 455 in the ACT.


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