WA likely to face an increase of 500 international passengers per week.
Despite Mr McCormack addressing the media this morning in New South Wales and announcing he had written to Premiers, Mark McGowan said this afternoon he had not been alerted to the plan to raise the flight caps.
“I would’ve thought these things should be discussed at national cabinet rather than a letter being released to the press prior to being brought to the attention of the relevant Premiers,” Mr McGowan said.
“I agreed at the last National Cabinet meeting that we would have a conversation with the Commonwealth about what else we could do.
“What we’ve said is that we’re co-operative, we want to be co-operative about lifting the numbers from the 525.”
He called for the use of Federal facilities like Christmas Island to be used for quarantining should international passengers flying into Australia increase.
“The Commonwealth did it in February when they brought people home from China,” Mr McGowan said.
“It’s two weeks in a secure facility where you quarantine before you go home if you’re not sick. It’s not an unreasonable ask, it’s a pretty sensible measure in extraordinary times.”
Rottnest quarantine on the table
Despite his frustration at not being consulted over the plan to increase international passenger numbers, Mr McGowan would not rule out Rottnest being re-opened as a quarantine facility.
“We would consider it, but we want to have a proper conversation and proper consideration of it,” he said.
“I don’t really like the fact that this has been sprung via a press conference without a discussion with the people required to actually implement it and I would have thought that is very directly outside the spirit of the National Cabinet.”
Mr McGowan said it would not be ideal for Rottnest to be closed to the public right before school holidays.
“I don’t exactly want to close down Rottnest just before the school holidays when people have holidays booked,” Mr McGowan said.
“It may take some weeks for us to consider an option around Rottnest and that’s something I’m happy to work with the Commonwealth on.”