National Cabinet has ‘ambition’ for reopening by Christmas

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has failed to convince Western Australia to join the rest of the country in aiming to take down borders and ease restrictions by Christmas.

National Cabinet’s other state and territory leaders have agreed with a plan to ease restrictions and return to a new normal by December.

He said that could see people able to travel across the country by Christmas.

The Federal Government has been applying pressure to states and territories to sign up to a national standard for defining coronavirus hotspots.

Mr Morrison said states and territories had failed to reach full agreement on a three-step reopening plan, with WA the holdout.

The Prime Minister flagged a move away from a consensus-based decision-making model in National Cabinet.

“Western Australia has a very different border and a very different economy than most of the other states and territories where these decisions have been made,” he said.

Mr Morrison has also flagged allowing New Zealanders to come into Australia if they are not coming from or going to a hotspot, something he said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was interested in discussing further.

More to come.