Scott Morrison is pushing for a streamlined approach to appeals against state border closures during the coronavirus pandemic.
The prime minister has long railed against states which have shut their borders without releasing the medical advice informing their decisions.
But his public lobbying and private pleas are falling on deaf ears.
The premiers are quite content with their politically popular border closures, particularly those preparing for upcoming state elections.
Now, Mr Morrison is searching for creative ways to establish greater consistency across the country.
The prime minister concedes the Commonwealth's powers on state borders are not as clear-cut as foreign affairs, but he is looking to harmonise the complaints process for people affected by closures.
"I can understand Australians are frustrated the border closures are not being addressed as well as we'd hope," Mr Morrison told reporters on Thursday.
"I will continue to work to ensure we have a transparent and fair process, that there are appropriate appeal rights in place for people who are affected by these decisions."
Mr Morrison hinted he would have more to say about state borders at a bush summit on Friday.
The prime minister worked closely with the NSW and Victorian premiers on their border blocks.
He has held similar discussions with the Western Australian premier, who is keeping the state's borders shut despite negligible rates of coronavirus infections.
Earlier this month, the prime minister wrote to Mark McGowan proposing a set of border principles.
Mr Morrison said it was important that states did not act arbitrarily or indiscriminately in relation to the restriction of movement across internal borders.
He said closures should be imposed in consultation with the Commonwealth based on clear and transparent public health advice.
Where restrictions are imposed, he urged states to consult with other jurisdictions, particularly those with shared land borders.
Mr Morrison said nationally consistent and properly resourced arrangements should be put in place to minimise disruption and provide certainty to impacted residents.