'Wake up to themselves': Premier lashes out at NSW over Covid idea

Brianne Tolj
·2-min read

Tensions between Western Australia and NSW over their respective handling of Covid-19 have once again escalated, with one premier calling the other leader “selfish” on Tuesday.

WA Premier Mark McGowan took aim at NSW Acting Premier John Barilaro during the heated press conference, saying NSW should not be viewed as the “gold standard” in terms of handling the pandemic.

“They only think of themselves and NSW. They have an infallibility, that they think they are perfect,” Mr McGowan said.

“They aren't. There's a whole other Australia out there.

“I think they need to look in the mirror and wake up to themselves.”

Members of the public queue outside a Covid-19 testing centre at the Royal Perth Hospital in Perth. Source: AAP
The mutant Covid strain from the UK has been found in three travellers in Perth. Source: AAP

Barilaro: International arrivals should go to home state

The war of words between WA and NSW began on Monday when Mr Barilaro said he believes international arrivals should be then placed on a domestic flight to their home state to quarantine.

Due to limited flights, NSW receives the majority of Australians returning home from overseas. Travellers then quarantine in a hotel for two weeks and undergo testing.

Mr McGowan called Mr Barilaro’s comments “selfish” during his presser.

“What he had to say yesterday was wrong, irresponsible, silly and quite selfish,” Mr McGowan said, adding that he wants Australia to use its advantage of being an island to eliminate Covid from the country entirely.

WA Premier Mark McGowan said NSW should not be viewed as the “gold standard” in terms of handling the pandemic. Source: Nine News
WA Premier Mark McGowan said NSW should not be viewed as the “gold standard” in terms of handling the pandemic. Source: Nine News

Mutant virus strain found in three WA cases

Three people who tested positive for Covid-19 while in hotel quarantine in Perth have now been found to have the more transmissible UK variant of the virus.

Mr McGowan said genomic testing had confirmed the UK strain, emphasising the importance of the secure quarantine arrangements.

Mr McGowan said the three cases were “most probably” travellers who arrived from the UK.

“They're people who've come out of Britain … come into Western Australia, [we've] identified the virus, further genomic testing has shown that they are part of the UK variant,” he said.

“It just goes to show that we're not out of the woods with Covid,” the premier said on Tuesday.

“It's insidious. It's out there, it's causing havoc around the world. It's causing mass deaths in Britain and the United States.

“We are COVID free, and therefore we are very fortunate and I want to keep it that way.

“I want us to keep the virus out and make sure that we do everything we can to prevent it from coming into our state, including keeping borders in place.”

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