Support for WA hard border reopening date

Premier Mark McGowan has brushed aside a poll showing people want a date for reopening WA's borders.
Premier Mark McGowan has brushed aside a poll showing people want a date for reopening WA's borders.

Premier Mark McGowan has brushed aside the findings of a new poll showing most West Australians want him to set a date for reopening state borders.

It comes as two children, aged one and eight, tested positive to COVID-19 after returning from overseas with their families.

They are both in hotel quarantine.

A poll commissioned by Tourism Council WA has revealed 70 per cent of West Australians support setting a tentative date for easing the hard borders.

The poll showed similar support for opening to states with low or zero transmission of the virus.

WA's chief health officer Andy Robertson is due to provide the government with updated health advice this week amid growing speculation the border restrictions will soon be eased.

Every other state and territory is due to reopen by Christmas.

"There's lots of polls around on various issues. I generally don't comment," Mr McGowan said on Tuesday.

"Most people just want to be kept safe, that's my perception. And that's certainly the view of the chief health officer - you need to be cautious."

Tourism Council chief executive Evan Hall said the state's tourism industry had lost $2.4 billion since the border closure in early-April.

More than 40 per cent of tourism businesses remain on JobKeeper.

"The decision to open WA's border should be based on health advice, rather than popularity - however, it is clear the people of Western Australia want there to be a plan for the inevitable opening of the state," he said.

"After nearly seven months of a hard border, we should plan and prepare to reopen to COVID-safe states.

"Without JobKeeper and interstate bookings for 2021, the tourism industry will lose the ability to recover."

State and federal Liberal MPs and other industry groups have also called for greater certainty on when the state borders will reopen.

Clive Palmer's challenge of WA's hard borders will be heard by the full bench of the High Court next week.

The billionaire mining magnate launched the case after being denied an exemption to enter WA.

"We are of the view that we will be successful in the High Court and we will prove the case that the borders were lawful and they were based upon health advice and keeping people safe," Mr McGowan said.

WA has 55 active cases but has recorded no local transmission since April.

Australian Associated Press