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Qantas Boss Says Western Australia Is Acting Like 'North Korea'

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Qantas Boss Says Western Australia Is Acting Like 'North Korea'

The head of Qantas has lashed out at Western Australia's closed border policy.

Alan Joyce likened the western state to North Korea for shutting itself off from the rest of the country for the majority of the coronavirus pandemic.

WA Premier Mark McGowan has stood firm on his decision to refuse entry to people unless under the most extreme set of circumstances.

He believes in a Covid-19-zero approach to tackling the virus and has kept the borders closed to ensure they don't get an explosion of cases like has been seen in the eastern states.

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It's caused heartbreak and homesickness for people across Australia who are desperate to get across the border.

Alan Joyce is also furious.

Credit: REUTERS/David Gray
Credit: REUTERS/David Gray

Speaking on Nine Radio, the Qantas boss said: "We are supposed to be all Australians, you can't even travel around your own country.

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"And there is not a plan in Western Australia for when that is going to open up. It is starting to look like North Korea.

"The fact that you can travel to London but you can't travel to Perth, I think there is something fundamentally wrong with the federation."

Premier McGowan has faced a heavy amount of criticism for his border policy and approach to the pandemic, however he hasn't wavered or caved to the public pressure.

The state was meant to be opening their border to the rest of Australia tomorrow (February 5), however they made the heartbreaking decision to push that back in early January.

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Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria had been recording tens of thousands of new cases each day for several weeks and that led to them being listed as an 'Extreme Risk'.

Credit: Western Australian GovernmentCredit: Western Australian Government

The Northern Territory was the final straw in the West's eyes and Premier McGowan added the region to the Extreme Risk category, which saw every state and territory in Australia listed that high.

Premier McGowan said it's in Western Australia's best interests to shut themselves off from the rest of the country to ensure there isn't a similar spike in infections.

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"We have moved swiftly on Northern Territory, to reduce the risk of more Omicron cases in self-quarantine," the Premier said.

"We know the Omicron variant is spreading rapidly around much of the country and unfortunately the Northern Territory is now too seeing an accelerating caseload in the community."

Premier McGowan hasn't given an update on when the new border reopening will take place.

Featured Image Credit: Hugh Peterswald/Alamy Live News

Topics: Australia

Stewart Perrie
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