Is it time to put Australia back together again?

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Is it time to put Australia back together again?

The closing of state and territory borders has been one of the more startling consequences of the global pandemic that has turned so much of ‘normal’ life on its head.

While many welcomed the moves as a way of limiting movement and thus preventing the spread of coronavirus, others looked upon them as an assault on what it meant to be Australian.

Certainly, most people would have been shocked if they knew back in March that strict restrictions would still be in place at some borders a full six months later.

For grey nomads, of course, these limitations have had a huge impact on their planned travels. Not only because of restrictions in place at any one time but also because of the uncertainty of not knowing what might happen next.

However, as virus infection rates from Victoria’s second wave have continued to decline, many of these restrictions are being re-assessed.

With more border relaxations planned in coming weeks, it is interesting to get snapshot of how Australians feel about what should happen next.

According to the latest weekly survey by lobbying firm Newgate, a growing majority of people believe the spread of the virus will get better in coming months. And 67% of Australians want state borders reopened by Christmas, up from 63% in the last poll.

Victorians and NSW residents remain most supportive of open borders, while the majority of those in Western Australia want the state to remain shut.

Newgate’s survey shows there has been a significant increase in the proportion of people who agree governments are taking appropriate measures to protect people’s health.

But Victorians remain least likely to agree restrictions are fair and reasonable, with discontent becoming more obvious in the past week as Melbourne residents remain in lockdown.

On the other side of the equation, many people in Western Australia are less enthusiastic about welcoming back interstate travellers.

The state’s chief health officer says Western Australia can’t risk relying on other states to control the spread of coronavirus.

“If we reopen our borders up to other states, we then rely on their borders,” Andy Robertson told ABC radio. “We’re not concerned specifically about states likes South Australia and the Northern Territory, but people can do that sort of border-hopping and rapidly travel in.”

  • How do you feel about the border closures that are still in place? Do you think the events of the last six months has undermined what it means to be Australian? Comment below.
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11 Responses to Is it time to put Australia back together again?

  1. I think WA is being unrealistic, wanting to secede from the rest of Australia! Their government says that the “rest of us” just want the WA people to pour back East with their dollars! Sorry but it is your state that will soon be crippled through LACK of EASTERNERS coming in with their dollars….wanting to be self sufficient is all very well but unfortunately I don’t think you have the population to sustain that sort of idealism.

    • Only 28% or so of 1800 people surveyed recently, said we should secede..
      I have lived in WA for 72 years and while we do get a bit dirty sometimes with the wise people from the East, I am still an Aussie.
      There has been talk a couple of years ago because we weren’t getting our fair share of GST. Covid 19 has made a few people testy but we will survive and once again be reunited with all our borders open.
      I for one don’t mind WA being locked up.

    • No visitors but economy running ok. The only state with o budget surplus .

  2. Its like the mining boom they did not want us then, they soon changed that when they had little income, funny all that. Now they are talking about going out by themselves, are they for real, another Hutt Provence maybe, I say go if that is what you want as the premier in his statement the other day is in breach of Section 92 of the constitutions. Time for scomo the get some BALLS & start reeling the power hungry premiers.

    • Don’t look our way and cry power hungry premier. W.A. is one big bit of country and we have one premier looking after the lot and the feeling of the people is that he is doing a bloody good job… How’s your backyard ? Right now this state is doing it’s utmost to recover and advance and that means that we now have a lot more people that are travelling and camping as a whole new experience… There are many travellers in W.A. from “the eastern states” but we don’t have them moaning because they can’t go home.. You have three premiers over there that have lost power as far as keeping their states safe by their bickering and leaking borders.. Good on the N.T. and S.A. premiers for the safe control of their states borders .. AND if you want a divorce You have S.A. and we’ll have N.T.

  3. This is a Federation of States. No state can “break away” We have a Constitution. At the least it would mean a majority Referendum…and no one is going to agree on a State doing the “Split”
    This is the Australia our fathers and grandfathers fought and died for. Treat all states with respect and let no petty differences divide us. Cheers.

  4. Open ALL borders. It isn’t the ‘virus’ that has caused this state of affairs, it is the total disproportionate handling by Governments and fear mongering by media. My heart is breaking for what people have complied with through this time. Australians have lost their way over the past 6 months…. being led by confusion. Our ancestors who fought for our freedoms would be turning in their graves at how easily we have acquiesced. (just my opinion)

  5. I feel for all state premiers they are in a no win situation. They are in the best position to know what their state health systems can handle Should they have a large outbreak. Some of our ancestors who fought for our freedoms ultimately lost theirs. Why shouldn’t we lose some of our freedoms for a while.So fewer of us will lose our life. Just suck up the lock downs, Aussie up and stop whining.
    We would all love to be on the move. Best way for that to happen is follow the rules and beat Covid. Take a look at other countries we could all be in a much worse place. (Just my Opinion)

    • Helen, whilst everyone is entitled to their opinions there remains an issue regarding the states knowing what is best. the major issue is that the states are run along party lines so what the labor party decree as right for their states the liberal run states will in general have a differing view. The safest way forward with all this nonsense is for the Commonwealth to take over control of all states and territories and run it as the commonwealth under advice from expert epidemiologists not would be CHO that are directed by their lord and masters the state governments. You only have to look at the fine mess the Andrews government has got Victoria in based on “Victorian Government and CHO being in the best position to know what is best for the state”, now that worked out brilliantly didn’t it. You have Chairman Daniel Andrews telling expert epidemiologists that they don’t know what they are talking about because his CHO knows better, really, that’s why we are where we are.

    • Well said Helen.

  6. We have just returned from a six-day trip from Gippsland to the Murray area east of Wodonga. We were the only campers on three nights in deserted council reserves. We met a couple of long term grey nomads who were traveling from Wodonga. They live in the NSW-Vic bubble region and could visit NSW. They said that this is the first time in 12 years that they have remained in Victoria due to border restrictions. They normally would be up north enjoying the warm weather. They said that it made a nice change as Victoria has some beautiful areas to visit however the cold weather is a problem. We met another couple from WA who are stuck in Victoria. They were making the best of things and were happy to be on the road. We live in a country town that has never had a case of COVID and understands the need for caution with the virus however most of regional Victoria is virus-free and restrictions do seem a bit over the top.

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