KARL STEFANOVIC: The issue, of course, about reopening Australia has set the PM on a collision course with the states. Scott Morrison declared that national cabinet has already agreed to roll back restrictions when the national vaccination rate hits 70 per cent. ‘Not so’, says Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles.
[Steven Miles footage: “Lots of people are saying that that means all restrictions are lifted. Nobody signed up to that plan”]
KARL STEFANOVIC: Mark McGowan did sign up to it but he may not enact it. Amanda, how are you gonna deal with that?
AMANDA STOKER: The difficulty is that people who play games with the pandemic like Steven Miles and Mark McGowan are rewarded for it. But the fact is Australians deserve a timeline that they can count on and reliably know that they’re going to be able to get back to business, get back to work, get back to all the things they love about enjoying life in this great country.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Yeah.
AMANDA STOKER: We have a plan to do that. There’s four steps to it, all of the states agreed to it and the team Australia approach that was so important to getting Australians through the early part of this pandemic, needs to be focused on now. Australians need to get back to normal more than ever and it’s not right for the states to start trying to move the goalposts or play games in their own interests when it’s Australians who are paying the price.
KARL STEFANOVIC: You can say whatever you like and the Prime Minister can say whatever he likes, it’s not going to change their opinion because they have the power.
AMANDA STOKER: They do have a lot of power. They’re responsible for the public health response. But I think it’s fair to say that the Prime Minister and the Federal Government have played a really cooperative team Australia kind of approach to dealing with this problem. That is something that won’t be able to be sustained if the states aren’t acting in the interests of Australians.
KARL STEFANOVIC: Oh, hang on a second. What’s he got planned?
AMANDA STOKER: Look, it’s just a matter of practicality. National cabinet depends upon the states and the federal government working together in the interests of Australians, to get through a difficult time.
KARL STEFANOVIC: But it sounds like you’ve got something planned-
AMANDA STOKER: The states have-
KARL STEFANOVIC: -if the states don’t play ball?
AMANDA STOKER: Look, I think all Australians can expect and should expect firm action from the federal government in their interests. That’s what we’re doing with getting vaccinations into the community; 17 million done already, a million every three days. We’re holding up our end of the bargain and it’s important that Australians demand the same of the rest of the states.