A push by the federal government and industry groups to reopen state borders is having an impact, with South Australia reconsidering its restrictions.
SA is looking at lifting border restrictions for people from NSW and the ACT within the next fortnight if their case numbers remain low.
From Friday the state is also reintroducing a 40km buffer zone for people living either side of the Victorian border.
NSW is also looking at changing its Victorian border buffer zone from 2.5km back to the original 50km.
Senior government ministers have long been calling on state leaders to open their borders, citing issues on agriculture, tourism, healthcare access and the broader economy.
A coalition of peak business groups has also urged action.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison told a joint party room meeting on Tuesday the state border issue had been exasperating at times, but praised the national cabinet for getting better results at meetings with state and territory leaders.
But the prime minister and his senior colleagues later used parliament’s question time to criticise Victoria in a bid to shift blame on aged care.
The federal government is responsible for aged care but argues community outbreaks of the virus in Victoria led to it entering nursing homes.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says he’s worried about the Victorian government’s push to extend a state of emergency for 12 months, as well as the economic blow the strict restrictions have had.
“At the end of the day we will do everything to support Victorians get to the other side of this crisis, but the Victorian government has a lot of questions to answer,” he told parliament.
The state recorded 148 new cases on Tuesday and another eight deaths, taking the national toll to 525.
Seven of the deaths are related to aged care.
NSW has recorded three cases, one from a returned traveller in hotel quarantine and the other two linked to previous cases.
Draft legislation outlining the future of wage subsidies and the dole will hit parliament on Wednesday, which Labor will support even if their concerns about employees cutting workers hours are not addressed.
The bill also extends the payment timeframe for JobKeeper and JobSeeker rather than outlining a staggered drop in the rates, which is up to the treasurer.
The Morrison government plans to cut JobKeeper payments from $1500 to $1200 per fortnight at the end of September, and then to $1000 from December to March.
Labor wants the rate to remain at $1500 for another six months with Victoria’s coronavirus lockdown smashing the national economy.
JobSeeker is set to reduce from $1100 to $800 per fortnight until the end of the year before the government develops a longer-term plan.
Labor says it should remain at the higher rate beyond September.