Is Western Australia’s border set to open up early in order to accommodate the fifth Ashes Test?
Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt sent the rumour mill into a spin on Sunday when he said the WA Government was considering bringing forward its date to reopen.
Last week, WA Premier Mark McGowan said his state would only open to domestic and international visitors once it reached a 90 per cent double vaccination rate – expected in late January or early February.
An exact date for WA’s reopening will be set once the 80 per cent double vaccination rate is reached – expected to be in mid-December.
The fifth Ashes Test at Optus Stadium is currently scheduled to start on January 14, which as it stands falls in the time frame of when WA will still be closed.
But Hunt’s surprise comments on Sunday have raised hopes of WA opening up earlier than expected.
“We’d like to see Western Australia open as soon as possible,” Hunt told the ABC Insider’s program.
“It’s obviously a matter for them, it’s subject to their assessments.
“But we are hearing that they are considering bringing that forward to at least, well coincidentally, to time with the cricket.
“We’ll let them determine it. I want to see a Perth Test – fast, hard, bouncy wicket; last Test of the Ashes, it gives us our best chance.
“But above all else I want to see not just cricketers, but children reuniting with parents.”
“I want the same rules for children and cancer (patients) and cardiac patients as for cricketers. It’s our deep humanity to bring people together. That’s what we urge.”
Tasmania made a late push to steal the fifth Test off WA, but it seems almost certain the match will be played in Perth despite the possible border hurdles that may still be present.