'A dislocated nation': PM's virus vision


Scott Morrison says Australia is at risk of becoming a "dislocated nation" because of the pandemic as he pushes for a big change that could open up the nation. 

He gave the warning in parliament yesterday as he pushes the states and territories this week to accept a new way to mark coronavirus hotspots.

He hopes the new system will all border rules to be eased and the economy to be opened by Christmas. It's understood the federal government may pave its own way on its new definition of virus "hotspots" if it cannot get a consensus from leaders in the National Cabinet meeting on Friday.

"We should aim for Australians to be able to go to work, to be able to be with their family at Christmas, and to return to visit their friends," Mr Morrison told Parliament on Tuesday. "We cannot resign Australia to being a dislocated nation under COVID-19.

"What we must plan to do is, by Christmas…we must work together to ensure we have the protections in place to protect the health and safety of Australians, and to open up our economies, and ensure the ambitions of our federation are returned to again."

However, his hotspot plan is facing stiff opposition from Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk - who faces a state election on October 31. She said this week she "will not be moved" on the state's hard borders.

Yesterday she appeared defiant again, saying the example of an infected ex-bikie trying to enter Queensland illegally this week is proof of the need for the controls.

"This goes to show how strong our border measures are and the fact that they are working," she said, adding the man had been apprehended by police.

Yesterday, there were 70 new cases and five deaths recorded in Victoria, continuing a downward trend in the state. NSW reported 13 new infections and Queensland recorded two.