Scott Morrison press conference: PM confirms attendance at COP26 climate summit in Glasgow

Kimberley CainesThe West Australian
VideoThe Australian Prime Minister has confirmed he will be attending the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow at the end of the month.

Scott Morrison has confirmed he will be attending the COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow at the end of the month.

While speaking in Sydney on Friday, the Prime Minister said he confirmed his attendance overnight – ahead of Australia revealing its new climate policy deal over the coming days.

“It is an important event. The government will be finalising its position to take to the summit,” Mr Morrison said.

“We’re working through those issues with colleagues and I look forward to those discussions over the next couple of weeks.

“The plan that I am taking forward together with my colleagues is about ensuring that our regions are strong, that our region’s jobs are not only protected but have opportunities for the future.

“It is not just about hitting net zero. That is an important environmental goal but what is important is that Australia’s economy goes from strength to strength.”

It comes after Mr Morrison last month told The West Australian he was unlikely to go to the summit, which begins on October 31, over quarantine concerns when he returned to Australia.

However on Friday, NSW announced it was scrapping quarantine for fully vaccinated international travellers entering the State from November 1.

Mr Morrison said he was “very pleased” NSW was lifting quarantine caps on vaccinated international travellers.

“It enables us to be in a position to lift caps for returning Australian citizens, residents and their families,” he said.

“What this also means is we will be allowing Australians, permanent residents and citizens and their families to leave Australia from wherever they live in Australia and return.

“But obviously the capped arrangements in other States will continue because of the vaccination levels in those States and Territories.”

The Prime Minister said discussions on international travel had been had with NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet for “some time”.

He confirmed it would only be for Australian residents, permanent citizens and their immediate families first, followed by skilled migrants, students and tourists.

“We are not opening up to everyone coming back to Australia at the moment. I want to be clear about that,” Mr Morrison said.

“We will take this forward in a staged way as we have done in all these things. We are only extending this to Australian residents, citizens and their immediate families.

“I’ve written to the Premiers and Chief Ministers earlier this week, and also consistent with the decision of the National Security Committee, asking them to confirm the arrangements they would have so we could make a decision about whether and when Australians will be able to travel overseas again and return.”

WA is not expected to reopen international travel until next year, prompting Qantas last month to remove the Perth-London non-stop flight until April 2022.

The airline is also delaying the restart of some domestic flights out of WA, based on border restrictions.

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