Aussie PM Tells States to Set a Date for Opening Borders

June 11, 2020 Updated: June 11, 2020

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has urged state premiers to set a July date to open their borders to give airlines and the tourism industry some certainty to restart interstate travel and associated jobs.

“I would be hoping that, at the earliest possible opportunity, states will be able to indicate the date in July that interstate travel will be open again,” Morrison told Parliament on June 10.

At this stage, Western Australia, South Australia, and Tasmania are keeping borders shut, and Queensland is still committed to a September reopening.

Morrison insisted as he has before, that it was imperative to open up borders to give the tourism industry clarity.

“It is in Virgin’s interest, it is in Qantas’s interest and it is in the aviation sector’s interest that we move to opening up travel within Australia as soon as possible,” Morrison said.

With borders potentially closed for months, Deloitte, the administrators of Virgin Australia, has warned that there will be difficult conditions even with a successful sale to one of the two remaining bidders, Bain Capital or Cyrus Capital Partners.

The Transport Workers Union has also appealed for borders to reopen, saying that jobs in the industry have ground to a halt with airports shut.

They appealed to the federal government to urgently put in place an “aviation keeper” support package that will last beyond September when the current JobKeeper relief program is set to end.

The treasury is due to release in July a review of the JobKeeper, where changes are likely to be announced.