NSW Premier Berejiklian Planning Workers Return to CBD

NSW Premier Berejiklian Planning Workers Return to CBD
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian speaks at a press conference in Homebush on July 14, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Brook Mitchell/Getty Images)

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian says her government is considering ways workers can return to city offices that were abandoned months ago as the COVID-19 pandemic took hold.

She was speaking after the fourth consecutive day with no coronavirus community transmission in NSW and revealed she felt "much more courageous now than I've ever felt in my leadership" because the community had responded positively to dealing with the pandemic.

"We want people to start going back to the CBD ... but we want to make sure it's done safely," she told Sydney radio 2GB on Sept. 30.

"We want people to support those economies and those businesses that have essentially been inactive for seven to eight months," she said.

The government was already implementing safe ways for people to travel on public transport and suggesting staggered office hours, she said.

"The CBD doesn't just mean Sydney—it means all of our centres whether it's Wollongong, or Newcastle or Parramatta or Liverpool," she said.

Asked if she was prepared to axe payroll tax to help create more jobs she said that would require reform of federal/state tax arrangements.

"I feel this is the right time to look at those issues because what COVID has shown us is what we are capable of but also that we can make decisions quickly and in the best interests of our citizens and that our citizens will wear it if they feel it's in their interest," she said.

She also flagged interest in pursuing a travel bubble with New Zealand.

"I'm more than happy to to be the first one that welcomes Kiwis but I also hope that they will also welcome people from our state back," she said.