NSW Premier Berejiklian Puts Border Pressure on WA and Qld

NSW Premier Berejiklian Puts Border Pressure on WA and Qld
Vehicle checkpoint on the Pacific Highway on the Queensland-New South Wales border in Brisbane on April 15, 2020. (Patrick Hamilton /AFP via Getty Images)

Premier Gladys Berejiklian is hoping her bold move of opening NSW to Australians from every state will put economic and political pressure on WA and Queensland to do likewise.

New Zealanders are already able to travel to NSW and from November 23 there will be no restrictions on Australians from other states crossing the NSW border.

“I hope the announcement we made yesterday encourages both the WA premier and the Queensland premier to follow suit because of the devastating impacts of job losses in March, April, May next year,” she told ABC TV on Nov 5.

“I worry about the June quarter next year unless we take action now.

“Yes, we’re all residents of a state but we have a national economy which we all have to support.

“If we don’t, the consequences for our citizens will be devastating, not just here in NSW but across everywhere.”

NSW was doing well but relied on other states to buy products, to improve its gross state product and to keep the economy going, Berejiklian said.

She appealed to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and WA Premier Mark McGowan to put the national good first but said “when ... people are very, kind of, set in their ways, it’s very difficult to change their course”.

“We’ve got no international students, no international travellers, markets are disrupted.

“We have to rely on each other in Australia to the short and medium term, but you can’t when some state premiers are being so stubborn.”

She also reiterated how important QR codes were for businesses to register all patrons who visited their venues, saying she was making them compulsory because it was “too risky” to open the economy without them.

The QR codes will become mandatory for hospitality venues from November 23 as NSW Health is still trying to contact patrons from a Sydney restaurant who did not record their details.

Berejiklian said there would have to be “a lot” of cases in Victoria before she would consider closing the border again but stressed the state’s capacity to deal with outbreaks was the real test.

Meanwhile, NSW on Wednesday reported three locally transmitted COVID-19 cases and six in returned travellers in hotel quarantine.

Australian Associated Press is an Australian news agency.
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