Australian PM: economies to reopen, but state borders to remain closed

Scott Morrison's new goal is to see interstate border restrictions lifted by December.

By Bloomberg News , September 4 2020
Australian PM: economies to reopen, but state borders to remain closed

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said most state and territory leaders have recommitted to opening up the economy by December, but failed to secure an immediate agreement to lift border restrictions that are hampering the recovery.

The nation has fragmented along state lines, with many leaders barring travel from the two most-populous states of New South Wales and Victoria due to community transmission of Covid-19. That’s complicating efforts to steer the economy out of its first recession in almost 30 years.

Seven out of the eight state and territory leaders recommitted to dropping restrictions by Christmas, something that was originally envisaged by the end of July. The state of Western Australia, the powerhouse of the nation’s resources industry, was the holdout.

“I will seek to bring states and territories together as best as I can to ensure we’re all heading in the same direction,” Morrison said after a meeting of state and territory leaders Friday. “Not everyone has to get on the bus for the bus to leave the station.”

Economic, human impact

The travel restrictions are smashing the tourism industry that’s already wilting from international borders being closed. They are also causing chaos for people in towns straddling state borders, who need to regularly cross for work or to access medical care.

There is also a human cost, with local media reporting on people who have been denied permission to travel interstate to visit dying relatives.

There are growing calls from the business community, including Qantas CEO Alan Joyce, to lift the restrictions.

Read more: Qantas CEO calls out "politics" on domestic border closures

Morrison has been pressing for the states to agree on a definition of Covid “hot spots” to enable borders to reopen but allow more targeted controls on travel. But they are yet to reach an accord on how such a system would work.

Arrivals caps to be increased

South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria agreed Friday on an agricultural code to allow easier movement for farm workers. Leaders also agreed Australia should increase the weekly cap on citizens and permanent residents allowed to fly home from overseas, with Tasmania state saying it could help with quarantine arrangements.

Morrison said he had spoken with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern about the “hot spot” concept, and that once arrangements had been agreed, New Zealanders would be able to visit Australia.

“If there’s no Covid in Christchurch,” he said, referring to the New Zealand South Island city, there’s no reason residents “can’t come to Sydney. And that will mean, I think, an important boost for our tourist economy.”

Read more: New Zealand travel bubble "on the backburner", may not open until 2021

Despite the lack of concrete progress Friday, Morrison tried to sound upbeat and stressed the importance of finding sustainable ways to cope with the crisis.

“It’s not just about now till December,” he said. “In the absence of a vaccine, we may have to live this way for years, and we need it to be sustainable and workable for as long as possible.”

Also read: International travel ban set to continue to December 2020

Syndicated

This article was published under license from Bloomberg Media and the original article can be viewed here

QF

11 Jul 2014

Total posts 487

Lucky I'm not Scomo, I would be saying sort this out premiers or I'll be holding back GST payments and cancelling job keeper and job seeker.

07 May 2020

Total posts 39

Economies to reopen. Borders to stay closed. Sounds like an oxymoron. Pandemic Panic followed by Pandemic Paralysis.

12 Feb 2013

Total posts 41

The PM tried to get some agreement on state borders at today’s National Cabinet, but the extension of the international travel ban media release by the Health Minister yesterday quoted the “AHPPC has advised that the international and domestic COVID-19 situation continues to pose an unacceptable public health risk. The extension of the emergency period is an appropriate response to that risk”. No doubt the states/territories will use and quote that as justification to keep their state borders closed.

NZ

13 Aug 2016

Total posts 59

It would be hard to see New Zealand and Australia to have two way travel by Christmas if Jacinda wins the election. 

New Zealand is bordering on becoming the new Berlin Wall.

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 72

Australia has officially become a pathetic international joke. Lee Kwan Yew was right. Soon enough Australia will become the poor white trash of Asia as we clearly become an economy not interested in engaging with the rest of the world. And we deserve it for enabling most of our politicians to behave in such a despotic way. 

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 172

@KW72 are you a puppet of China or their state controlled media lol?. An economy not interested in engaging with the rest of the world...what BS.

XWu
XWu

09 May 2020

Total posts 85

@Dan22

You are right, we as a nation of 26M with our GDP and geopolitical ranking love telling other nations what they are doing wrong, except the UK and occasionally the US

17 Jun 2020

Total posts 72

🇨🇳 

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 32

I think we should look to restarting the economy  with essential travel only from state to state that benefits the economy and businesses, not leisure travel yet.  That might mean families cannot spend Christmas and or new year's together.  

I'm sure most Australians would be prepared to forgo these family get togethers for 1 year if this helps expedite getting the economy going and  our lives back some sort of normal, going to the pub for a drink and or a meal for example in the states where we all live with very few limits.

We can help the local tourism industry by holidaying within our own state for a change. 

Once we have a vaccine then leisure travel and overseas travel can resume. 

This is a pandemic and we need to stay the course in my opinion to expedite a faster road back to some sort of normality.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 263

Spoken like someone who has not become unemployed or felt the financial pain of this mishandled fiasco, future generations will look back at this as the greatest over reaction and panic the country has ever seen. 

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 927

GBRGB the only issue with your argument is on almost any measure rate of recession to handling COVID (in terms of case load hospitalisations etc) etc we have handled it better than most with the exception of (the go hard go early groups) Vietnam, Taiwan, and Thailand and dare I sway it China, and much the same as NZ and S Korea and slightly better than Japan. None in Europe or North America  have our record, health wise or economic effects. Note those states with harshest border regime have fare better economically QLD SA and WA. ACT is the exception as no border closure.

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 32

Currently out of work looking for work FYI a casualty of working for a small business that could survive. You sound like someone who is young and invincible. Perhaps you need to spend some time shadowing our doctors and nurses in the covid 19 ICU  to get a true sense of the word suffering first hand and a greater appreciation of life that you have and they may not have.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

21 Jan 2014

Total posts 263

People die everyday of all sorts of things, for some reason Covid is the only death that matters these days, it’s a joke, people need to get a grip on reality, it’s pathetic 

07 May 2020

Total posts 39

ozspeke777. And you would know what it is like in ICU wards? Australia has not even known what it is like to have more than a handful of patients in icu because of the corona 19 flu. Yet Australia has gone into overdrive of pandemic paranoia, pandemic panic and now pandemic paralysis. Most of the northern hemisphere moves on with coping with this corona flu, whilst the southern hemisphere thinks they know better.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 927

Go Robin having only a handful in ICU is a good thing it enables the rest of the health care system to function, And private hospitals,  and non emergency care to continue: we really don want parks being dug up for mass graves like happened in Italy Spain and the New York.  Not sure where the paralysis is most of the country is in a very limited stage 2 restriction, most of us we can go out to restaurants, parks etc, and I note that crowded bars seem to be to less rigidly policed, except where there are local outbreaks. Seem fine to me...

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 32

Well gorobin that's because AUSTRALIA has kept a lid on the pandemic unlike the northern hemisphere particularly the USA where in places like Florida and Texas they ran out of ICU beds and doctors had to make difficult choices and decide who got a ventilator and a bed and who didn't and died.

So you think we just fling open all our borders return back to how it was before covid-19 and if you catch it and die that's just bad luck, it is what it is? Does it not matter if we have no hospital beds because all our hospitals are full with covid-19 patients and the health system collapses and people coming to hospital that have been in a car crash or are suffering any other medical emergency die because the hospitals,doctors and nurses are so overwhelmed and over worked dealing with the covid-19 pandemic?.

 Your and GBRBG's selfish and simplistic view on life is an insult to everyone who has lost a love one to the covid-19 pandemic here in this country.

 Most major northern hemisphere countries have had more deaths per population than here  or are these facts fake?

I really do think you read my first post its about getting everyone back to work opening the borders for work purposes with leisure travel following later when we have a vaccine.

Thank goodness you and GBRGB are not in government and making the hard decisions to keep Australians safe.

FYI the Corona virus is not the flu.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

07 Aug 2013

Total posts 172

The USA should not be used in any examples for managing covid - their medical system is a disaster before covid and their population is 330millon people. USA can be compared to perhaps China or India but I wouldn't trust any news that comes our of China.

so if you are already in Qld, go to Cape York. From there easy to get to PNG. It's only 1500m from Saibai Island to PNG. You could almost swim that far, except for sharks/crocs.

Can you currently fly PNG to Thailand ?

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Mar 2018

Total posts 7

The federation laws need to be changed for this type of situation, if it occurs again the PM should have ultimate power as the state leaders are simply not equipped to deal with it and are power hungry dictators not interested in the overall success of Australia.

The QLD and VIC leaders resemble the leaders of China,Russia and North Korea with the approach which they have taken, borders must reopen or we will not recover in our lifetimes and it will be a direct result of the egos of Premiers  Andrews and Palaszczuk.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 927

Flyer why those two why not the liberal leaders in SA and Tassie, and Labor WA the toughest of them all seems to get off lightly as well.. Surely they must have a bit of the Soviet in them as well, o are your colors showing (I'm labor/green by the way)

11 Jul 2020

Total posts 32

This is a no-win situation for all premiers in each state with the public. They are criticized for wanting to keep their states shut to keep the public safe in their State, if they open up they are criticized for not going far enough and if they open up fully and get another wave of covid-19 then it's their fault too. Like I said it's currently a no-win situation for some people whatever the state primers decide to do in relation to the covid-19 pandemic.

Dan 22 looks like the UK is about to have a second wave. The USA example is a perfect point for people who think it's a hoax, just the flu, or the death toll from covid-19 is not relevant to the deaths that usually happen in that country every year from car accidents, shootings heart attacks etc. Like I have stated before, we are lucky here in Australia, we took fast, responsive action.

People will agree or disagree with this topic that's why we have a democracy in this country. I think we are all in agreement that our borders need to be open within Australia as the first step, where we disagree is how fast or how safely, this is done and trying to mitigate more deaths as we do it. 

If you are young and fell invincible good for you, but I want you to remember one thing, we will ALL be paying for this for probably the next 10 years at least. 

I say to you young folk who think you got the raw end of the deal, that every Australian that has gone before you (Living on this planet before you where born has contributed through tax to fund Hospitals, roads, schools, the Army, Navy, Airforce and more and to pay back the deficit we have, when the federal government on both sides of the aisle, overspend when they are in power or waste money, this is something that all of us have to accept as part of life, whether you like it or not.

If you don't like the way our country is heading, then vote when we have elections, so things like climate change are addressed, if this concerns you, the unemployed, pensioners, and those with a disability get the help with proper funding. 

Personally I'm so over the constant bickering both on all the morning news shows on TV, with some much time wasted on speculation and little on fact and a way forward and secondly with members of the liberal party putting their 2 cents worth in.  

We have a special national cabinet created for addressing the Covid -19 pandemic by the prime minister and every state premier, so everyone else in politics should butt out and shut the hell up. They should concentrate the efforts on their plan for going forward for the whole country on a federal level once the pandemic is over.

We are all in this, None of this back and forth on this forum is going to change the current outcome.

I'm relieved I'm in my late 50's. Long gone are the days when you have a job for life, now its casual employment or you are on a contract for a year, maybe a few years at most if you are lucky and yes some people still have a full-time job with no limits. Wage rises are a thing of the past and now those younger than me will be competing with A.I. and automation within the next few years as it becomes more prominent, meaning more job losses, even in jobs that could only be done by a human previously.

Along time ago, I remember going to see the second Max Max film with Mel Gibson and a few years later, The Terminator. I wonder which of these films will become the future reality of our planet after I'm gone?

This is my last response on this topic, I feel it's been done to death now.

Qantas

19 Apr 2012

Total posts 927

Ozpeke Hear hear!!! 


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