Premier Palaszczuk, tear down this wall between our states

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has fired her strongest criticism yet at her Queensland counterpart Annastacia Palaszczuk over her own version of the Berlin Wall.

Ms Berejiklian said the border travel ban stopping NSW tourists from heading into Queensland would "hinder our national economic growth" and "demonstrates the outlook" of the Sunshine State.

"I'm someone who has a keen eye on the economy, and business, and jobs. And I can see Australia not reaching its potential if premiers don't take down their borders," Ms Berejiklian said.

Rae's general manager Francesca Webster says, with Queensland’s border closed, interest in travel to Byron Bay has boomed. Picture: Luke Marsden
Rae's general manager Francesca Webster says, with Queensland’s border closed, interest in travel to Byron Bay has boomed. Picture: Luke Marsden

The border closure is a massive winter peak season own goal for Queensland, which normally receives 4.5 million visitors from NSW who head north every year to spend $4.4 billion.

The border is only closed one way with 4.5 million Queenslanders still able to continue their annual pilgrimage to NSW where they spend $3.4 billion.

A Queensland Health spokesman said their need to quarantine upon return "is dependent on several factors", including if they have been to a COVID-19 hotspot - of which the only three are currently in Victoria.

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Ms Palaszczuk snapped at reporters who quizzed her about a possible border opening in July rather than September as anger in Queensland mounted over the missed opportunities.

"I said very clearly each month we will be reviewing," she said. "Don't please put incorrect words in my mouth."

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said: "Both the NSW and Queensland economies win from travel and tourism between the two states, and the sooner restrictions are lifted the greater the bottom line boost will be for both.

"Queensland's policy is their prerogative, but as the premier has said, we would much rather keep our border open, as it improves the freedom of people and will help business and the economy."

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Wednesday. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Wednesday. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP

Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said it was up to states to decide on borders but added: "From a medical point of view I can't see why the borders are still closed."

Margy Osmond, chief executive of the Tourism and Transport Forum, said the easing of travel domestic travel restrictions "is an amazing opportunity for Queensland tourism and it would be a great shame to let it go to waste".

A survey conducted for the TTF found that the Gold Coast was the No.1 destination Australians would like to go to once COVID-19 restrictions were eased. NSW was ranked second.

"The big winner out of this border war will be NSW," Ms Osmond said.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Tuesday. Picture: Dean Lewins/AAP
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Tuesday. Picture: Dean Lewins/AAP

Francesca Webster, general manager at Raes on Wategos at Byron Bay, said "the phone has been ringing off the hook" since NSW announced an easing of interstate travel restrictions on June 1.

"I think a majority of Australian travellers go to Europe at this time of year and if they cannot go there and they cannot go to Queensland then I think they will come to northern NSW."

Originally published as Premier Palaszczuk, tear down this wall between our states


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