PM calls out premiers for closing borders to Victoria


“You can’t just shut Australia up every time there’s an outbreak,” Mr Morrison said on Tuesday.

“There are hotspots in one part of Melbourne, admittedly it’s very serious, it has our total focus and it is of great concern.

“But if you are living in Wangaratta [north-east Victoria], then you are no more affected by what’s going on in those suburbs of Melbourne than if you are in Whyalla [South Australia], so we need to get some perspective.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk opened borders to every state except Victoria.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk opened borders to every state except Victoria.Credit:Getty Images

Mr Morrison has pushed Queensland to confirm a reopening date but the debate over borders has frustrated Ms Palaszczuk, who feels she has been unfairly criticised.

“I think, for a start, these border wars have got to stop,” the Queensland Premier said. “I think a national leader should have been able to bring all of the states and territories together.

“Frankly, I’m a bit sick that Queensland has been singled out as opposed to South Australia and Tasmania, just to name a few.

“And perhaps if Victoria had been almost self-quarantined or quarantined, then the Prime Minister could have set a date for all of the other states and territories once Victoria was under control.”

States and territories have largely worked constructively through the national cabinet during the coronavirus pandemic, agreeing on the initial closures of borders.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said on Tuesday that, based on his discussions with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, only the residents of the 10 Melbourne postcodes placed into lockdown from Wednesday night must refrain from visiting NSW.

“Look, I can understand decisions that have been made by other states,” Mr Andrews told reporters.

Premier Daniel Andrews after announcing the state's local lockdowns on Tuesday.

Premier Daniel Andrews after announcing the state’s local lockdowns on Tuesday.Credit:Simon Schluter

“I’ll leave them to defend the decisions they’ve made. I’ve had some conversations with Gladys [Berejiklian] throughout the morning. I’ll speak with her again tonight, most likely … on the health advice I have, there’s no need for us to impose restrictions beyond that.”

Tougher interstate restrictions on Victorians, particularly in SA and Queensland, will cause a drastic redrawing of AFL and NRL fixtures after Richmond’s scheduled AFL clash against West Coast on the Gold Coast on Thursday was postponed earlier this week.

Ms Palaszczuk said that anyone who had travelled from Victoria, including Queensland residents, would be prevented from entering the state unless they quarantined at a hotel at their own expense.

South Australia similarly scrapped its plan to open to Victoria on July 20, with Mr Marshall announcing the state’s border, recently bolstered by extra police checks, would remain closed indefinitely.

“We are increasingly concerned about the outbreaks that are occurring in Victoria so we are not in a position to remove our border,” Mr Marshall said on Tuesday.

Police will remain stationed at Queensland’s borders and at airports to check statutory declarations of those coming into the state. Those who lie about visiting Victoria face a $4000 fine.

“Can I urge all Queenslanders – please do not go to Victoria, stay in Queensland,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

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“We now have the crossover of NSW and Victoria school holidays. Our concern is people from NSW going into Victoria and then choosing to come to Queensland.”

Victoria has detected 139 new cases in the past two days, including a further 64 on Tuesday, leading the state to reintroduce tight lockdown restrictions in 10 postcodes for four weeks.

Mr Andrews also announced that international flights into Melbourne will be diverted for two weeks as the state overhauls its hotel quarantine program, which was revealed to be behind “dozens” of cases in late May and early June.

Domestic flights into Victoria will continue to be permitted and Mr Andrews said he was “deeply grateful” to other states that will accept returning travellers from overseas.

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