Chief Minister has not ruled out closing the Territory’s borders to the rest of the country as part of the NT’s response to the unprecedented coronavirus crisis
Chief Minister has not ruled out closing the Territory’s borders to the rest of the country as part of the NT’s response to the unprecedented coronavirus crisis

Northern Territory may close its borders to rest of country

CHIEF Minister Michael Gunner has not ruled out the idea of closing the Territory's borders to the rest of the country as part of the NT's response to the unprecedented coronavirus crisis.

When asked if the option of closing the NT's borders was "not off the table" on Wednesday afternoon, replied he would "do whatever it takes" to protect Territorians.

However, he said keeping freight trucks rolling into the Territory with supplies was a priority.

"I absolutely think we need to discuss nationally the general movement of people," he said.

"I'm extremely mindful of the fact that we need to protect Territorians.

"My focus right now, my priority right now, is protecting remote communities."

NT Chief Minister Michael Gunner announces a $65 million Rescue and Recovery Plan to protect Territorians from economic impact of the coronavirus

Posted by The NT News on Tuesday, 17 March 2020

All non-essential travel in to remote communities has been banned and those in community have been told it is safest to stay at home.

Mr Gunner also announced a $65 million stimulus package to help soften the blow on struggling businesses.

"We know we can't stop the virus, and we can't stop the economic hit that's coming, but we can make sure we're still standing at the end," he said.

"If we need to do more we will do more.

"I will spend whatever we need to save lives."

Mr Gunner said it was too early to speculate what the impact would be on the economy.

"We are living in unprecedented times," he said.

"It's difficult right now to predict the impact apart from that it's going to hit."

Chamber of Commerce NT president Greg Ireland said the chamber was concerned about the wellbeing of businesses.

He urged people to continue visiting shops and spending locally.

"We don't have the cases in the community and as long as we are observing the health practices lets go out and enjoy the shops and services like we normally do," he said.


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