PM’s deadline: Bring down this border wall
PRIME Minister Scott Morrison has urged Queensland to get its borders open in July, warning if they leave the decision too late, tourists will fly elsewhere and Virgin airline jobs will be lost.
While Queensland initially had a July 10 provisional timeframe for state borders to reopen, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has since flagged it could be as late as September.
Mr Morrison said he hoped she relented and moved back towards the original July date.
"When we set out the three-stop process together, July was when interstate travel was supposed to be up and running again," he told 2GB.
"We never said there should be border (restrictions). That was never the health advice, that was never the agreement."
The Prime Minister said if Queensland did open its borders sooner than September, tourism operators and would-be holiday makers needed to know sooner than later.
"If they leave it to announcing it until July, people who might book a holiday for July will have already booked it somewhere else," he said.
"They may be booking it in New Zealand if they're not careful.
"It's really important we get the planes flying again. The more planes flying means more jobs.
"Virgin's success depends a lot on routes opening up again. If I get planes flying between Australia and New Zealand, I want planes flying between NSW and Queensland and Western Australia and South Australia.
"Those jobs in Virgin depend on ensuring we open up our aviation industry and this is a blockage to that."
Tourism industry figures were hopeful Ms Palaszczuk was softening on the September date after she opened up travel within Queensland to unlimited distances.
Ms Palaszczuk has been reluctant to open the borders while COVID-19 cases continue to NSW and Victoria.
Originally published as PM's deadline: Bring down this border wall