NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet has slammed Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s plea for the Federal Government to continue to support its ailing tourism industry despite maintaining a hard stance on border closures.
Palaszczuk yesterday suggested that the Federal Government’s JobKeeper program be extended beyond March for operators in Queensland’s hard hit tourism sector.
“Queensland, closed one day, asking someone else to pick up the tab the next,” Perrottet told The Daily Telegraph.
“People in NSW have not only been banned from entering Queensland, but Queensland wants the taxpayers of NSW to pay for that decision.”
Perrottet said that hard lockdowns come with a huge economic cost, with modelling showing NSW would have lost $9 billion if it had extended its hard lockdown of the northern beaches across greater Sydney.
“We continue to fight a dual battle: keeping people safe is a priority but keeping our economy open and people in work is vital,” he said.
“It’s very easy to have a blanket decision to shut borders but there are economic downstream consequences and Queensland are seeing that.
“At the end of the day, someone has to pay for that.
“It’s the Australian taxpayer, whether it’s in Queensland or NSW or anywhere else, who they are asking to pick up the tab for their decision.
“The money doesn’t come from nowhere. She’s asking us to pay for her decision to lock us out.”
While Queensland has stated it will open its borders to Greater Sydney from February 1, Palaszczuk’s hard line border stance has cost the state dearly in lost revenue.
Queensland is estimated to have lost more than $200 million by closing the border to Greater Sydney from December through to January, according to the Queensland Tourism Industry Council.
“Our industry will still be in desperate need of assistance going forward,” Queensland Tourism Industry Council CEO Daniel Gschwind told The Daily Telegraph.