PM ramps up pressure on Qld to reopen borders as trans Tasman travel talks progress

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is piling on the pressure for Queensland to reopen its borders, with a warning that NSW and Victoria may welcome travellers from New Zealand before visitors from Queensland.

Morrison has warned Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk it would not allow state border bans to create an “obstacle” to allowing flights to and from New Zealand.

The decision to keep Queensland’s borders closed is costing the state billions of dollars in lost tourism business.

“New Zealand is obviously the first, and right now only, international market that we could safely agree to open up to,” Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham told The Sydney Morning Herald.

“If New Zealand and some Australian states are ready and willing to progress, then the reluctance of other states to open up their domestic borders shouldn’t become an obstacle to progress.

“The recovery of jobs and small businesses in some states shouldn’t be held back by the decisions of other state governments.”

Meanwhile, Palaszczuk said she is willing to consider a plan to create a travel bubble in North Queensland.

Townsville Enterprise Limited, Cairns, Whitsunday, Mackay and outback regions have put forward a plan to introduce a travel bubble in an effort to reboot north Queensland’s decimated tourism sector.

“I’ve asked them to submit a plan to the government, and I’ll be able to get them a decision by the end of this month,” Palaszczuk told the Cairns Post.

“I look forward to seeing this plan. Sensible, measured steps is what we’re looking for.”