John Barilaro TORCHES interstate premiers for lecturing NSW on how to fight its Covid outbreaks 

Acting NSW Premier John Barilaro has blasted other states for criticising New South Wales‘ handling of its coronavirus outbreak.

He accused other states of negating on their duties by allowing NSW to take the bulk of returning travellers into hotel quarantine and not financially contributing.    

Mr Barilaro complained on Radio 2GB that Sydney had processed 105,000 returning travellers since March compared with just 29,000 for Queensland and 22,000 for Western Australia

 ‘I am sick to death of being lectured to by Western Australia and some of the other states, when we’re doing the heavy lifting,’ he said on Monday.

States have rushed to shut their doors to NSW as the state handles a second wave of the virus which began in mid-December – with millions now unable to leave. 

NSW Acting Premier John Barilaro favours covid suppression

Meanwhile WA Premier Mark McGowan favours covid elimination

John Barilaro (left) cut loose on WA Premier Mark McGowan (right), saying other states want to lecture NSW on coronavirus – but not pay their share of the hotel quarantine bill

Of the 105,000 returnees, Mr Barilaro said half end up moving on to other states.

‘So we’re like the dry cleaner or the car wash. We clean them and we send them back to their states clean,’ he told 2GB host Ben Fordham on Monday.

‘All that risk lies with New South Wales and, of course, our health system – and when we get lectured by these others, it is bloody hard to accept when they’re not doing the heavy lifting.’ 

Last month Mr Barilaro threatened to hire charter planes to forward on any returning citizens to their home state of destination to quarantine. 

Returning travellers at Sydney Airport on December 21. Mr Barilaro said NSW processed 105,000 since March, bearing the huge cost of hotel quarantine

Returning travellers at Sydney Airport on December 21. Mr Barilaro said NSW processed 105,000 since March, bearing the huge cost of hotel quarantine

A Covid-19 cluster in Berala has been caused by a patient transfer worker who took a family of returned overseas travellers to a health facility - prompting states to shut their borders

A Covid-19 cluster in Berala has been caused by a patient transfer worker who took a family of returned overseas travellers to a health facility – prompting states to shut their borders

Mr Barilaro told 2GB that NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet had sent the other states a bill for their share of the costs of hotel quarantine – but they didn’t want to pay.

‘I think they’ve all baulked at paying their share – it’s ridiculous,’ he said.  

Mr Barilaro’s spray came as Western Australia’s Premier Mark McGowan threatened to shut the WA border to all states if the coronavirus outbreak spread beyond NSW and Victoria. 

‘If we have to bring back a hard border to all the states we would do that if there was spread into other states that necessitated that outcome,’ Mr McGowan said on Monday.

‘Putting up borders to stop the spread of the virus works. If we need to put up the border to protect the welfare, health and economy of Western Australia we will.’

COVID TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS FOR NEW SOUTH WALES

  • Western Australia – All NSW residents are banned from entering WA. Anyone who enters the state will be ‘sent back’, according to Premier Mark McGowan. 
  • Victoria – A hard border has been put up, with the entire state of NSW declared a red zone. If people cross into Victoria before 11.59pm on New Year’s Eve, they must self- isolate until they test negative. If they enter before 11.59pm on New Year’s Day, they must self-isolate for 14 days regardless of test results. If they cross into the state after January 1, they must spend two weeks in mandatory hotel quarantine.
  • Northern Territory – The state has declared greater metropolitan Sydney as a Covid-19 hotspot, and travellers will need to undergo 14 days of supervised quarantine.
  • South Australia – Harder border closure to all NSW residents from midnight on New Year’s Eve. Returning South Australians must quarantine for 14 days. A 100km border buffer zone, including Broken Hill and Wentworth, will be exempt.
  • Queensland – Queensland has shut its borders to Greater Sydney, Wollongong and the Central Coast. Locals returning to the Sunshine State from a hotspot must isolate. 
  • ACT – Anyone travelling to the ACT from a Covid-19 hotspot in NSW will now require an exemption. People from Sydney’s Northern Beaches, Greater Sydney, the Central Coast and Wollongong will not be legally permitted to enter the ACT without a valid pass from midday on Saturday January 2.
  • Tasmania – Northern Beaches residents banned. All people from Greater Sydney must also quarantine upon entry.  
Advertisement

The WA Premier urged New South Wales to stop playing ‘whack-a-mole’ where virus clusters appear early on in the outbreak.

Mr McGowan, like other Labor premiers, supports eliminating coronavirus rather than suppressing it.

The NSW Liberal Government, like the Federal Liberal Government, supports a strategy of suppression as it believes that is better for the economy. 

Despite the July 2020 National Cabinet agreement to a suppression strategy, Mr McGowan said on Monday that the best thing Australia could do is to keep the virus out and allow the economy and health to go well within its borders. 

 ‘Get rid of the virus within our borders, within our country, and keep it that way,’ he said.

The Federal government has said it is still working on approvals to roll out the vaccines which are expected to be administered by March.

Passengers from Melbourne arrive in Perth on December 8. WA Premier Mark McGowan has threatened to shut the WA border to Australia if coronavirus leaks beyond NSW and Victoria

Passengers from Melbourne arrive in Perth on December 8. WA Premier Mark McGowan has threatened to shut the WA border to Australia if coronavirus leaks beyond NSW and Victoria

Travellers at Sydney Airport on December 20, leaving before borders closed to other states

Travellers at Sydney Airport on December 20, leaving before borders closed to other states

A security guard takes the temperature of a customer at a shopping mall in Sydney on Sunday

A security guard takes the temperature of a customer at a shopping mall in Sydney on Sunday

HOW TO CHECK IF YOU NEED A TEST 

There are 63 separate health alerts for NSW venues on the NSW Health website and 17 for public transport routes as of Monday night.  

The public is urged to check the NSW Health website here to see if you were at any of those places at the red-flagged dates and times.

If you were there at the times flagged, you may have come in contact with the virus and may need to isolate and get tested. 

Advertisement

Widespread vaccination will create herd immunity and end the pandemic.

On Monday NSW recorded no new local coronavirus infections in the 24 hours to 8pm on Sunday.

Two new cases were recorded after the reporting period, however, in Sydney’s western suburbs bringing the NSW total to 188 active locally acquired cases. 

NSW began enforcing compulsory mask-wearing regulations for Greater Sydney on Monday with those caught without a facemask in designated public areas risking a $200 fine. 

Mr Barilaro said that wearing masks was an alternative to strict lockdowns, by inhibiting the spread of the virus people could be kept mobile and businesses open. 

There were seven cases in NSW hotel quarantine and Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant warned more infected people are entering Australia as the virus spreads rapidly in Europe and the US. 

However NSW Health is most concerned about the BWS Berala outbreak which began after a Covid-19 patient transport worker unknowingly visited the store while infectious before Christmas. 

Tens of thousands of people have been asked to isolate after more than 1,000 people attended the Berala bottle shop on Christmas Eve alone – with more who visited a nearby Woolworths now also on alert.

The infection was first passed from a family of returned travellers with the virus to a patient transport worker.

This worker then passed it to a colleague, who attended the BWS at Berala who did not know they had been exposed and had no symptoms.

Despite only attending the BWS for a short amount of time on 20 December, a BWS worker caught the virus without knowing and served thousands of customers.

Ground zero: BWS at Berala, in Sydney's south-west, is at the centre of the latest Covid cluster - sparked by a patient transport driver unknowingly infected a colleague, who then visited the store when they were suffering no symptoms

On Saturday evening, NSW Health ramped up its alert for the Berala bottle shop, with many of its customers of the Christmas holiday period now considered to be close contacts

Source

Related posts