Michael McCormack calls Daniel Andrews’ Victorian curfew ‘cynical’

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Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister has demanded state leaders open their borders in time for Christmas

Michael McCormack said it’s ‘not good enough’ that Australians still can’t travel within the country despite daily coronavirus cases continuing to plummet. 

‘We want the Premiers of those states who have still got very tight lockdowns to ease those restrictions,’ he told Sunrise on Monday.

‘People want to travel, particularly as we approach the warmer months where people want to go on holiday and they want to catch-up with their loved ones over Christmas.

The federal government is extending subsidies for airlines operating flights between capital cities and regional towns. Pictured: Passengers leaving Sydney for Adelaide on September 24

The federal government is extending subsidies for airlines operating flights between capital cities and regional towns. Pictured: Passengers leaving Sydney for Adelaide on September 24

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack told Sunrise it's 'not good enough' that Australians still can't travel within the country despite daily new coronavirus cases continuing to plummet

Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack told Sunrise it’s ‘not good enough’ that Australians still can’t travel within the country despite daily new coronavirus cases continuing to plummet

‘It’s not good enough that we’ve got tight border restrictions that are preventing many people from travelling where they want to be around this great nation.’

Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania all still have ‘hard’ border closures in place, while Victorians must undergo hotel quarantine if they are granted an exemption to leave the state.  

Mr McCormack said airlines had been smashed by coronavirus lockdowns and border closures.

‘Uncertainty affects the ability of airlines and airports to plan for recovery and undermines consumer confidence, which amounts to a significant cost to industry and ultimately the Australian economy,’ he said.

‘The federal government is doing our bit by underwriting these flights to maintain minimum connectivity.

‘Now we need the states and territories to do their bit too as we again encourage the continued easing of border restrictions.’

One in four Australians travelled by air to visit friends and family every year before the coronavirus pandemic.

‘By underwriting key routes, we are providing the opportunity for Australians to do just that,’ Mr McCormack said.

Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania all still have 'hard' border closures in place, while Victorians must undergo hotel quarantine if they are granted an exemption to leave the state

Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania all still have ‘hard’ border closures in place, while Victorians must undergo hotel quarantine if they are granted an exemption to leave the state

The federal government is extending subsidies for airlines operating flights between capital cities and regional towns.

Support for key domestic routes will continue until the end of January, while regional routes will be propped up until March.

The government has already spent $150 million helping Qantas, Virgin and smaller airlines survive the coronavirus pandemic.

The upcoming federal budget is expected to contain hundreds of millions of dollars in additional support.   

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