Travel Trouble

Gladys Berejiklian won't confirm if NSW borders will be open to Victoria by Christmas

Gladys Berejiklian won't confirm if NSW borders will be open to Victoria by Christmas

The Prime Minister has pledged to reopening state and territory borders – apart from Western Australia – by Christmas.

However, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced the state could keep its border closed off from Victoria until after December 25.

On July 7, the premier made the decision to close off NSW as cases began to escalate across Victoria, and it has remained closed ever since.

Since lockdown measures have lifted in Victoria, all eyes have keenly been on Gladys to announce an update on the NSW border closure.

The Premier however has remained coy on when the border with Victoria will be lifted.

“We want to open that border (with Victoria) as soon as we can but what is really important to us is to see what happens once the Government eases restrictions down there. That’s the real test,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“I knew the real test for NSW is not lockdown, it’s easy not to spread the virus when people have limited mobility, but once you ease restrictions and people start moving around again and start working, that’s the real test and I think the residents of NSW would expect me and my Government to be responsible in how we deal with that.

“So, we’ll take the border down as soon as we can, but we do need to wait to see what impact easing of restrictions in Melbourne and Victoria has before we decide exactly when that will be.”

Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews told media he understood why NSW would want to wait and see how the lockdown restrictions easing would impact his state.

“I haven’t had a conversation with Gladys [but] she has made it abundantly clear, both Gladys and her Government, that they want to see how things unfold in the next little while,” he said.

“I don’t think that is an unreasonable thing. I wasn’t surprised to hear that. I will probably have a conversation with her over the next few days to see how we think things are going.

“I get along very well with Gladys and we have got a very important partnership and we will get the border open when it is safe to do so.”

However, when Mr Andrews was questioned on Gladys saying NSW coronavirus numbers were “easy” to keep down, he said it has been anything but “easy” for his state.

“She had a swipe at Victoria saying it is easy to have zero cases when there is such a big lockdown,” a reporter told Mr Andrews.

Mr Andrews responded: “With the greatest of respect to Gladys, there is nothing easy about lockdown and what Victorians have been through.

“I’m not interested in having a debate with her or anybody else from this party to be frank.

“I’m grateful from the support of NSW, whether it is during bushfires or pandemics, we are always at our best when we work together.”