The NSW Government has signaled that it may not open its border to Victoria until after Christmas:
On Wednesday, 9News reported that NSW authorities were nervous about the prospect of a third wave in Melbourne, and would be waiting to make a decision on the border until after all systems in Victoria were properly tested.
According to the report, the “tests” would include getting a QR code in place at pubs and restaurants, seeing a reopening at Melbourne’s international airport, and introducing a functioning hotel quarantine system…
“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 this week.
“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.”
As a Melburnian desperate to leave, this news is demoralising.
That said, I cannot blame the NSW Government for looking side-eyed at Victoria and being reluctant to open the border.
The Victorian Government throughout the crisis has shown itself to be incompetent. It was the only state to contract out hotel quarantine to dodgy private security, thereby seeding the destructive virus second wave. And its retrograde contact tracing system failed on multiple occasions.
NSW was collateral damage in these failures, with virus leaking into NSW via the Crossroads Hotel, among other infection points, resulting in NSW being shut off from QLD and other states.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian is also correct in her assessment that “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”.
It is up to the Victorian Government to prove to Australia that it has its virus management systems up to par and that it can be trusted not to spread the virus nationally.
Over to you Daniel Andrews.