‘We can’t live in a bubble forever’: Gladys Berejiklian’s warning to Australians desperate to keep our borders shut – with $1.5billion haemorrhaging from the economy every month
- Gladys Berejiklian has revealed the hit to the economy from no overseas tourists
- She said NSW is losing $1.5billion a month because of Australia’s border closure
- The NSW Premier said the country ‘can only sustain a bubble for so long’
Gladys Berejilikan has warned Australia cannot stay a bubble forever and the nation should open international borders as soon as possible
The NSW Premier said her state was losing $1.5 billion a month without overseas tourists and the border closure couldn’t be sustained much longer.
She warned of massive job losses if the ban continued too long and urged residents to get a Covid jab after reports of vaccine hesitancy in the community.
Ms Berejiklian said the vaccine was critical and necessary for Australia’s re-engagement with the world, adding the rollout needed to be completed quickly as she did not want the country to risk ‘falling behind the rest of the world’.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said Australia ‘can’t live in a bubble forever’ and needed the Covid vaccine rollout to be completed quickly so the country can reopen its international borders. Pictured, a passenger arriving at Perth Airport
She said if the rest of the world opened up r but Australia was late to the party, the NSW economy would suffer the most.
‘I know there’s a degree of comfort in the bubble we have and I understand that [but] until the vast majority of our population is vaccinated, we can’t move beyond the bubble,’ she said.
‘We can’t live in the bubble forever.
‘And what worries me is not only do we still run the risk of community transmission whilst the population isn’t vaccinated, we also have a huge risk of our community being impacted by the economic consequences, of job losses.
‘You can only sustain a bubble for so long. Whether we like it or not, the vaccine rollout is critical for us being able to re-engage with the rest of the world and prevent job losses that might emerge.’
Deputy Premier John Barilaro on Monday blamed complacency and a Covid-free environment in NSW for residents not being in any rush to get the vaccine, with supply far outweighing demand.
‘Right now here in NSW one of my greatest concerns is that people aren’t rolling up to get vaccinated… we have capacity and we have more vaccines than demand,’ he said.
‘And that’s because in NSW we are living in a period of normal [because] the reality is there is no virus and there is complacency.’
New South Wales is losing $1.5billion a month in lost economic activity because international tourists outside New Zealand are locked out of Australia. Pictured, passengers at Sydney Airport before flying to New Zealand
Ms Berejiklian (pictured) said the rollout of the Covid vaccine was critical and necessary for Australia’s re-engagement with the world
Ms Berejiklian on Tuesday announced the government was exploring a plan to manufacture mRNA vaccines like those created for Covid by Pfizer and Moderna.
She said comments from Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly that there should be a maximum of two per cent of people infected with Covid in the quarantine system did not dictate how NSW ran their program.
‘The capacity constraint we have is how many people can be in our quarantine system safely at any one time,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
‘The advice from police is between 5,000, and at a stretch 5,500 and when you go over 5500 it means you’re putting extra pressure on health, on the hotels and on the police force.’
The federal government used the two per cent cap in justifying the ban on citizens returning from India.
Deakin University epidemiologist Professor Catherine Bennett said the ban ‘will change everybody’s thinking about the uncertainty and whether it’s safe to travel’.
‘Now we see they will go to more extreme measures to stop arrivals who may be infectious,’ she said.
‘That’s on the table and will apply to other countries, even though they don’t look particularly high risk when people (Australians) leave the country.’