QLD urged to back NZ border bubble
Queensland is being urged to open up to New Zealand should a trans-Tasman travel bubble occur, or risk losing out to southern states.
The Land of the Long White Cloud is Queensland's second biggest international tourism market, with 500,000 Kiwis spending about $600 million here last year.
While international travel is still banned in Australia, without an exemption, the Federal Government and New Zealand authorities continue to discuss the plans.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said yesterday she would consider a state-by-state bubble, leaving the door open to the possibility of opening by Christmas.
"We did suggest it would be up to them, but if they did move state by state, that might free things up a little sooner," she told NZ radio.
Asked on Sunday if she supported a trans-Tasman travel bubble for Queensland, Ms Palaszczuk said: "There's been some preliminary discussions, but nothing has been finalised at National Cabinet".
Queensland record no new cases yesterday, and eight active cases, while New Zealand also had no new cases and has 55 active cases.
The Courier-Mail revealed in June that the Queensland Government was in discussions to relaunch flights from New Zealand to Brisbane, the Gold Coast, Cairns and the Sunshine Coast.
Federal Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said Queensland should seriously consider opening up to New Zealand if the opportunity presents itself and it is safe to do so.
"Nobody would say we should open up just for the sake of those dollars if there is a demonstrable health threat but Queensland should be recognising New Zealand, like most states of Australia, has done an incredible job of suppressing and managing COVID," he told The Courier-Mail.
He said if Queensland didn't take an opportunity for a safe reopening to New Zealand "they would be leaving a greater opportunity for a New South Wales or a South Australia to get those Kiwis who might be looking for a bit of a break or escape and spend their money in other states instead".
Former premier Peter Beattie has also backed an NZ travel bubble, listing it in his 11-point manifesto to kickstart jobs in Queensland.
Originally published as The big post-pandemic opportunity Qld could miss