Coronavirus Australia live update: Scott Morrison praises the easing of state borders

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Coronavirus Australia live update: Scott Morrison praises the easing of state borders
Coronavirus Australia live update: Scott Morrison praises the easing of state borders

The Prime Minister has praised Queensland and Western Australia for winding back border closures.

As of today, all New South Wales and Victorian residents can head to the sunshine state.

They can also travel to Western Australia without having to quarantine when borders open next week.

Scott Morrison has told Question Time it’s good news.

“Australia was not build for borders and I welcome the announcements that have been made and the initiation of the opening up of those borders,” Mr Morrison said.

“Whether it’s between Queensland and NSW or indeed the announcement by the Western Australian Premier who I spoke to earlier today.”

– Queensland’s debt levels to hit $130 billion within four years

Queensland’s debt levels will balloon to almost $130 billion within four years, but the Palaszczuk Government maintains that will still be lower than New South Wales and Victoria.

Delivering his first budget, after it was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic, Treasurer Cameron Dick said COVID-19 had dealt a hammer blow, confirming the state was staring down four years of deficits.

“The budget is in deficit because it is a pro-growth and pro-business budget,” he said.

“I make it clear today that the budget will only return to balance when the economy returns to normal.”

Asked if the mounting debt would ever be repaid, Mr Dick responded: “yes, it will”.

But trade tensions between Australia and its biggest trading partner, China, remain a “substantial risk” to Queensland’s bottom line, the budget papers revealed.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed she had been advised that some Queensland ships were part of the flotilla anchored off the Chinese coast and said mining companies were fearful of what could happen “in the future if those trade issues aren’t sorted out”.

“What the mining companies are saying to me, that the last thing they want to see are mines closed in Queensland – that could have an impact on Queensland jobs,” she said.

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