Berejiklian slams Andrews over hasty border shutdown

Original article by Stephen Rice
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 11-Jan-21

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has urged other states to consult with her government before closing their borders in the future. Victoria’s border with NSW remains closed, and Premier Daniel Andrews has yet to set a firm date for lifting the restrictions. This is despite the fact that NSW recorded just three new locally-acquired COVID-19 cases on 10 January, while just 10 new cases among returned travellers in hotel quarantine were recorded nationwide. There are now 199 active cases in NSW, 45 in Victoria, 21 in the Northern Territory, 20 in Queensland, 15 in South Australia and 15 in Western Australia.

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NEW SOUTH WALES. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET, VICTORIA. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET

Premiers’ $3bn blow to tourism

Original article by Joe Kelly
The Australian – Page: 1 & 5 : 24-Dec-20

Modelling shows that the tourism sector will be hard hit by moves by state governments to close their borders to travellers from New South Wales during the Christmas holiday period. The modelling undertaken by Stafford Strategy on behalf of the Tourism & Transport Forum shows that Australians are set to spend about $2.6bn between 24 December and 11 January, compared with the annual average of around $5.5bn for the period. Federal Tourism Minister Dan Tehan says state borders should be re-opened as soon as possible to support the domestic tourism industry, while TTF CEO Margy Osmond warns that the sector will need ongoing government support.

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STAFFORD STRATEGY,TOURISM AND TRANSPORT FORUM AUSTRALIA,AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF INFRASTRUCTURE, TRANSPORT, REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND COMMUNICATIONS

States on $500bn debt binge

Original article by Adam Creighton
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 2-Dec-20

Centre for Independent Studies research fellow Robert Carling says that rising state government debt means that some states could have their credit ratings downgraded in coming years. Analysis of state governments’ Budget papers show that their combined debt will top $491bn by mid-2024, compared with just $200bn in June 2020. Carling contends that while some of the increase in debt is inevitable, some states are taking on more debt than necessary. Chris Richardson of Deloitte Access Economics in turn says rising debt is better than the alternative of lower debt and an unemployment rate that is higher for longer.

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Have ‘the guts to open’, like NSW

Original article by Finbar O’Mallon, Jenny Wiggins
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 5-Nov-20

The New South Wales government will reopen the state’s borders to travellers from Victoria on 23 November. Premier Gladys Berejiklian says it is in the national interest for other states to reopen their borders with NSW, and she has urged them to do so. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews says the NSW government’s decision is a sign of confidence in his state’s health system. However, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says her state will monitor the situation in Victoria during the next month before considering any move to ease border restrictions.

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NEW SOUTH WALES. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET, VICTORIA. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET, QUEENSLAND. DEPT OF THE PREMIER AND CABINET

Border closures could become illegal

Original article by Natasha Boddy
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 4 : 24-Aug-20

Professor Catherine Bennett of Deakin University says a decline in the number of new COVID-19 cases could prompt a review of state border closures within weeks. Western Australia and Queensland are among the states that want hard border closures to be maintained, while Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews concedes that it will be some time before the state can argue the case for other jurisdictions to relax their border controls. Swinburne University’s Professor Bruce Thompson says the legality of border closures may be called into question if case numbers keep falling.

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DEAKIN UNIVERSITY, VICTORIA. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET, SWINBURNE UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY

Treasurers at odds over call to abolish payroll tax

Original article by Sumeyya Ilanbey
The Age – Page: Online : 1-Jun-20

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says he is keen to work with the states and territories to help reduce the payroll tax burden on companies. Frydenberg says he would "love the states" to get rid of the tax, but Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas has rejected any likelihood that the state will do so. Payroll tax generated $6.2 billion for the Victorian government in the 2018-19 financial year, and Pallas says abolishing it would reduce the government’s ability to fund services and infrastructure projects.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, VICTORIA. DEPT OF TREASURY AND FINANCE

Covid kickstart: states fire up

Original article by David Penberthy, Paul Garvey, Simon Benson
The Australian – Page: 1 & 2 : 4-May-20

The easing of coronavirus lockdown restrictions will be considered by the national cabinet earlier than expected, due to the rapid take-up of the CovidSafe app. However, the South Australian government will relax some restrictions, such as allowing children to visit playgrounds and skate parks, while travel within the state may be permitted within days. Premier Steven Marshall says the state is on track to eliminate the virus rather than simply suppressing it. Western Australia recently permitted residents to gather in groups of 10 and lifted restrictions on some recreational activities. Meanwhile, the eastern states are keeping lockdown restrictions in place for now.

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SOUTH AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PREMIER AND CABINET

State review not in conflict with PM’s

Original article by Rachel Baxendale
The Australian – Page: 4 : 15-Jan-20

The Victorian government has advised that its bushfires inquiry will be headed by Tony Pearce, the state’s Inspector General for Emergency Management. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says this inquiry will have no impact on the federal government’s plans for a bushfires royal commission, stating that he had always expected the states to undertake their own bushfire reviews. Premier Daniel Andrews says he recently held talks with Morrison with regard to the proposed federal inquiry.

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AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE PRIME MINISTER AND CABINET, VICTORIA. DEPT OF PREMIER AND CABINET

States urged to sell $220b in public assets rather than increase debt

Original article by Mark Ludlow
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 6 : 20-Jun-19

The net debt of Australia’s state governments is set to rise sharply in coming years to finance infrastructure projects, but analysis shows that they have almost $220bn worth of assets that could be privatised. This includes $67.4bn worth of public assets in Queensland and $59.bn in New South Wales. IFM Investors CEO Brett Himbury says the nation’s superannuation funds would be keen to invest in state government assets. The NSW government may be open to further asset sales, but Queensland and Western Australia have ruled out this option.

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States climb $180bn debt mountain

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 1 & 6 : 19-Jun-19

The combined net debt of Australia’s state and territory governments is set to exceed $184bn over the next four years, compared with just $81bn in 2018-19. Increased investment in infrastructure will be a key contributor to the debt blowout, and Robert Carling of the Centre for Independent Studies stresses the need for such projects to be subject to a cost-benefit analysis. He adds that New South Wales and Victoria could potentially be at risk of losing their AAA credit ratings if their net debt continues to rise, although he says this is unlikely in the near-term.

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THE CENTRE FOR INDEPENDENT STUDIES LIMITED, AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY, MOODY’S INVESTORS SERVICE INCORPORATED, DELOITTE ACCESS ECONOMICS PTY LTD, NEW SOUTH WALES. THE TREASURY, SOUTH AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF TREASURY AND FINANCE