Tensions over border closures rise as Victoria insists it warned NSW

Victoria disputed Ms Berejiklian’s solutions that it didn’t inform NSW earlier than the choice was made, and mentioned NSW well being authorities and ministers had been stored updated.

Victorian well being officers instructed an Australian Well being Safety Principal Committee at midday on December 31, attended by NSW chief well being officer Kerry Chant, that the state was “strongly contemplating” a border closure, in line with the assembly’s minutes. At three.30pm that day, Performing Victorian Premier Jacinta Allan introduced the closure.

Victoria’s Well being Minister Martin Foley mentioned on Sunday there have been additionally telephone conversations day by day and, when the choice to shut the border was taken, he alerted his interstate colleagues.

“It didn’t come as a shock to my NSW colleagues that after some two weeks of group transmission throughout NSW … Victoria was ready to make the exhausting resolution to maintain Victorians secure,” Mr Foley mentioned.

Ms Berejiklian mentioned NSW ought to have been given “an opportunity to reveal our capability to get on high of the virus with out adversely impacting our residents” earlier than the border was closed.

“Closing a border can have an effect on actually, tens and lots of of 1000’s of individuals, relying on the place it’s, and that is a giant name,” Ms Berejiklian mentioned.

Victoria’s deputy chief well being officer Allen Cheng additionally spoke to the South Australia and Queensland chief well being officers earlier than 9am on New 12 months’s Eve concerning the public well being recommendation his group could be giving to Victoria on closing the borders, in line with a senior Victorian authorities supply.

Mr Foley additionally spoke to NSW Well being Minister Brad Hazzard all through the day concerning the Andrews authorities’s plans to close the border, whereas Ms Allan known as and texted Ms Berejiklian about their intentions, the supply mentioned.

A senior Victorian authorities supply mentioned: “If NSW had accomplished the respectable, correct and quick intervention that Queensland had accomplished, we would not have closed the border.”

Mr Hazzard mentioned he speaks each day to his Victorian counterpart and so they have a “trusting relationship”.

“My understanding of the purpose the Premier was making is that on problems with nice gravity and large affect, comparable to a border closure, she believes it’s best for our respective communities if there’s a direct and prior communication between state leaders earlier than bulletins are made,” Mr Hazzard mentioned.

“I assist the Premier’s view however can affirm the veracity of Martin Foley’s assertion and he and I talk each day (typically on a number of events) and we now have a trusting relationship that I consider assists each NSW and Victoria within the warfare on COVID-19.”

The northern seashores outbreak, which originated in Avalon, reached 150 COVID-19 instances on Sunday after one case linked to an in depth contact was reported within the 24 hours to 8pm on Saturday.

There have been additionally two new instances linked to the Berala cluster, which now has 23 instances, from 23,763 assessments within the reporting interval.

Ms Berejiklian mentioned it was her understanding that the border may reopen someday this week.

Victoria’s COVID-19 response commander Jeroen Weimar mentioned: ”[Chief health officer] Brett [Sutton] will likely be reviewing these points over the approaching day or two to evaluate efficiency right here on the Victorian facet of the border, but additionally to have a look at the progress on the NSW facet.

“I do know he is it very intently, and I am positive he’ll have one thing to say over the following few days.”

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