Southern states launch quarantine attack on Qld
QUEENSLAND is coming under pressure from southern states to take its fair share of returning international flights, while Victoria struggles with an outbreak and NSW takes three times as many people.
Queensland has been able to boast about its days without a new recorded case, while NSW continues to record positive tests, but mostly due to international arrivals in hotel quarantine.
The matter is expected to come up at National Cabinet, with the Federal, NSW and Victorian governments reportedly keen to see the Sunshine State do more of the heavy lifting.
But the Queensland government is insisting it's already doing its fair share and is putting the job back on the Federal Government.
Hotel quarantine in Melbourne has been a source of some of its outbreak.
Australian Border Force data shows that 212,000 returning Australian citizens, permanent residents and some foreign nationals have arrived in the country between March 21 and June 30.
Of those 96,000 entered via Sydney, 56,000 through Victoria and just 35,000 through Queensland.
Even as Melbourne returns to partial lockdowns, in the past two weeks Queensland has taken in 69 flights, but just 2250 passengers, compared to Victoria's 59 flights with 3550 passengers.
Returning Aussies are quarantined in the state they arrive in, with some states back charging the cost of accommodation to the state the person is returning to.
A Queensland Health spokesman said international borders were the responsibility of the Federal Government.
"Queensland has accepted its fair share of international. International arrivals are moved straight into hotel quarantine," he said.
There are three international flights due to arrive in Queensland today, while there are 1500 hotel rooms occupied in Queensland for people under self-quarantine notices.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday said there would be no more flights going into Melbourne due to the severity of the current outbreak, and those flights would not be redirected to NSW.
"NSW has done more than it's fair share of the heavy lifting," he said.
People needing to quarantine in a Queensland hotel have been hit with a $3000 fee since July 1, with the State Government already having forked out $19 million since February to cover the costs.
The top five countries with returning Australian citizens arriving via air were Qatar, United States, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Indonesia.
WA's Premier Mark McGowan yesterday requested a cap be put on international arrivals to his state, even as it remains closed off to the rest of the country.
Mr McGowan said he did not want WA to take more than one flight every three days, because an increase in international flights with returning Australians was putting pressure on their resources.
Originally published as Southern states launch quarantine attack on Qld