Interview with Neil Breen, 4BC

  • Transcript
Subjects: COVID-19 international tourism; border closures; vaccinations and quarantine protocols.
23 September 2021

Neil Breen: The tourism Minister, Dan Tehan on the line. Good morning, Minister.

Dan Tehan: Good morning Neil. How are you?

Neil Breen: I'm well, thanks. I think one of the things is, Dan Tehan, and I know every state is running its own race at the moment. I, at Christmas, would like to go to Tweed Heads for a feed of fish and chips and come back to Brisbane. I've got no interest in going to New York and back. Is it possible that Australians are going to be able to go to New York and back, but the people of Brisbane won't be able to go to Tweet Heads and back?

Dan Tehan: Well Neil, that's why we put the national plan in place and that's what every state and territory leader signed up to. The national plan, it provided that roadmap for us to learn to live with the virus. And that's what we're seeking to do, work with state and territory leaders to get that very outcome that you're looking for, so that Australians can travel within Australia as freely as they possibly can, obviously, with limited health restrictions put in place, to keep it safe. But, also, once we hit that 80 per cent rate, opening the international border and the way that we're going rolling up our sleeves and getting vaccinated we're definitely on target to be in that place before Christmas.

Neil Breen: I hope so. I think the best way forward is these trials that are happening with quarantine. Double vaccination means that you can travel and come back to Queensland. You've got a negative test and that'll give you a border movement. Is that the most likely place we're going to go?

Dan Tehan: We'll look at all those things we need to work through and talk about, and you're right that they are the types of arrangements which would make it much more readily for us to be able to travel. And we've got a very important trial taking place in South Australia at the moment on home quarantine. New South Wales have indicated that they want to start moving to trial in-home quarantine and my hope is that we'll get to the situation with testing, especially on either side, it won't be two weeks, you'll be able to minimise the amount of time that you have to spend in home quarantine. And all that work is taking place, and especially for Australians being able to travel within Australia, that means that we can basically minimise border closures. What we can do is use health protocols in very specific LGAs, and it means that the rest of us will be able to, especially before Christmas, visit loved ones, family and friends, which I know all Australians are hanging out to do.

Neil Breen: We certainly are. Dan Tehan, Minister for Trade and Tourism, thanks for your time on 4BC breakfast

Dan Tehan: Pleasure.


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