Dominic Perrottet has declared Sydney is Australia’s ‘truly only global city’ in a controversial comment set to enrage Daniel Andrews and Annastacia Palaszczuk.
The NSW Premier announced on Friday hotel quarantine will be scrapped from November as the state opens up to the rest of the world.
‘The alternative is to stay closed from the world, we’re not doing that. Sydney is Australia’s truly only global city. When people think of Australia, they think of this,’ he said as he pointed to the Harbour Bridge.
‘And we are rejoining the world and and we want returning Australians to come back.
‘I want those from other states who want to come back to come through Sydney. If you are a returning Australia and want to come here, stay in New South Wales and stay in Sydney.
‘Have a great time here before you home and spend up big. Help our small businesses and the fact that we will be the only city and state open to the world is going to be boom time for New South Wales.’
The snub to other Australian states came after Mr Perrottet announced more freedoms would be in place in NSW as of Monday.
Dominic Perrottet has declared Sydney is Australia’s ‘truly only global city’ in a press conference on Friday
The controversial comments are set to enrage Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews
With hotel quarantine scrapped, returning travellers who are fully vaccinated will also not be needed to isolate at home.
‘As of Monday, home visitations will increase from 10 to 20. Outdoor gatherings from 30 to 50. Standing up in pubs will be back. They will be no limits on weddings and funerals,’ Mr Perrottet said.
The 20-person cap on bookings at restaurants and other hospitality venues would also be scrapped from November 1.
Travel from Sydney to regional NSW remains deferred until November 1, when it’s expected regional parts of the state will catch up to Sydney’s rate.
Deputy Liberal leader Stuart Ayres said fully vaccinated people would be able to return to Australia and go to their homes without the need to quarantine.
‘That is not hotel quarantine, that is not home quarantine, you will be able to return home. If you are a person from another country who wants to visit or work in Australia, and you are fully vaccinated, you will be able to come to Australia and not have to quarantine,’ Mr Ayres said.
‘For those who are fully vaccinated, New South Wales says we welcome home every Australian overseas, we want tourism back, we want people back into work, we want to get our economy moving,’ Mr Perrottet said.
Unvaccinated people will still be required to hotel quarantine.
Mr Perrottet’s comments come after Premier Andrews claimed Sydney and NSW had only emerged from lockdown this week because they got more help from the federal government with doctor accreditation and vaccine supply.
It was another unnecessary comment from the Victorian premier, who has a long history of saying things about the pandemic and Sydney that end up coming back to haunt him.
Two months ago, on August 16, Mr Andrews said ‘We don’t want to be like Sydney when there are hundreds and hundreds of cases a day, and thousands of cases across the outbreak, and then hundreds of people in hospital, many of them needing a machine to breathe.’
In the same press conference, the premier also said ‘I don’t want us to finish up like Sydney where it has fundamentally got away from them, they are not reopening soon, they are locked in until they get pretty much the whole place vaccinated.’
This has turned out to be very wide of the mark. Sydney got out of lockdown this week with a 70 per cent vaccination rate, and is on track to soon get further freedoms upon reaching an 80 per cent fully-vaccinated rate.
Lockdown is bad for the world, but it has its benefits for a skateboarder in Melbourne (pictured on Thursday in an eerily empty road)
Meanwhile, Melbourne is in its sixth lockdown and Victorian case numbers are going up again.
The grim reality the world’s longest lockdown is having on Melbourne, its people and Victoria’s economy more broadly is starting to show with 123,000 jobs across the state lost in September alone.
NSW lost just 25,000 jobs in comparison, while Queensland enjoyed an increase of 31,000 in September after recovering from a short lockdown in August.
The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics paint a sad picture for the country, with the national unemployment rate edging up to 4.6 per cent largely due to huge falls in employment in Victoria.
More to come.