Australia WA hard border policy's end expected to boost WA business outlook, provide 'certainty' to many

12:10  30 october  2020
12:10  30 october  2020 Source:   abc.net.au

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A leading epidemiologist describes the threshold for lifting Western Australia ' s hard border of 28 days without "If you look at the modelling, we are now probably one of the most susceptible states if an WA Health Minister Roger Cook said the hard border had kept West Australians safe and allowed

a woman who is smiling and looking at the camera: Sian Kocamis hopes to expand her stores now her mother can come to WA to help with childcare. (ABC News: Herlyn Kaur) © Provided by ABC Health Sian Kocamis hopes to expand her stores now her mother can come to WA to help with childcare. (ABC News: Herlyn Kaur)

In just two weeks' time, Sian Kocamis will be allowed to be reunited with her mother after almost seven months apart.

Ms Kocamis has been locked away behind Western Australia's hard border, which since April 5 has only permitted entry to travellers who fall into a special exemption category and then adhere to strict quarantine requirements.

The WA Premier today announced that policy would end on November 14, with travellers from "very low risk" jurisdictions allowed in without quarantining.

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The WA Government concedes the community wants more clarity about the future of the state' s border closure, with authorities now in "advanced discussions" and WA ' s Health Minister said discussions about the border were underway. The Tourism Council said operators needed certainty to survive.

But he said WA ' s hard border was critical to its record of more than six months without community transmission. Travellers have needed to obtain The Queensland Premier is expected to make a decision on whether to reopen the border to NSW by the end of the month. It follows last week' s

It means Ms Kocamis's mother will now be allowed to come to Perth from Queensland and help look after her two young children, so she can open up more of her Turkish gift shops and pop-up stores.

"I'm happy. If that's the case and I can get mum to come over and help with the family, that would be amazing," Ms Kocamis said.

"From the business side of things, if I can get my mum here, we can open the nine stores, we can employ lots of West Australians. That would be brilliant.

"If I can have help at home that means I can be the best person I can be for my business."

Business and tourism sectors welcome relaxed policy

The sense of relief at the removal of the hard border was felt through the state's business and tourism sectors, which welcomed the certainty it would bring to businesses that have struggled under the weight of the restrictions.

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The WA Government has launched its "biggest holiday in Western Australia campaign" to boost the local tourism sector through the coronavirus pandemic, while insisting the state' s hard border closure will be in place for some time. Key points: "Wander Out Yonder" is the catchphrase of the new WA

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They expected pressure from supply chain constraints, skill shortages and a lack of customers to somewhat ease.

"It's a very important decision, it provides relief to them and it's a step in the right direction," Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) WA chief executive Chris Rodwell said.

The State Government is consulting with industry over what new measures will need to be put in place to prepare for opening up to much of the country.

Certainty provided for businesses: Tourism council

WA Premier Mark McGowan urged every business to make sure their COVID-safe plan was up to date.

The Tourism Council of WA (TCWA) said it was already preparing for the changes and was "delighted" at the roadmap forward.

"It will provide tourism businesses with the certainty that they need," chief executive Evan Hall said.

"We will now see airlines scheduling flights, hotels taking bookings and tour operators planning to open up next year for interstate holidaymakers.

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"It is great to have this level of certainty and we are looking forward to opening up to the rest of Australia."

The WA tourism industry has lost about $2.4 billion to the end of September, including about $200 million per month from the domestic market, despite the huge numbers of West Australians travelling around their own state.

Hotels and tour operators dependent on interstate business have borne the brunt.

Call for discount flights

Mr Hall said tourism businesses across WA were also desperate to recruit staff from other states.

He called on airlines to introduce discount flights to Perth and regional towns like Broome.

"Families want to book right now to be united for Christmas, people wanting to book holidays," Mr Hall said.

"We're calling on the airlines to put in the flight schedules as soon as possible."

How to beat Queensland's border closure .
Families and friends forced apart because of Queensland's border closure have found a clever way to reunite without breaking any rules. Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has refused to budge on her decision to keep the border closed to more than five million Sydney residents. But NSW residents who have been outside of Sydney for at least 14 days will be able to 'travel freely' to and from Queensland without quarantining from 1am on Tuesday.The same travel bubble already exists for 41 postcodes from five NSW shires near the Queensland border including Byron Bay, Lismore and Ballina.

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