National coronavirus wra: NSW snubbed as Qld lifts ban
Queensland will reopen to the ACT from next Friday, which the Deputy Premier has said would provide a welcome boost for the sunshine state's tourism industry.
Steven Miles this morning urged Canberrans to think about coming up to Queensland for a holiday when the borders reopen at 1am next Friday.
This could open the way for Prime Minister Scott Morrison to take part in the Queensland state election campaign, and possibly attend the AFL Grand Final.
VICTORIA RECORDS 45 NEW CASES, FIVE DEATHS
Victoria has recorded 45 new coronavirus cases and five deaths in the past day.
The average daily case number for metropolitan Melbourne has dropped to 42.7, meaning the city is on track to a scheduled easing of restrictions.
Metropolitan Melbourne must reach an average daily case rate of between 30 and 50 cases over the preceding fortnight to trigger an easing of lockdown measures from September 28.
On Thursday, the state recorded just 28 cases.
QLD BORDERS COULD OPEN 'IN WEEKS'
Queensland's borders could open to NSW within weeks, according to one of the country's leading tourism figures.
Flight Centre boss Graham Turner said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk would be left with no other choice but to open up as other Australian jurisdictions start to ease their border controls.
"I'm pretty sure that the borders - the NSW border with Queensland will open within the next three or four weeks. I don't know that for sure. But it seems logical," he told the Today show on Friday morning.
"The only thing that will stop it I believe is a serious outbreak in NSW somewhere.
"There's got to be a good reason. If there's a very good reason, safety, health, but I think that's done and dusted now. That's over. So I think pragmatism will reign and I'm pretty confident the borders will open because I don't think there is any choice."
Mr Turner said the tourism industry was "suffering", particularly on the Gold Coast and in North Queensland.
"They do all right at the weekends, you know, from the Brisbane traffic, but during the week, it is absolutely dead," he said.
"Everyone's suffering. Travel, tourism, airline, airports, it's a bit of a disaster."
TREASURER: 'IF YOU'VE GOT THE IDEAS, I'VE GOT CASH'
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet will tell business and political leaders meeting to brainstorm a way to revive the centre of Sydney today that he will put hard cash behind any good idea.
"The NSW government is ready and willing to put money on the table, and if we see projects and initiatives with real benefits we will invest," Mr Perrottet said.
The Summer Summit of key stakeholders, including restaurateurs Luke Mangan and Neil Perry, Merivale boss Justin Hemmes and Lord Mayor Clover Moore, are meeting to share ideas on how to revitalise the CBD in the wake of the pandemic.
"COVID means there are a lot of people likely to have a summer staycation and what better place to enjoy than our own city, as Paul Keating once said 'if you are not in Sydney you are just camping out'," Mr Perrottet said.
Yesterday Customer Services Minister Victor Dominello chaired the first meeting of the Alfresco Taskforce to look at ways to increase the number of outdoor COVID-safe wining and dining venues this summer. It is understood he gave the agencies involved until Tuesday to come back with a timeline to make it happen.
Mr Perrottet said: "We need to have not just alfresco dining, but look at how we best use our outdoor spaces for entertainment and retail - that could be anything from food trucks and festivals, public performances to more flexible transport options."
It is badly needed. Business owners have seen incomes slashed as people stay away because of the pandemic.
Manuel Spinola, whose Grand Pacific Group owns a number of restaurants, including the Tea Room in the Queen Victoria Building, said: "We would typically have around 100 to 120 events a month … from April to December, that will be down by 75 per cent.
"We are pleading with the government to ease the one person per four square metres to allow one person per two square metres. It will allow these businesses to be commercial."
Head chef and owner Steven Fadda at White Rabbit cafe said the impact on his small business has left him "uncertain" about the shop's viability in the CBD.
"The next 12 months will be tricky. Hopefully the government shows a bit more support," he said.
"Gladys Berejiklian isn't in an easy position. But I think she's blanketed a lot of businesses where we could've saved a bit in some suburbs and put a little bit more effort in others.
"If she's trying to revive the CBD, she's miles away from getting anything done. Just cutting a bit of red tape won't do anything, a lot of businesses have shut down and others won't recover from this."
SURPRISE REBOUND FOR NEW ECONOMY
NSW has defied doomsday predictions to make an astonishing economic bounce-back, outshining the rest of the nation, as the federal government hints income tax cuts are coming.
Unemployment in NSW has fallen to 6.7 per cent after 51,500 jobs returned in August - meaning the state is doing better than Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia and South Australia despite being the hardest hit economy during the initial COVID-19 lockdown.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said he was surprised by the jobs figures released on Thursday, which showed unemployment fell 0.7 per cent to 6.8 per cent nationally, despite widespread expectation it would creep upwards.
But he also acknowledged a lot of Australians were still hurting, indicating the Budget to be unveiled in about two weeks would include major stimulus measures.
There are $158 billion in tax cuts due to start from mid-next year, and to be continued in mid-2024, which he would not rule out bringing forward.
"We're considering the time of those tax cuts," he said.
"You will have to turn on at 7.30pm on October 6 (budget night) to see what our tax plan is, but we are focused on lowering the tax burden for Australians."
Despite the promising unemployment figures, the "effective" rate, which includes people who have stopped looking for work, dropped slightly to 9.3 per cent.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said this higher figure was the one Australians "should be watching".
"It was falling before the Victorian wave hit us. And with Victoria opening up again, we would expect that to see that fall again," he said.
Mr Morrison said the JobKeeper bill was currently about $11 billion a month, with announcements to come on how the phasing out of the scheme would work.
"There are a lot of other things we also need to invest in for Australia's growth," he said.
"Keeping the Australian economy on life support through those types of payments is not a long-term plan.
"It's been an essential lifeline. It's there till the end of March. And in the budget in a few weeks' time, we'll be announcing a lot of new plans."
Nationally youth unemployment also remained stubbornly high at 14.3 per cent.
Young people aged 15 to 24 accounted for 333,200 of Australia's job losses in the first wave of the pandemic, with recovery initially strong in June but tapering to just 28,800 positions created in August.
Nationally women were the biggest losers in the jobs market in April and May when the economy shut down, losing 470,500 positions compared to 401,100 among men.
But the bounceback has also been greater for women, with 57 per cent of those jobs lost now recovered, compared to 47 per cent for men.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese said now was "not the time" to be cutting JobKeeper payments, which are due to drop from $1500 a fortnight to $1100 for full-time and $750 for part-time workers from the end of September.
"The reason why JobKeeper was a good idea, to keep relations between employers and employees, is very much still there," he said.
Originally published as NSW snubbed as QLD border opens, 45 VIC cases