60 days – 90 days?

Written by on 26/05/2020

PHILLIPPA BUTT, NT News

CHIEF Minister Michael Gunner has indicated the Northern Territory’s borders are likely to reopen within 60 days.

Speaking at a press conference today, Mr Gunner said originally tourism operators had asked for 60-90 days’ notice before borders reopened.

He said he had thought 60 days would be fair but has now adjusted his thinking.

“I think 60 days notice would be cruel,” he said.

Mr Gunner indicated he would be opening borders sooner rather than later.

“If I gave 60 days notice I’d be keeping the borders shut longer than I need to.

“So I’m thinking that through at the moment, I’m taking that advice from the Chief Health Officer and others about what kind of notice we can give.

“But while the tourism sector has said they want 60 days notice I think if I gave 60 days notice I’d be keeping the borders shut longer than I need to. I think they’ll accept that as well but we’re working that through at the moment.”

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However, Mr Gunner continued to refuse to give an opening date.

“I want the borders open as soon as possible too,” he said.

“For me it’s about the logical order. A lot of people out there are offering up dates and saying ‘oh, by the way, when it’s safe’. I’m saying when it’s safe I’ll give you a date.”

It comes as Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt says there is no medical reason for state and territory borders to remain closed, as pressure mounts within the Northern Territory to set a date to reopen.

In 60 days it will by July 26.

Mr Hunt told NewsCorp that no Commonwealth body had recommended the move to shut down state borders, in response to growing calls nation wide for interstate travel to be allowed to bolster economies.

“At this point, there’ve been no Commonwealth recommendations in favour, there’ve been no National Cabinet recommendations in favour and there has been no medical expert panels in favour of state border closures,” he said.


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