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Trans-Tasman travel bubble could open without Queensland

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

It is possible people in Australia’s southern states will be able to ski in New Zealand before they can travel north into Queensland.

It is possible people in Australia's southern states will be able to ski in New Zealand before they can travel north into Queensland.

Just how soon Australians can share a travel bubble with New Zealanders was dependent on when state governments opened their borders, the federal government has said.

Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said the recovery of jobs and small businesses should not be held back by states.

"The reluctance of other states to open up their domestic borders shouldn't become an obstacle to progress," he told The Age and Sydney Morning Herald newspapers on Monday.

Currently Queensland has locked its borders tight, only allowing freight and business travel.

One Nation leader Pauline Hanson has called Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's decision to keep Queensland borders closed unconstitutional.

Ms Hanson told Today she was making plans to fight Ms Palaszczuk's order in court.

"We have got businesses going under," she said.

"They are hanging on by their fingers nails."

Ms Palaszczuk has said any legal challenge would likely be irrelevant because borders would reopen before the case could even be heard.

The prospect of a Trans-Tasman travel bubble has given tourism operators in both countries hope, after the coronavirus abruptly put the sector to bed.

Last month Chris Roberts, chief executive of New Zealand's tourist board Tourism Industry Aotearoa, told the "dream scenario" was a travel bubble open by July or August.

A special working group has been established and is advising the Australian and New Zealand governments on issues such as border controls, inflight protocol and track and tracing.

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New Zealand, with 1.4 million visitors in 2019, is Australia's biggest tourism market after China.

In the 12 months leading up to February, when coronavirus began to grip the world, 1.5 million Australians visited New Zealand.

International tourism travel between the two countries is estimated at $3 billion every year.

With AAP

Source: 9News

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