Premier Peter Gutwein has not ruled out closing the borders again if further COVID-19 outbreaks occur interstate, pointing to Tasmania's recent economic gains as vindication for his government's "strong" response to the coronavirus crisis.
His comments come after New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian, speaking at the Australian Financial Review's Business Summit on Tuesday, labelled border closures an "embarassment" and said her counterparts needed to be more "courageous" and move away from eradication strategies for the sake of the economy.
"Success measured by zero cases a day is a flawed model," she said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Tasmania closed its borders to NSW when the Avalon cluster emerged in December, while it also raised the drawbridge to Victoria last month following an outbreak there.
Mr Gutwein said the state government's number one priority throughout the pandemic had been the health, safety and wellbeing of Tasmanians.
"I would point out that our economy is growing faster than NSW as a result of the actions we have taken," he said.
"Thanks to the measures we have taken, Tasmania is in a very good place and has avoided the shutdowns seen in other states in recent months, and I make no apologies for doing everything possible to lessen the risk of an outbreak occurring in Tasmania.
I would point out that our economy is growing faster than NSW as a result of the actions we have taken.Peter Gutwein, Premier
"With our vaccination program now in full swing and proceeding well, we will continue to take public health advice at all times on the best way to manage risks as they arise."
Tourism Industry Council Tasmania chief executive Luke Martin commended the state government for "showing the way" since December and only barring entry into the state for people who had been in designated hotspots.
"My hope will be, in terms of Tasmania's borders, that the government continues to follow the approach that was taken so far, which is to see what's going on in [other] states and respect and follow the advice that they have around their hotspots, rather than just applying an arbitrary border closure at the first sign of [trouble]," he said.
What do you think? Send us a letter to the editor: