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Borders fall but Premiers still doing battle

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Borders fall but Premiers still doing battle

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Borders fall but war of words continues between Queensland and NSW Premiers

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The end to widespread border closures may be in sight, but an end to a long-running spat between the NSW and Queensland premiers is not with both parties firing up again, this time over a JobKeeper extension.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Friday reacted with bemusement to her Queensland counterpart Annastacia Palaszczuk’s suggestion to keep JobKeeper going for the tourism industry.

The Queensland Premier on Thursday said 10,000 businesses in the state’s far north were on JobKeeper and needed help while international borders remain shut.

She also indicated there would not be blanket border closures in future, with Queensland fully open to NSW residents from Monday.

But Ms Berejiklian said Queensland’s tourism industry woes were exacerbated by domestic border closures she considered unnecessary, locking out the tourism dollars from NSW residents.

“The whole point NSW has been so strong on, keeping borders open, is to prevent exactly what the Queensland premier is now complaining about,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“(Ms Palaszczuk) is now the victim of a policy she put in place herself.”

Meanwhile, Sydneysiders are now allowed to have 30 visitors in their homes, while 50 people can attend outdoor gatherings, including in yards.

Since Friday, 300 guests are allowed at weddings and funerals, while caps have been removed on corporate events, religious gatherings and hospitality venues. However, the “four square metre” rule still applies.

Masks are also no longer compulsory in shops, but people are still obliged to wear them on public transport, at religious gatherings, in gaming rooms, at hairdressers and beauticians and in public-facing hospitality jobs.

Elsewhere, border restrictions imposed by the ACT and Victoria on Greater Sydney have relaxed, after NSW recorded a 12th straight day of zero local cases.

Tasmania and South Australia will relax their restrictions on Sunday.

Arrivals in Western Australia from NSW must still self-isolate for 14 days.

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