Release type: Transcript

Date:

Interview — Sky News Live Paul Murray Live with Paul Murray

Ministers:

The Hon Stuart Robert MP
Minister for Employment, Workforce, Skills, Small and Family Business

Topics: COVID-19 International vaccination certificate; Vaccine rollout in Queensland

E&OE-------------------------------------

 

PAUL MURRAY:

Tomorrow, another big day in the re-opening and reconnection of not just Australia amongst Australia, but Australia with the rest of the world. If you are thinking about going overseas, you are going to need vaccination documentation. How does all of that work? Well, Stuart Robert is the responsible minister. We had a chance to chat about that and a whole lot more a bit earlier today.

[Excerpt]

MINISTER ROBERT:

We want to ensure that Australians can travel overseas and that they can present their credentials to say they've been vaccinated should a host country request it. So, from tomorrow, Tuesday, you'll be able to print a special COVID international vaccination certificate. I've got a copy here, Paul, looks very different to other documentation we've seen. It's because this one is designed by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, 145 countries, it's read by passport readers with the same level of security. So, it ostensibly replaces that little yellow international vaccination booklet you used to take to Africa with the yellow fever stamp. Go to myGov from tomorrow Tuesday morning, you'll be able to access your international vaccination certificate, take it in paper form or indeed soft copy onto your phone.

 

PAUL MURRAY:

How will airlines implement this new system? Do you think that the flights will pick up pretty quickly?

 

MINISTER ROBERT:

We'll have to wait and see what the airlines do. A lot of that's got to do with airlines and, of course, international airports and how they manage that. But I suspect with such a hiatus over 18 months, I'd say Qantas and other airlines would be keen to get as many passengers moving as possible.

 

PAUL MURRAY:

Now, Minister, we know that there are some parts of Queensland that still have vaccine hesitancy. But do you believe that all of the borders will be open fully by Christmas for fully vaccinated travellers?

 

MINISTER ROBERT:

They have, but we need to get people vaccinated. If we look at the areas of hesitancy, half of the hesitant areas in Australia are in Queensland. The Premier has announced today that she will hold the national plan, so it’s 70 per cent and then at 80 per cent. The Premier is indicating mid-December at 80 per cent and then Australians will be able to travel, double vaccinated by right, and borders will come down for double vaccinated. Let's all go and get vaccinated. We've got the impetus. We know what the light at the end of the tunnel is. Queenslanders, get vaccinated.

 

PAUL MURRAY:

What does the reopening mean for the Sunshine state?

 

MINISTER ROBERT:

It means the difference between economic carnage and real opportunity in life, Paul. 80 per cent of tourists to the Gold Coast come from New South Wales and Victoria, and right now they're excluded. Hey, 3000 or 4000 Queenslanders aren't allowed to return home.

So, an 80 per cent vaccination rate, borders are coming down for vaccinated Australians. They'll be able to come in and out by right, which means tourism will get back to normal domestically. That means Gold Coast has a great economic lifeline.

So, the opportunity is there right now for Australians, double vaccination for Queensland; borders open, the Premier said, by middle of December. Come book a holiday to the Gold Coast.

 

PAUL MURRAY:

How's Queensland got away with this for so long? Even its own citizens have been locked out and it's about time those people came home, right?

 

MINISTER ROBERT:

My view has always been that citizens cannot be locked out of their home state. You cannot do it. My expectation and my ask of the Premier is any Queensland residents who are currently excluded from their state should be allowed to enter under home quarantine right now. It's inexcusable that we don't allow Australians to return home. That should happen now. And of course, then in line with the national plan is when we’ll allow other Australians and Australians to travel internationally out of Brisbane international and Cairns international and indeed, Gold Coast international.

[End of excerpt]

PAUL MURRAY:

All that is, of course, on the myGov website, my.gov.au.