Three million to download Service NSW QR app by March
Ms Berejiklian said she was not willing to gamble NSW and the nation’s economy by opening the border with Victoria before the Andrews government proves it can operate without a lockdown.
“I don’t want to see the border up a day longer than it needs to be, but we also need to be sensible, we need to see Victoria demonstrate they have the capacity to get on top of any outbreaks, because there will be,” Ms Berejiklian said.
NSW recorded four new cases of locally transmissed COVID-19 cases on Thursday, including two students from Malek Fahd Islamic School in western Sydney, and two household contacts.
Ms Berejiklian said it could be an economic disaster for NSW and the country to reopen borders too early.
“I won’t expose NSW and, to be frank, Australia, because if NSW goes down so does Australia and I don’t want to be in that position,” she said.
“I don’t think anyone wants to see NSW jeopardised, because the impact to Australia would be absolutely devastating.”
Asked whether she was surprised that Victoria had not yet developed the QR code system, Ms Berejiklian said she hoped states would have “built up their resilience” during periods of lockdown.
Despite Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews describing his state’s test results as “gold” on Thursday, Ms Berejiklian said the real test for Melbourne would arrive in coming weeks.
“The evidence will tell us, the data will tell us, the data is honest and truthful and transparent,” she said.
“So we will know within two weeks after those restrictions have been eased what the impact on Victorians [has been] and to what extent they prepared during the lockdown period,’’ she said.
NSW Customer Service Minister Victor Dominello said the government would consider mandating the use of QR codes and he was urging all businesses to take-up the Service NSW QR code.
“All cards are on the table. QR codes are a critical part of NSW’s resilience,” Mr Dominello said.
“Businesses have had over three months to embrace this technology and those still using pen and paper should hurry up and download a QR code.”
Victoria recorded three new coronavirus cases on Thursday, one less than NSW, though two of the positive cases may be instances of people shedding the virus after previous infections.
“We’ll be sensible about the Victorian situation…if the health advice says to us ‘look they’ve been open for two weeks, restrictions have been eased, they’ve got the virus under control, they’ve improved their systems’ well then its happy days,” Ms Berejiklian said.
Alexandra Smith is the State Political Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.
Tom Rabe is Transport Reporter with The Sydney Morning Herald.