Speedbox: “Things have gone wrong”

Months ago, Prime Minister Morrison said that there could be no trans-Tasman travel bubble until all State borders are open in Australia.   He said that it would be impractical and unacceptable that international tourists could enter Australia whilst Australians were unable to travel freely within their own country.  That went out the window as the States doggedly imposed their restrictions and with Western Australia appearing likely to impose their hard border restriction until March 2021, that was the final nail in Australia’s open borders coffin.

So, it came to pass that on Friday the first batch of New Zealanders lobbed in Australia under the trans-Tasman travel bubble arrangement.   The passengers, who flew into Sydney, did not need to enter hotel quarantine under the bubble arrangements.  Under the deal between the two nations, New Zealanders are permitted to travel quarantine-free into both NSW and the Northern Territory, under the proviso they’ve not been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the 14 days leading up to their travel.

Upon arrival however, seventeen of those travellers promptly decamped to the domestic terminal and boarded a flight to Melbourne.  Upon arrival in Melbourne, they dispersed – presumably into the homes of their family and friends.   But nobody is really sure because the inbound traveller cards are yet to be released and it remains to be seen whether they will show a Victorian address.

At his press conference yesterday, Dan Andrews was unusually animated about these interlopers.   He had made clear to the Federal Government, he said, that Victoria was not part of the travel bubble.   Yet, somehow, these people had arrived.   These people.   Like they were modern incarnations of Typhoid Mary.  Although to fit the Victorian narrative, they would be ‘these LGBTQIA people’.

The media, for their part, displayed an inquisitiveness not normally seen of the Victorian MSM and wanted to know what happened, and why.

In an echo of the PM, Andrews said it was “not acceptable” that international arrivals are allowed to travel freely into Victoria when Victorians cannot travel freely around their own state.

“They left the airport within only minutes, really, of having arrived.  Our officers have absolutely no power to stop someone, to detain someone in those circumstances, particularly given they were coming from a very low virus part of the world.  Things have gone wrong” said Daniels.   And indeed they have.

What has gone wrong is the astounding inability of the Feds to think something through.  If the raison d’etre was for people to be able to enter Australia without a quarantine requirement, just how did the Feds think the international arrivals could be corralled into just NSW and the NT?

Air New Zealand said this morning that onward travel cannot be booked via their system under the trans-Tasman bubble.  That may be true but those same travellers can, and obviously did, independently book a connecting interstate flight without wasting time in Sydney.

When the bubble was recently re-announced, it seemed obvious that the prospect of onward travel was so clear that the Feds must have had a plan up their sleeves, but nope.  Once again, we witness the failure of a Government bureaucracy to conduct even the simplest actions.

The best, and most likely, solution to the fiasco is that the 17 will be permitted to stay in Victoria provided they comply with the local restrictions.   At worst, Australia will be humiliated and the travellers enraged if they are sent back to Sydney – where they would be isolated in hotel quarantine for 14 days, having entered from Victoria.

Debacle – thy name is Government.

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31 Responses to Speedbox: “Things have gone wrong”

  1. the sting

    Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge [ refer the Australian] has said that the Victorian government was present last week when this issue was discussed . Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton was at the meeting. They raised no objections and in fact expressly authorised individuals who were arriving in Sydney from NZ to travel into Victoria . He challenged the Premier to release the emails and correspondence which shows clearly that they authorised the people to come to Victoria .

  2. Bruce of Newcastle

    Prime Minister Morrison said that there could be no trans-Tasman travel bubble until all State borders are open in Australia.

    Boris has turned to sex bubbles, which is fun seeing Poms are so notoriously prudish.

    Couples living apart in Tiers 2 and 3 of Boris Johnson’s lockdown zones are no longer allowed to have sex in each other’s homes unless they are part of a “support bubble”.

    A “support bubble” is now a thing.

    Sex Between Non-Cohabiting Couples Banned Again in Virus Hotspots (17 Oct)

    Will this lead to a population explosion in the UK? Nine months before we find out.

  3. Roger

    In an echo of the PM, Andrews said it was “not acceptable” that international arrivals are allowed to travel freely into Victoria when Victorians cannot travel freely around their own state.

    Right.

    So it’s not about the virus it’s about “the optics” politically.

  4. Tom

    Debacle – thy name is Government.

    As someone who (briefly) lived in America, it’s astonishing to me that more Australians don’t: a) see government primarily as a source of expensive problems; b) understand that the primary objective of government is to get bigger.

    I spent six months driving around the USA. My fondest memory is of a cop in a highway cruiser who waved at me with a hand motion to slow down because he didn’t want to book me for speeding.

    American cops understand liberty because it’s in their national culture. Australian cops (and our national intelligence agencies for that matter) can be bought and sold by the highest bidder, including political parties, as Daniel Andrews has demonstrated by transforming Victoria Police into the ALP’s state policy enforcement division.

  5. Walter Plinge

    The way Andrews and his sock puppet, Sutton, carry on you’d think the NZers were carrying bubonic plague or ebola. I guess Andrews needs a distraction given his lockdown continues essentially unchanged.

  6. John A

    In an echo of the PM, Andrews said it was “not acceptable” that international arrivals are allowed to travel freely into Victoria when Victorians cannot travel freely around their own state.

    Well, then Mr Projecting Premier, the ball, as they say, is in your court.

  7. covid ate my homework

    I spent six months driving around the USA. My fondest memory is of a cop in a highway cruiser who waved at me with a hand motion to slow down because he didn’t want to book me for speeding.

    My son traveled to the US 2 years ago. A highway patrolman pulled him over in Tennessee for speeding (80 m.p.h.) (let him off with a warning) and explained that cops in Tennessee didn’t mind too much if you were speeding but frowned upon overtaking speeding cars. Too much like a road race he explained and it was a bad look.

    My son mentioned that he was heading to New York, the cop said “when you get to Pennsylvania forget everything I just told you”.

    The flyover states are mostly free.

  8. Mr Bunny

    The simple fact is the arriving Kiwis can travel to Victoria if they like and Dan has absolutely no power to stop them. And he can’t physically send them back to NSW.

  9. Lee

    Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge [ refer the Australian] has said that the Victorian government was present last week when this issue was discussed . Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton was at the meeting. They raised no objections and in fact expressly authorised individuals who were arriving in Sydney from NZ to travel into Victoria . He challenged the Premier to release the emails and correspondence which shows clearly that they authorised the people to come to Victoria .

    Dictator Dan is such a brazen liar, he would deny that, even against all the evidence.

  10. Bar Beach Swimmer

    The simple fact is that Australians are being stopped from travelling freely in their own country. The PM is a gutless wonder on this. He won’t go to the HC to test the border controls, why?

    There’s only two explanations: either it’s because he’s been providing cover for the LNP in QLD against the shallow parochialism of Pony Girl leading up to the state election or because there are some in the Coalition who, because of their pure of heart federalism, support States Rights.

    The only thing, other than a HC challenge, that will resolve this debacle is the removal of all the taxpayer funded benefits that currently are being thrown around the country thereby delaying any need for electors to scream blue murder at the premiers.

    If he thinks that, because he and the NZ PM have somehow decided on a definition of ‘hotspot’, the state premiers will just go along with that then he needs his head read. The PM of this country prefers to provide amenity to the citizens of another country. Well, for that he can F-off.

  11. Ubique

    Fair go! The travellers were able to hop aboard a flight to Melbourne as the responsible public officials were busy with diversity and transgender rights training and preparing their float for the Mardis Gras.

  12. Terry Pedersen

    Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tunt (ht. Stuart Robert) has been a regular smarty-pants at his pressers. To almost every question a smirking “golly gee, how did that happen” disingenuous answer. Having watched many repeats of Border Security I have no doubt that he will soon ascertain whether the Kiwis involved have made any incorrect declarations and if so ensure their speedy despatch back across The Ditch.

    /sarc

  13. H B Bear

    The country formerly known as Australia is a myth at the moment.

  14. covid ate my homework

    We’re not a nation anymore, just a bunch of people milling around who identify with an island continent in the South Pacific/Indian oceans, and a bunch of others looking for something for nothing.

  15. Bar Beach Swimmer

    H B Bear
    #3623233, posted on October 18, 2020 at 3:16 pm
    The country formerly known as Australia is a myth at the moment.

    covid ate my homework
    #3623249, posted on October 18, 2020 at 3:35 pm
    We’re not a nation anymore, just a bunch of people milling around who identify with an island continent in the South Pacific/Indian oceans, and a bunch of others looking for something for nothing

    Well said, both of you.

  16. Peter O'Brien

    It is not a fiasco. Andrews goes from strength to strength in the art of sophistry and spin. He is taking the moral high ground and blaming Border Force for the fact that 17 arrivals from NZ slipped into Victoria last night. More in sorrow than anger he points out that he is not responsible for who comes onto Australia and that he had specifically told the PM that Victoria would not, at this stage, be part of the NZ bubble.
    What he fails to mention is that, although the Commonwealth has responsibility for who enters our national border, it does not control where people travel within that border. Up until recently, and under our Constitution, no-one did. Now, I have just returned from Queensland where my nephew, an Army Reserve corporal, has been deployed on airport duty for the last month, working alongside Qld Police to check every visitor arriving on an interstate flight. Is it beyond the wit of Andrews to implement a similar system. Either his State border is open, as he claims, or it is not. If he doesn’t want certain people entering his State, it’s up to him to implement the gatekeeping regime.

  17. MACK

    Danny’s total confusion when questioned about this non-issue on Saturday just confirmed his unfitness for office. He is incapable of analytical logical thought. The most junior inexperienced barrister could have torn him to shreds.

  18. a reader

    Even better, a bunch ended up in Emperor McGowan’s WA. Bahahahahahahahaahah

  19. Mark M

    People who believe in dooomsday global warming are some of the stupidest people to ever walk this earth.
    Unfortunately the same people are also in charge of the response to the China flu, and true to form, follow the science of the definition of insanity: doing the same failed response (masks, lockdown, draconian police enforcement) expecting a different result.

  20. Shy Ted

    Have they applied for asylum yet or haven’t they seen the NZ election results?

  21. Texas Jack

    What I wanna know is why anyone thinks Morrison is some kind of leader? If he’s a leader I’m Elvis far-kin Presley. Facilitating the lockdowns, creating the National Cabinet for goons like Andrews to shelter behind, and ignoring state lockdowns as if the constitution didn’t exist. He’s an oxygen thief of the highest order.

  22. David Brewer

    I don’t get it. What’s Dan’s problem anyway? Folks from New Zealand arrive in Victoria. They pose absolutely no health problem to Victoria, since there is no coronavirus in New Zealand. When they get to their destination they are going to be cooped up and locked down like every one else in Victoria. They obviously would not travel there unless they had bloody good reason, since they are practically turning themselves into prisoners, as well as (marginally) increasing their own chances of getting coronavirus. Presumably most of them are visiting dying relatives. This is “unacceptable”?

  23. H B Bear

    Even better, a bunch ended up in Emperor McGowan’s WA. Bahahahahahahahaahah

    Oh noes. Sneakers will be having kittens. This is worse than when someone saw a starling on the Nullarbor Plain.

  24. Squirrel

    “What has gone wrong is the astounding inability of the Feds to think something through.”

    I had wondered whether this was an intended outcome on the part of the Feds, to nudge things along – particularly after Tudge’s plucky comments about what really went on in discussions involving the Victorians – although I’ve yet to hear them say the same about W.A.

    Whatever the cunning plan of the Feds was, it looks like they’ll be outplayed on the politics.

  25. Snoopy

    How do we know that the Kiwis are not Australian permanent residents who normally live in Victoria?

  26. Crossie

    What has gone wrong is the astounding inability of the Feds to think something through.

    Why would they have to think anything through when there are no consequences or threats to their over generous remuneration? Why do you think anybody is rational in a place like Canberra that has had a Labor government re-elected over and over for more than twenty years?

  27. Crossie

    Dictator Dan is such a brazen liar, he would deny that, even against all the evidence.

    Truth or evidence are optional to dictators. I find it amusing that people think otherwise.

  28. Crossie

    They obviously would not travel there unless they had bloody good reason, since they are practically turning themselves into prisoners, as well as (marginally) increasing their own chances of getting coronavirus. Presumably most of them are visiting dying relatives. This is “unacceptable”?

    You expect our retarded media people to be able to think when they have not done or said anything to suggest that in many years.

  29. Andre Lewis

    There is no closed border between NSW and Victoria so anyone in NSW whether locals or from NZ can freely travel to Dictator Dan’s state. When there they have to comply with all the petty lockdown laws that everyone else has to so what on earth is the problem?

  30. Colonel Crispin Berka

    So it’s official, then. Conservatism has become the new politics of envy.

    New Zealanders are permitted to travel quarantine-free into both NSW and the Northern Territory, under the proviso they’ve not been in a COVID-19 hotspot in the 14 days leading up to their travel.

    I’m sure that’s not foreshadowing anything and will not become relevant at all in the remainder of the saga. /s

    Upon arrival in Melbourne, they dispersed – presumably into the homes of their family and friends.

    Amidst all the other window-dressing words, here we see the accusation of the most heinous crime, the unfairness that launched a thousand blips.

    What has gone wrong is the astounding inability of the Feds to think something through.

    What has gone wrong is the astounding inability of the conservatives on CatallaxyFiles to think something through. Hashtag NotAllCatallaxians. But of course the smarter catallaxians don’t get their sensible opinions promoted to a separate article and guest posted, only the most absurd and inflammatory clickbait opinions get that treatment. Please, conservatives, think. Obviously it would be understatement to say that none of these restrictions were imposed to advance freedom. You will recall they were imposed for public health. The bubble is to restore some benefits of travel without harming public health.
    Populations with similar-or-lower levels of infectious probability can enter a same-or-higher probability population without bringing more virus into the destination than would otherwise be there.

    He had made clear to the Federal Government, he said, that Victoria was not part of the travel bubble. Yet, somehow, these people had arrived.

    There’s no “somehow” about it. There is no restriction against leaving the bubble, but there is a 14-day price to pay when you try to re-enter the bubble. If their home country doesn’t trust NSW to have tracked them and enforced quarantine when necessary they may even get double-taxed with 14 days in NSW and another fortnight when they enter NZ. This actually seems likely given the NZ immigration web site says “Entry to New Zealand from all countries, including Australia, remains strictly controlled to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Our quarantine requirements and eligibility to enter New Zealand are not affected by the announcement from the Australian government.
    When they are ready to leave they may as well fly direct from Melbourne back home to NZ otherwise they will likely have 28 days of total quarantine instead of 14. Where’s the privilege?

    The NZ statement shows that Australia and New Zealand are not both equal members of the same bubble, but that Australia recognises NZ has far less prevalence of the virus and so restrictions are required in only one direction. As there is no reciprocal arrangement with NZ, there actually is no trans-Tasman bubble, it exists only as a ScoMo press release.

    At worst, Australia will be humiliated and the travellers enraged if they are sent back to Sydney – where they would be isolated in hotel quarantine for 14 days, having entered from Victoria.

    No, Australia will not be humiliated, you’re projecting your own feelings, and your feelings are based on a false expectation. Yes, having intermixed with the suspicious Lockdanistanis, the previously anointed ones are now tainted and if they try to go back to Sydney they will correctly and proudly come under State-level restrictions on travellers from Victoria, or they should do under NSW’s stated rules anyhow. (They are not “transiting by air” because their plane actually landed, and since they have to leave the domestic airport to go to the international terminal they have legally entered NSW.) Then the scheme is working to achieve its stated goal and there is nothing wrong here. Nothing, unless you are envious of some people’s superior ability to visit their family and you would like them to be hobbled down to your level instead of lifting your own level up. The politics of envy.

    Really, Cats, the first tipoff that this outrage was ill-founded was that Daniel Andrews was saying it too.

  31. Westsider

    The Victorian Department of Health web site makes it quite clear that travellers from New Zealand arriving in NSW as part of the “travel bubble” arrangements are free to travel to Victoria and do NOT have to quarantine on arrival. The only (sensible) restriction is a request that they do not travel if they have COVID type symptoms. Search “Information for Overseas Travellers” for more info. As usual Dan has no idea what is going on.

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