'Don't let NSW do all the heavy lifting' Berejiklian urges other state premiers

'Don't let NSW do all the heavy lifting' Berejiklian pleads

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian had a strong message to other state premiers on Wednesday, urging them to take their share of returned overseas travellers.

Ms Berejiklian said her "sense of frustration" was growing with Queensland and Western Australia in particular, which were keeping their borders closed while leaving NSW to look after the lion's share of travellers.

She said NSW was currently looking after more than 5000 people in hotel quarantine; and continued to take in 3000 Australians - from all states - returning from overseas each week.

Queensland and WA were taking around 500.

"It's a matter of principle, NSW I believe has been unfairly treated by a lot of states and we've done the heavy lifting," Ms Berejiklian said.


"We are noticing a noticeable spike in the number of people coming back from overseas who are relying on our health system who've got the disease and that does put pressure on our services.

"With Victoria out of action and the other states not willing to take on their fair share ... 45 per cent of that 3000 people every week are from other states.

"For us it's not so much the dollars, it's a matter of principle. I get really frustrated and annoyed when WA and QLD expect us to process all of their citizens, which we do gladly, but then think up all these excuses why NSW residents can't move freely to their states.

"They can't have it both ways."

Ms Berejiklian said other state premiers needed to take a "compassionate approach" and reopen their borders to NSW to stop families being separated, and businesses suffering.

She also said NSW would be "issuing invoices" to the other states, and warned them not to put NSW and Victoria in the same category.

"I just say to the other states, just think about what you're doing to our citizens, think about how people are suffering through no logical reasons as to why NSW residents should be locked out of your state," she said.

NSW reported one new case of locally transmitted COVID-19, linked to a known source, in the 24 hours to 8pm on Tuesday.

Seven cases were also reported in overseas travellers in hotel quarantine, bringing the total number of cases in NSW to 4217.

The one new locally acquired case is a household contact of a previously reported case linked to the Lakemba GP cluster, who has been in isolation. There are now 17 cases linked to this cluster.

It has been 14 days since a locally acquired case with no known source was identified.

NSW Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant said the state was now dealing with three clusters - the Lakemba GP cluster; the Oran Park cluster which had 25 cases and the Liverpool private clinic cluster with 13 cases.

There were 14,382 tests reported to 8pm last night, compared with 6438 in the previous 24 hours.

"It's important as we move into this festive season, as we ease restrictions that everyone comes forward for testing," Dr Chant said.

"... Even though the case numbers we're reporting are very low we know if this virus gets a foothold in the community it can go off like a wildfire.

"Particularly as we ease restrictions, particularly if we drop our guard in terms of those COVID-safe practices."

People in Sydney's west, south west and north west in particular are being urged to be aware of any symptoms of illness, and immediately isolate and get tested should even the mildest of symptoms appear.

Meantime COVID-19 virus fragments were identified in sewage at treatment plants in Glenfield on Tuesday and Quakers Hill on Wednesday, prompting renewed calls for residents in these areas to get tested.

This story 'Don't let NSW do all the heavy lifting' Berejiklian pleads first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.