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Victorian officials 'understood well' NZ interstate travel arrangements

Sky News Australia logo Sky News Australia 18/10/2020 Sky News Australia
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Acting Immigration Minister Alan Tudge has told Sky News there was ample understanding within the Victorian government that New Zealand residents could enter the state, despite officials claiming they were blindsided by the arrivals.

Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews claimed he had been kept in the dark about the ramifications of a one-way travel bubble with New Zealand, hitting out at the prime minister after 55 Kiwis journeyed to Melbourne after entering the country through New South Wales.

Mr Tudge said at a meeting of the chief health officers or chief medical officers from each jurisdiction – which took place last Monday – “it was expressly discussed … that people would be arriving from New Zealand and they may well choose to travel onwards to another destination”.

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“There was no objections raised. Now Brett Sutton was at that meeting, his deputy was at that meeting,” Mr Tudge said.

“There was a further meeting the next day where it was expressly raised also. Brett Sutton … was again at that meeting.

“These are the chief health officers who advise directly the leaders of each of these jurisdictions.”

Mr Tudge also revealed emails sent from Mr Andrews' office contained authorisation for individuals to enter Victoria.

“Further, there was a meeting held at Tullamarine airport led by Vic government officials about the fact that NZ were coming into Melbourne,” he said.

“All of this was occurring so I don’t know why the premier raised this so assertively over the weekend because these were arrangements which were well understood.”

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