Peter Dutton takes down calls for Australia to close its border to the world to fight Delta outbreaks: ‘We are not a two-bit island nation in the middle of nowhere’
- Defense Secretary Peter Dutton pushed back against international border closure
- Mr Dutton believes closing borders would harm families and the economy
- The minister defended compassionate grounds for international travel
- He claimed outbreaks were not from people in quarantine
Peter Dutton has resisted calls to close Australia’s international border as coronavirus outbreaks swept three states.
The defense secretary has built his entire political career on a hard-line border stance, but claimed that interrupting all international arrivals would be detrimental to the nation.
Dutton warned that a blanket ban would harm Australians with families abroad and hurt the economy.”
Peter Dutton has backed down calls for further restrictions on Australia’s international borders as coronavirus outbreaks affect NSW, VIC and SA
“We are not a two-bit island nation in the middle of nowhere that does not trade with anyone,” he told radio 2GB in Sydney on Thursday.
“We have business to do or people don’t get work.”
Mr Dutton also cited examples of compassionate reasons for international travel.
“People want to see their grandchildren, they want to see a dying relative and we have to strike a balance,” he said.
“The Prime Minister has tried to achieve that with the Prime Ministers.
“People don’t want us bickering. They want these problems solved. They want to go back to their lives as they knew it a few years ago.”
Mr Dutton said coronavirus outbreaks were not caused by the number of people in hotel quarantine, but by human error.
More than 14 million people are in lockdown in NSW, Victoria and South Australia.
The international travel limit has already been halved to help states control case numbers.
Mr Dutton has ruled out a further reduction.
He said coronavirus outbreaks were not caused by the number of people in hotel quarantine, but rather human error among those running the system.