Australian borders: when should we reopen them?

Your say: should state borders re-open now?

When we asked our readers this week how soon they reckoned Australia's state borders should be opened nearly 30 per cent of those polled said they wanted borders opened now.

Yet only half of them said they'd be happy to jump on a plane right now and travel interstate.

Two-thirds of them said they'd probably feel better travelling interstate by land.

More than 2500 people filled in the online poll, which was shared across ACM's websites and social media channels.

The average score for when borders should open was in three to four weeks.

But opening borders may not spark the immediate tourism boom that some may hope with survey respondents indicating they'd probably wait for six weeks to start travelling by land and seven to eight weeks to travel by air.

When should we open borders?

Only a quarter of people are happy to stay in paid accommodation in their own state and on average will wait a month to do so.

Also a third of people would go interstate to see family and friends. Of course they may stay in paid accommodation and spend money in the towns they visit but it appears the message is come to us but we won't come to you.

Respondents in Victoria, ACT and NSW want state borders opener sooner (2 to 3 weeks) than those in other states (6 to 7 weeks).

International borders are a different issue. On average people don't want the borders open for five months and 12 per cent of people think it is too soon to think about it. Northern Territory readers wanted international borders opened the earliest (three months).

Victorians would like international borders opened in four months. South Australians want to wait more than six months, perhaps due to the recent imported coronavirus case from the UK breaking the state's run of no new cases.

Queensland pipped NSW as the place readers want to visit first with 29% of votes. As winter sets in many are thinking about warmer climates.

Which state would you head to first?

Half of NSW residents want to go to Queensland and it was a popular destination for Victorians and West Australians. ACT residents just want to get to the South Coast of NSW to enjoy fish and chips. No jokes, that is the main reason for some to travel.

Queenslanders also want to head to NSW, while Tasmanians (45 per cent) and South Australians (30 per cent) are eyeing off Victoria. They won't be going to the footy in Melbourne any time soon though.

Some people don't plan to travel interstate (17 per cent), including half of Tasmanians and a third from the ACT. Victorians are keen to escape as only 6 per cent of respondents don't have plans to travel. And they are keen for a holiday (40 per cent), bucking the trend that sees most wanting to travel to see family, partners or friends.

Interestingly, many people have no concerns about travelling with nearly half of respondents ready to head off without a care.

There is still a strong concern about catching coronavirus (28 per cent) but people seem less concerned about spreading it (7 per cent). Queenslanders are more worried about spreading coronavirus than other states (double the national average).

Many states are lifting the restrictions on travel around their own states but on average most people aren't ready to go too far yet. Day trips lead the way (2-3 weeks) followed by staying overnight with family and friends (three weeks).

When would you travel to other regions in your state?

The ACM poll The big split: should borders remain closed? had 2534 submissions from more than 100 ACM websites. The poll was conducted from May 27 to 29. There were submissions from every state and territory:

  • ACT: 530 submissions
  • Northern Territory: 17 submissions
  • NSW: 783 submissions
  • Queensland: 492 submissions
  • South Australia: 161 submissions
  • Tasmania: 209 submissions
  • Victoria: 251 submissions
  • Western Australia: 91 submissions
This story Your say: should state borders re-open now? first appeared on The Examiner.