DIGEST

The Informer: Thanks but no thanks, Tassie says to NSW

Peter Gutwein (left), Dominic Perrottet (right) and quarantine hotel in the middle.
Peter Gutwein (left), Dominic Perrottet (right) and quarantine hotel in the middle.

In one corner there's Peter Gutwein. In the other there's Dominic Perrottet. Any clue what's going on?

They might not be the most high-profile pollies on the planet but they're involved in a ding-dong battle about COVID quarantine right now.

Mr Perrottet, the NSW Treasurer, announced on Monday his state was in the midst of extensive discussions with Tasmania about the prospect of using Hobart to quarantine returning international students.

Thing is, Mr Gutwein is the Premier of Tasmania, and, just like the computer, he says "no".

Tassie, you see, is more concerned about the safe management of seasonal workers and its own international students.

Now we have entered an impasse of sorts. In a statement of the utmost diplomacy Mr Perrottet said: "I remain committed to finding a way to return this vital industry to NSW and will continue to work constructively with colleagues such as Mr Gutwein to find a solution."

The NSW types have insisted for some time the state is doing the heavy lifting when it comes to returning Australians - and has done since quarantine became necessary.

Add to that mix, the stats about international students and you can see why Mr Perrottet is keen for a happy resolution to his problem.

International student education is valued at $14 billion annually in NSW and is the state's largest service export. On average, each student spends an additional $60,000 annually on top of their education expenses, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Speaking of pollies with fights on their hands, federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley is battling on two legal fronts.

She is facing a legal challenge over the secrecy of 15 fast-tracked environmental approvals that were announced through the national cabinet in July last year. The major projects were intended to aid post-pandemic economic recovery and complied with freedom of information laws.

But alas, emails between the minister and Prime Minister about how the decisions were made has been deemed not in the public interest. A decision which has not thrilled the Australian Conservation Foundation and Environmental Justice Australia. They've engaged senior counsel Geoffrey Watson to take the matter further.

And if that's not enough for Ms Ley, there are the eight teens from four states who have launched a class action against the Environment Minister. They claim she has a "duty of care" to protect future generations from climate harm.

Since it was filed, another 1500 young people have asked to join the class action.

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This story Thanks but no thanks, Tassie says to NSW first appeared on The Canberra Times.