Destinations

Flight Centre boss reconsiders suing WA thanks to English cricketers

Flight Centre Travel Group (FCTG) supremo Graham “Skroo” Turner is reconsidering his decision to take legal action against Western Australia’s border restrictions thanks to a group of English cricketers.

Turner told The Australian he was encouraged by the WA government’s decision to cut quarantine requirements to five days for English cricketers set to take part in Perth’s Ashes Test in mid-January.

“Whether it’s game-changing or not, we will have to wait and see,” he said.

“Hopefully that will apply to other people who desperately need to get back into Western Australia – you know, friends and relatives who need to.”

While FCTG’s chief executive is not yet willing to rule out legal action, Turner said he was concerned about how long it would take for the Federal Court to review the policy, as it would likely outlast the state’s border closure.

“The timelines (of the court) are quite significant, so we’ve got to take a look at that and make sure it can have an impact,” he said.

“It’s no use carrying on with legal action if the borders are open when the court case is heard.”

Last week, WA Premier Mark McGowan announced WA’s Safe Transition Plan, revealing the state would open its borders once it vaccinates 90 per cent of its eligible population.

A specific date for the state’s reopening will be announced once the state is 80 per cent vaccinated; however, the state is currently projected to reach the target by early February 2022.

Once that target is reached, interstate travellers will be allowed to enter WA provided they have been fully vaccinated, return a negative PCP test 72 hours before departure and undertake a test upon arrival. However, the test upon requirement is expected to be phased out pending a review.

Fully-vaccinated international travellers will also be allowed into the state following the same rules, except they will also be required to complete a G2G pass and undertake 14 days in a designated quarantine facility if they are unvaccinated.

Turner initially threatened the state with legal action in October, claiming some states have cost Flight Centre $100 million each month.

Despite the travel ban lifting, only NSW and Victoria are allowing quarantine-free travel for fully-vaccinated Australians and their immediate families, with Tasmania and South Australia following suit from 15 December and by the end of this year, respectively.

Queensland will keep its international borders firmly shut until the state has vaccinated 90 per cent of its population, most likely in early 2022.

Turner said on Friday he would come to a decision over the weekend.


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