State’s whopping hotel quarantine bill

Returned travellers owe the NSW government millions of dollars in unpaid hotel quarantine fees.

Incoming Australians were supposed to foot the bill for their two-week mandatory stay, but new figures revealed at least $110m was still owed to the state government – two thirds of which is from residents of other states who flew into Sydney.

According to figures from Revenue NSW, of the 142,728 invoices issued to November 11, 62,426 have been paid but 65,408 are still outstanding.

The cost of hotel quarantine per person is about $3000 for an adult, $1000 for an additional adult and $500 for children younger than 18.

For instance, a family or group of two adults and two children (older than three) would pay $5000.

Close to 5000 invoices have been waived for those who don’t have the financial means to pay. There were also exceptions for Australian Defence Force personnel.

Invoices are sent to people via email or post and they are given 30 days to pay.

On top of the $110m owed, Queensland, the Northern Territory and Western Australia owe the NSW government $65.85m in outstanding invoices.

“Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT have been paying NSW in line with the Board of Treasurers’ agreement,” Revenue NSW said in a statement.

Finance Minister Damien Tudehope said it was only fair to NSW taxpayers that people paid up.

“Don’t put the invoice aside for another day, contact us about making a payment, entering into a payment plan, an extension to pay or other hardship measures that may be available,” he said.

AFGHAN REFUGEES

“Revenue NSW has a range of options when it comes to resolving these invoices. Get in touch today and get on top of it.”

Former NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian previously slammed Queensland for refusing to pay its quarantine bill.

NSW authorities were in February blindsided by Queensland’s sudden refusal to pay its $30m quarantine bill for thousands of returned travellers in Sydney hotels.

At the time, NSW was owed $86m from other states to cover hotel quarantine between March and September last year – this was before returned travellers were required to foot their own bill.

“They need to do the decent thing and pay up,” Ms Berejiklian said at the time.

Meanwhile, fully vaccinated returned travellers no longer need to complete two weeks quarantine; however, those who are unvaccinated will still need to spend 14 days in a hotel.

The major change came into effect on November 1.

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean has been contacted for comment.

Source: Einnews

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