NSW’s anger at states for $430m hotel quarantine bill

 

Hotel quarantine for international arrivals is costing taxpayers almost $50 million every month as NSW continues to wait for other states to cough up their $125.5 million share of the overall bill for the COVID protection plan.

The multimillion-dollar monthly charge represents the gross cost to the Berejiklian government before money is clawed back from travellers to cover a portion of the cost of their stay.

The Daily Telegraph can also reveal the total cost of the program from March to ­December last year is estimated at $432.5 million.

Returned overseas travellers arrive at Sydney Airport before quarantining. Picture: Jenny Evans
Returned overseas travellers arrive at Sydney Airport before quarantining. Picture: Jenny Evans

Of that cost, $125.5 million is expected to be recouped from other states - but they are yet to pay their bills.

Victoria represents about 40 per cent of the interstate cost (about $50 million), followed by Queensland at 30 per cent (or just under $38 million). The remaining 30 per cent is split among the other states and territories, and also accounts for international ­residents who go into hotel quarantine.

NSW has not yet claimed back money from the other states and territories for the cost of putting their residents into quarantine. It's understood the process has been complicated because NSW also owes other jurisdictions for the cost of quarantining its residents in other states.

Travellers are escorted into hotels for their two-week stay. Picture: Jeremy Piper
Travellers are escorted into hotels for their two-week stay. Picture: Jeremy Piper

Since July 18, returning residents have been slugged $3000 to quarantine in NSW. Additional adults are charged at $1000 each, with a $500 charge for children between three- and 18-years-old.

After travellers leave hotel quarantine, their bill is referred to Revenue NSW, which issues an invoice for their stay.

Returned travellers have 30 days to pay before a debt ­reminder notice is issued.

The monthly cost of $48 million is calculated before fees to travellers are recouped, meaning the final cost to the taxpayer would be less.

NSW is currently taking in up to 1505 returning overseas travellers each week.

Originally published as NSW's anger at states for $430m hotel quarantine bill


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