Queensland deputy premier rips up $30m quarantine bill from NSW

Kamilia Palu
·News Editor
·3-min read

Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles has filmed himself ripping up a $30 million bill from NSW - the eye-watering cost of housing thousands of Queensland residents in quarantine for 14 days each.

Mr Miles uploaded the four-second video to Facebook on Wednesday of him tearing the invoice in half, much to the amusement of social media users.

The bill, which is due to be paid on March 19, totals $30,115,346.80 and includes all hotel stays from Queensland residents who quarantined in NSW from March 29, 2020, to September 30, 2020.

Scroll down to see the full bill.

Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles was filmed ripping up the $30m quarantine bill.
Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles was filmed ripping up the $30m quarantine bill. Source: Steven Miles/Facebook

The NSW government determined 7112 arrivals in that period were Queensland residents, while an addition 4991 arrivals were added on to Queensland’s bill because they “did not have an Australian address recorded and have been allocated proportionally across states”.

ScoMo labelled a "school bully"

While Mr Miles doesn’t speak in the video, he likens Prime Minister Scott Morrison to a “school bully” in his caption.

“Scott Morrison has given the go ahead for NSW to send Queensland taxpayers a $30 million bill for their quarantine program, even though it’s 100% a federal responsibility,” he wrote.

“He’s like a school bully telling us we have to give our lunch money to New South Wales.

“We’re not going to pay this bill, not while the Commonwealth refuses to endorse our plan for a national quarantine centre.”

In follow up posts on Thursday evening, Mr Miles said it felt “very satisfying” to tear up the “ridiculous” bill from NSW.

Uploading a copy of the bill to his Facebook page, he encouraged his followers to print out their own copy and destroy it.

“But don’t leave me having all the fun. You can try it yourself, at home,” he wrote.

“Here is a print ready version. Print it out, tear it up.

“Print as many as you like. Tear them all up.

"Scrunch them up. Put them in the bin.

"Play office basketball. Go nuts.”

He also uploaded subsequent videos of the document being put through a shredder and thrown like a basketball in a bin.

Steven Miles filmed himself destroying the document in a number of different ways, including shredding it and throwing it in the bin.
Mr Miles filmed himself destroying the document in a number of different ways, including shredding it and throwing it in the bin. Source: Steven Miles/Facebook

NSW Premier wants Queensland to pay up

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian expressed exasperation with her Queensland counterparts on Thursday over their refusal to pay the $30m bill.

"I am just incredibly disappointed. We are doing a huge load (of hotel quarantine stays) and I just want every state to appreciate that and just pay up," she said.

"We're asking for what we're owed. It's not even the dollars, it's the principle.”

On Thursday night Mr Miles made another defiant post poking fun at the situation, this time suggesting all Queensland residents could “split the bill” at a cost of $5.84 each.

“You can transfer your $5.84 direct to the NSW government using the bank account details they have provided,” he wrote.

“Once you have, please send a payment receipt to the NSW Treasurer epping@parliament.nsw.gov.au and ask him to subtract it from Queensland’s tab.”

Mr Miles said Queensland will withhold the millions until a proposed quarantine centre near Toowoomba was approved.

The $30 million quarantine bill to Queensland from NSW
The $30 million quarantine bill to Queensland from NSW

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