Jackie Trad ‘agreed’ to pay NSW hotel bill
Steven Miles' pledge to tear up a $30m hotel quarantine bill sent by New South Wales has been dealt a blow following revelations Jackie Trad agreed to pay the cost during national crisis talks held just weeks before she was deposed.
The Sunday-Mail can reveal Ms Trad was among the nation's Treasurers who, at a Board of Treasurers meeting on April 1, agreed that states would fund the costs of hotel quarantine accommodation.
Mr Miles has since reneged on that pledge, filming a video of himself tearing up the invoice and insisting the state won't pay until the Commonwealth develops a national approach to quarantine.
According to meeting minutes Ms Trad agreed costs would be reconciled among states and shared according to residency of people.
The Victorian Government has also confirmed it will pay $34.3 million to NSW for accommodating its returned travellers in hotel quarantine.
Mr Miles did not comment on the meeting involving Ms Trad, but reiterated earlier comments that Queensland would not pay.
"It's ridiculous for NSW to expect Queenslanders to foot the bill for people who gave them a Queensland address," he said.
"It's even more ridiculous for them to charge us for people who had no address here at all.
"We have processed almost as many NSW residents as they have Queensland residents and we haven't sent them an invoice."
Mr Miles said quarantine remained a federal government responsibility, and suggested NSW send the bill to Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
Queensland and New South Wales spent last week trading barbs after NSW demanded $30m before March 19 for hosting more than 7000 residents in its hotel quarantine system.
Last week Mr Miles launched a tongue-in-cheek crowd-funding campaign to cover the cost of bill, suggesting Queenslanders to split the bill by paying $5.84 each.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian slapped down the Deputy Premier for filming himself tearing up the invoice.
"All I say to other states is, everyone has their day in the sun … sending pot shots to other premiers and whatever else," she said.
"But we're talking about people working their guts out to keep us safe.
"We appreciate that other states aren't doing their bit in that regard, so just pay us what you owe us."
Originally published as Jackie Trad 'agreed' to pay NSW hotel bill