As Queensland Premier Palaszczuk pointed out yesterday on social media following the announcement of the travel bubble with New Zealand, Queensland has the largest number of NZ-born people in Australia. Indeed, according to the 2016 Census, Queensland had 201,200 NZ-born people living here in 2016 (see chart below), with Kiwis therefore accounting for one in every 25 people living in Queensland.
International visitors from NZ may help some of our struggling tourism regions such as Cairns and the Whitsundays, but overall I don’t expect much of a macroeconomic impact from the travel bubble, particularly given more money may end up being spent in NZ by people currently living in Australia than the other way around. Many Kiwis who’ve been cut off from relatives back home during the pandemic would be longing for reunions, as SBS has reported: ‘So excited’: After the travel bubble announcement, Kiwis in Australia are planning long-awaited homecomings. Whatever the macroeconomic impact, it’s undoubtedly a great thing to be re-opening to the world, even if just to NZ at this stage. As John McCarthy aptly titled his InQueensland piece yesterday, Thumbs up, bro!
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