Premier's hard line on state's border closure

 

QUEENSLAND'S borders won't be open any time soon, with the Annastacia Palaszczuk flagging the need for a month of nil community transmission in southern states before the state can reopen to them.

The Premier said she had made her end-of-month border decision and they would be staying closed as there had been "no advice from the Chief Health Officer to change what we are doing".

Asked what the criteria was for Queensland to reopen its borders, she said: "I'll tell you what we're looking for, to keep Queenslanders safe."

Asked again what the criteria was, so that businesses could have some certainty planning forward, she said NSW and Victoria would remained barred while there was still community transmission.'

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk providing a COVID-19 update at Parliament House. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Attila Csaszar
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk providing a COVID-19 update at Parliament House. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Attila Csaszar

"Dr (Jeannette) Young, our Chief Health Officer, has made it very clear that she doesn't want to see community transmission and there is community transmission at the moment in southern states," she said.

She said Dr Young wanted to see a month of no community transmission.

It comes as Federal Trade and Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham accused Ms Palaszczuk of being "closed minded" and costing jobs by refusing to consider a national COVID-19 hotspot definition.

"What I would urge the state and territory leaders to do is to not be closed minded, to not shut down their thinking, but instead to engage in an evidence based approach of looking at how hot spots can be used as a means to facilitate greater movement of people across Australia without jeopardising health outcomes," he told the ABC.

"We are working through Commonwealth health officials in developing these hot spots approaches and I find it incredibly disappointing that a Premier like Annastacia Palaszczuk would be so closed-minded to even looking at the evidence and rule it out before she has seen it.

Trade and Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham says Queensland's border position is costing jobs. Picture: David Mariuz/AAP
Trade and Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham says Queensland's border position is costing jobs. Picture: David Mariuz/AAP

"What that is doing is jeopardising jobs, livelihoods and ultimately lives across different states. We are seeing many, many thousands of jobs lost and they will continue to be lost if we have this approach where state and territory leaders in some cases simply maintain border closures indefinitely with a blanket approach rather than listening to the evidence."

Queensland currently has the highest unemployment in the country of 8.8 per cent, above the national rate of 7.5 per cent.

Senator Birmingham said other countries had successfully managed movement of people, while continuing good health outcomes.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has recently favoured a Danish "traffic light" system, which indicates when travel to and from an area is open, requires quarantine or is banned, depending on case numbers.

It is understood the Australian hotspot definition will be influenced by the Danish system, but not exactly the same.



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