Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has pointed to a July 10 reopening of state borders. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has pointed to a July 10 reopening of state borders. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP

One way Qld will open before July

As the country waits for our Sunshine State to officially reopen, Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has pointed to a possible reopening providing Australians can meet one target.

And that's keeping the cases of COVID-19 very low with almost no cases.

Dr Young said "unless of course something was very different either way", the July 10 date stood.

"If things were a lot better then of course we could bring that date forward, as did happen for this month's stage two," she said.

"Or if something were to happen interstate, I'm sure everyone would expect that we then push that date out."

Queensland's chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said the state may be able to open borders early. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP
Queensland's chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said the state may be able to open borders early. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP


Her comments come as two challenges against the Queensland government's constitutional right to keep the state's borders closed amid the coronavirus crisis are set to return to the High Court on Tuesday.

Billionaire businessman Clive Palmer and a group of businesses and individuals named Travel Essence launched separate legal proceedings after the borders were closed in March.

They are intent on forcing Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to reverse her government's decision to isolate the state, saying they want to limit the economic damage caused by keeping the borders shut.

The challenges are unlikely to be heard before the borders reopen, however.

On Friday, Chief Justice Susan Kiefel told lawyers for the parties it was unlikely the cases would be heard before the end of June after learning the opposing sides were having difficulty agreeing on the terms of the battle.

Businessman Clive Palmer is set to head to the High Court again today. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP
Businessman Clive Palmer is set to head to the High Court again today. Picture: Dan Peled/AAP


Stage three of the state's coronavirus recovery road map has always planned for interstate travel to be permitted from July 10, conditional on Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young's advice.

Currently, school students, workers and freight drivers can enter the state without an issue, but Queensland is closed to anyone else.

Mr Palmer is also challenging the Western Australian government's right to close its border.

All three cases will return to the Brisbane courtroom for a directions hearing on Tuesday.

Queensland's Deputy Premier Steven Miles said that while the borders were "very likely" to open to the rest of the country on July 10, the community transmission in Victoria and possible outbreaks following mass protests held across the country in June could delay that date.

It’s looking like Australia will be able to travel to Queensland by July 10. Picture: Tourism Queensland
It’s looking like Australia will be able to travel to Queensland by July 10. Picture: Tourism Queensland

Mr Miles said while it wouldn't be the preferred solution, the government was considering the option of opening up a travel corridor to NSW, meaning Victorians would be left in the cold.

"There's legal difficulties. There is also (the) practical difficulty of how you implement that both at the physical border and at airports," he said.

"It is difficult to see how we could enforce something like that but certainly throughout this whole situation we have assessed all of the possible options and that has been one that has been considered at different points in time.

"It would be possible, I think it is probably unlikely."

Overnight, Northern Territory Chief Minister Michael Gunner indicated he would make an announcement on Friday regarding the re-opening of the Territory's borders, pointing to a date in mid-July.

Such a date would be in line with South Australia, whose Premier Steven Marshall has already announced will open its borders on Monday, July 20.

Originally published as One way Qld will open before July


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