Queenslanders ‘don’t want borders opened’
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has said her state borders will remain shut "while there is active transmission", putting some doubt on a July 10 reopening.
Speaking in state parliament on Tuesday, Ms Palaszczuk addressed cases in New South Wales and Victoria which may impact the reopening of Queensland's borders.
"We want to see NSW and Victoria get on top of their community transmission," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"There are now just five active cases of COVID-19 in Queensland compared with 73 active cases in NSW and 49 active cases in Victoria.
"Of course, we recognise businesses are doing it tough but they would be doing it even tougher if there was an outbreak of community transmission in Queensland.
"People across Queensland do not want the borders opened and risk all of our great health response."
Ms Palaszczuk, along with the state's Chief Medical Officer Dr Jeannette Young, have stood firm on a July 10 reopening, which would be discussed later this month on June 26.
On Tuesday, South Australian Premier Steven Marshall took the leap with his border opening, announcing incoming passengers from the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Tasmania would be allowed into the state - without having to undergo quarantine - from June 17.
It's a move Mr Marshall said was crucial to rebuilding his state's economy, which suffered through devastating bushfires earlier this year, quickly followed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the Queensland Premier's delay on opening borders was costing jobs and hurting business owners and workers unnecessarily.
"There is no reason for state borders to be closed. Closed borders cost jobs," Mr Frydenberg said.
"Queensland is the tourism state yet its borders remain closed, penalising business owners and workers unnecessarily.
"With no health advice suggesting a need to have border closures it is time that they are opened up to help get people back into work and our economy moving.
"Every day state borders remain closed is one day too many."
The Courier-Mail has reported the Gold Coast alone will lose more than $1.2 billion in interstate tourism revenue in the next three months unless the border is opened up, noting more than 120,000 Queenslanders lost their job in April, including 23,000 in the Gold Coast and 16,000 in Townsville.
But despite the alarming figures, Ms Palaszczuk claims most residents within her state are prepared to wait longer for the borders to reopen.
"I will not put Queenslanders' health at risk. There are active cases in NSW and Victoria," Ms Palaszczuk told the Opposition during Question Time in state parliament on Tuesday.
"I have travelled across regional Queensland over the past two weeks and let me tell you, they don't want their families to get COVID and they don't want to be sick," the Premier said.
"People across Queensland do not want the borders opened and risk all of our great health response," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"We have put in place a very clear road map. The Prime Minister has said July. Our road map says July. And we're gearing up to that."
She added: "We will assess it at the end of the month."
Queensland Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington blasted the Premier, saying she was "flattening the economy" and that businesses needed a solid reopening date to work towards.
"We must tell the rest of Australia when Queensland will open its borders," Ms Frecklington said.
"Businesses need certainty and clarity to plan their way out of this economic crisis.
"It's time to stop flattening the economy. It's time to reopen our borders."
Originally published as Queenslanders 'don't want borders opened'