Queenslanders hoping a change of government might get their border reopened will likely be disappointed on October 31 as the Sunshine State heads to the polls.
Speaking to reporters this afternoon, LNP opposition leader Deb Frecklington said her party was in support of the rule that requires NSW to have no community transmission for 28 days straight before the border can open.
When asked if Ms Frecklington thought that was “achievable”, the opposition leader said her party would follow the health advice.
“The health advice is that it is 28 days…we accept that advice,” Ms Frecklington told reporters in Townsville.
“I understand that we are still waiting to hear around one case in NSW.”
Ms Frecklington said despite her acceptance of the 28 day guideline, her stance on borders was different.
“I have always said it can’t be set and forget… I’ve always said that borders shouldn’t be closed for a day longer than they need to be,” she said.
“But that is current health advice and we accept that.”
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Queensland opposition leader Deb Frecklington. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah MarshallSource:NCA NewsWire
Ms Frecklington claimed Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was “playing politics with the border and playing politics with the pandemic”.
“With me as premier, you would have a premier that would make decisions with compassion, consistency and common sense,” she said.
Queensland health authorities gave NSW’s contact tracers 48 hours yesterday to track the source of all the state’s new cases however that time is running out.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian lashed that timeline again today after yesterday encouraging the state’s contact tracers to ignore Queensland.
Ms Frecklington, who is in the same party as Ms Berejiklian, said she was waiting to hear from NSW about the single case of unlinked community transmission.
“Which is still 24 hours away,” she said.
Queensland Police stop vehicles at the border. Picture: Chris Hyde/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images
Speaking to media this morning, Queensland’s chief health officer Jeanette Young defended the state’s 48 hour window it had put on NSW.
“NSW has extremely good contact tracing capability,” Dr Young said. “But we need to wait a bit longer (to decide) whether or not we need to change the plan to open to NSW. At the moment, it’s planned for November 1.”
Ms Berejiklian delivered another stinging speech to Queensland over the border closures today, labelling the 28 day rule “offensive”.
“I find that really offensive to be honest, zero community transmission of course is our aspiration but the other question is, is it realistic? It’s a very high benchmark and of course we try and get down to zero, that's what we fight for every day, every day that’s our aspiration, but is it achievable?” she asked.
“If we're going to live with a pandemic, we have to be realistic and that’s all im asking other state governments to consider.
“Clearly what their chief health officer says is their business but as I said, I have a sense that the rules keep changing as we go along.”
NSW recorded 10 new cases of coronavirus today – five in hotel quarantine and five from community transmission. One of those is still under investigation.
New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian has repeatedly called for borders to reopen. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Christian GillesSource:News Corp Australia
Ms Frecklington was questioned today if she and Ms Berejiklian had been co-ordinating an attack on the Queensland premier just a few weeks before the state election.
“No we haven’t. Just another Labor lie,” Ms Frecklington bit back.
Queensland’s deputy premier and health minister Steven Miles jumped to the defence of his state yesterday and turned the criticism back on Ms Berejiklian.
“The premier of NSW can choose to reject that health advice but it’s that health advice that has kept Queensland and Queenslanders safe,” he said.
“I also note that the premier of NSW … said that she was very concerned about the level of community transmission. So if she is concerned about the situation in NSW well of course so are we.”
Ms Palaszczuk also defended the border closures, leaning on comments from Ms Berejiklian who said she was on “high alert”.
“If the New South Wales Premier is on high alert about those cases, I’m on high alert,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“We are not ruling out anything at the moment. There’s another 24 hours for them to look at where those cases came from.
“We hope NSW gets on top of those cases very quickly.”
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has defended the state. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan PeledSource:News Corp Australia
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