One state may be exempt to Queensland border rules
THE LNP has slammed the "total confusion" around when Queensland's borders will reopen claiming it will destroy tourism jobs, while the Premier revealed South Australians may be allowed in early.
Leader Deb Frecklington said revelations the New South Wales and Queensland border may not open until September had sent a shockwave through the economy.
According to the State Government's roadmap, released on May 8, interstate travel was to be allowed from July 10, depending on the number of COVID-19 cases.
However Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk yesterday revealed the borders may not reopen until September.
"The Palaszczuk Labor Government caused chaos when it closed our borders via Twitter in March," Ms Frecklington.
"The Palaszczuk Labor Government cannot even agree among themselves when the border will re-open."
Ms Frecklington said tourists won't plan a holiday in Queensland if they don't know when the border will open.
"Queensland could lose millions of tourists and tens of thousands of jobs because of the chaos caused by the Premier's mixed messages," she said.
"The State Government's roadmap told Queenslanders that interstate borders will open in July and that's what should happen."
But Ms Palaszcuk reiterated authorities would be reviewing the border controls at the end of each month.
"Let's take a realistic look here, we've only just opened cafes and restaurants to 10 people," she said.
"We are saying to people in the second stage you can travel 250km from where you live, then in the third stage we are saying you can travel anywhere around Queensland.
"I am not going to reject the advice of Dr Young."
But the Government's own roadmap, interstate travel was to be allowed from July 10.
Pressed on this, the Premier said South Australians may be allowed to visit Queensland because the state did not have any community transmission.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive officer Daniel Gschwind
said opening the borders in September would be a "demoralising blow" to the industry because many operators were hoping they could rescue some of the winter season.
"We really want to rescue something out of the winter season," he said.
"The Premier has said ... it will be reviewed every month so we're clinging to that."
Asked about tourists coming from South Australia, Mr Gschwind said anything would be better than nothing.
Ms Frecklington's call came after Treasurer Cameron Dick said New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian had no right to lecture Queensland over its COVID-19 safety plans after exposing the country to a devastating wave of deadly cases thanks to her Ruby Princess fail.
Mr Dick slammed the NSW leader after days of criticism over Queensland's decision to keep its borders closed until there is no more community transmission of COVID-19 in the southern states.
Following Opposition questioning of the policy and whether it was costing Queenslanders their jobs, Mr Dick said the state needed to keep people healthy so that it could fix the economy.
"I make one observation: There was a single cruise ship that came into the country and came in across the border of NSW and it didn't go into a regional part of NSW, it went into the heart of NSW," Mr Dick told parliament.
"It docked in the Sydney Harbour and from the Ruby Princess came the devastating price being paid by our state and by our nation and it is not for the NSW Premier to start criticising our Premier of our state for securing Queensland.
"And we will not be criticised by NSW.
"We will not be criticised by Premier Berejiklian for doing the right thing by Queensland. We are going to keep Queensland safe."
Premier Palaszczuk said calls to open the border were premature and would serve no purpose right now anyway.
She said she stood by Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young, who has said she wants to see two incubation periods of zero cases in southern states before borders are reopened. That would equal one month of zero cases.
"I will not put Queenslander's health at risk, full stop," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"You only have to look at the New South Wales health advice. I did a bit of research.
"New South Wales' own advice is all non-essential domestic travel should be cancelled."
She said NSW was emerging from COVID isolation themselves.
"There is no advice in New South Wales to travel domestically to any other state," she said.
"… I apologise to the people of New South Wales and Victoria, we would love to have you but not yet."
She said the advice at the moment was for workers to work at home into the future if they could, and that was to avoid a second wave.
Originally published as One state may be exempt to QLD border rules