Aaron Bunch Journalist with Australian Associated Press | Collection of published work | + 61 484 008 119 | abunch@aap.com.au

Aaron Bunch
Queensland border closure war hots up

Queensland is sticking to its guns in its COVID-19 border war with NSW as the premier launches a broadside at the prime minister over a national hotspot plan.

October 10, 2020

Queensland is refusing to budge over its COVID-19 border closure as the war of words with NSW escalates and the premier launches a broadside at the prime minister over a national agreement on declaring virus hotspots.

Asked if the hotspot plan should be reconsidered, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said it was supposed to go to national cabinet but “for some reason, unbeknown to me, the prime minister decided not to bring that forward”.

“The (Australian Health Protection Principal Committee) had agreed, is my understanding, on a set of terms and conditions and it never proceeded to national cabinet.”

Ms Palaszczuk also blasted NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard after he reportedly said he had proof Queensland had politicised the border reopening but then refused to reveal it.

“Well, that’s rubbish. Can he just concentrate on his own issues as health minister in NSW and get on top of those cases,” she said.

“I am not going to be distracted by someone trying to distract from what is happening in their own state

“Tasmania has its border closed, Western Australia has its border closed. It seems to be that we keep getting singled out here.”

Deputy Premier Steven Miles said Queensland health officials continued to closely monitor NSW’s efforts to contain a community outbreak in southwestern Sydney.

“In recent days NSW is reporting similar numbers to Victoria. In fact, yesterday NSW had more cases,” he said.

He said it was disappointing NSW did not want to “share the aspiration” to control community transmission, as other states and territories did.

“They’ve effectively given up on that goal of 28 days of no unlinked transmission,” he said, which is Queensland’s requirement for opening the border between the two states.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young said she was feeling more confident about the coronavirus situation in NSW but not ready to make a decision over the 28-day community transmission clock or the planned border reopening on November 1.

“We just need to wait a bit longer before we decide whether or not there’s been any need to change that planned opening,” she said.

“We’ve got to wait until the end of the month … They are getting continuing cases.”

Queensland recorded no new cases in the 24 hours to Friday morning.

There are just four active cases in the state and 5555 tests were completed.

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