Of all the rules that Australia’s states and territories have put in place since the COVID-19 pandemic seven months ago, one of the most controversial has been the harsh border closure by Queensland Prime Minister Annastacia Palaszczuk.
Ms. Palaszczuk, who will seek her third term as Prime Minister on October 31, has been described as the “Queensland version of Donald Trump … building the wall that will keep all Mexicans from the south” and is destroying jobs and the economy by making them “silly “Holds” and “cruel” attitude.
“It’s not evidence based. I just think about your choice. She wants to look tough on Queensland residents, “NSW Secretary of Health Brad Hazzard said earlier this month.
“If she continues like this and we don’t have a vaccine, we won’t have treatment, it could take years. This is a stupid game that you shouldn’t be playing. She plays with people’s lives. ”
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Though the rest of Australia hates the rule, the Queenslanders have spoken out in favor of the closure – which will get nowhere, even if Ms. Palaszczuk isn’t re-elected.
The latest Newspoll, done for The AustralianIn mid-September, 53 percent of voters said the border controls were “about right” – compared to 37 percent who said the restrictions were “too strict”.
Under the rule, Queensland will not reopen to NSW or Victoria until the states have gone 28 days in a row with no cases of community transmission.
When opposition leader Deb Frecklington was asked last week if she thought this was “achievable,” she said her party would follow health advice.
“The health advice is that it’s 28 days … we accept that advice,” Ms. Frecklington told reporters in Townsville.
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However, Ms. Frecklington said while she accepted the policy, her stance on borders was different.
“I’ve always said it can’t be set and forgotten … I’ve always said borders shouldn’t be closed any longer than necessary,” she said.
“But this is current health advice and we accept that.”
She agreed to Mr. Hazzard’s demands that Ms. Palaszczuk “play politics with the border and politics with the pandemic”.
“With me as prime minister, you’d have a prime minister who makes decisions with compassion, persistence and common sense,” she said.
The Prime Minister said yesterday that while Ms. Palaszczuk’s tough border closure has decimated Queensland’s tourism and hospitality industries, Ms. Frecklington has “a plan to get Queenslanders up and running again”.
“The real difference, I think, is whether someone actually has a plan to get Queenslanders back into jobs,” he told reporters.
“(Deb) has been thinking very carefully about how Queensland can grow out of this COVID-19 recession.”
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Queensland was bound to finally reopen to NSW on November 1 – the day after the election – but a growing number of community transfer cases in the latter state could put the ruling at risk.
The courier mailreports that the Chief Health Officer Dr. Jeanette Young will make the call the week before the scheduled reopening based on the latest information.
Dr. Young told reporters last Friday that while NSW had made “extremely good” progress in finding the latest clusters, “we will have to wait a little longer (to decide) if we need to change the plan to open NSW. At the moment it is planned for November 1st. ”
“We will continue to monitor … even though you find the contacts … you get ongoing cases. So we have to see and see what happens, ”she said.
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