As Queensland prepares to swing open the borders in a matter of days, it’s becoming all too obvious it is nothing but a Clayton’s reopening that will only prolong the misery for long-suffering residents and businesses on the Gold Coast.
The mixed messages, blame-shifting, confusion and scaremongering has reached new levels in the last week in what has become nothing more than a s**t show.
For days it appeared people wanting to enter Queensland would have to pay up to $150 for a PCR test.
The issue of the cost for travellers came down to the fact that the Queensland government, albeit briefly, required a certificate for the test instead of the usual text message proof.
For days the Premier and her cronies fuelled the flames by conceding it would be a costly exercise for a family to come into Queensland, even though the cost was of their own making.
The Premier in her all too common game of ‘blame everyone else’ demanded the Federal Government foot the bill.
Turns out they were already paying for half of it. The state government was paying the other half. Did she somehow forget that?
On Wednesday, Deputy Goof Steven Miles blamed the confusion on the media and backgrounding from the Federal Government and denied they ever said the tests would cost money. Always someone else’s fault. Also, it’s B.S.
Then the Premier emerged later to claim victory and deny accusations of political point-scoring. She then proceeded to try and score political points by accusing Canberra of trying to give Queenslanders COVID for Christmas. Then called for the politics to stop. Spare me.
Cost aside, the inconvenience of having to get tested has already turned a lot of people off a holiday in Queensland. The much anticipated Christmas-New Year influx for the struggling Gold Coast tourism sector looks set to be a fizzer.
One Gold Coast accommodation provider has had 50 interstate bookings cancelled in the last week alone.
But what about residents and businesses on either side of the border.
As it stands, all of New South Wales is a hotspot including the Tweed which is actually COVID-free. Ridiculous in itself.
That means anyone crossing the border after Queensland hits 80 per cent double dose will need a PCR test within 72 hours. People crossing the border for work will have to find the time to get a test every three days.
It also means day trips over the border are out. That long yearned for Christmas Day with friends or family in the Tweed or Byron is off the table.
That light at the end of the tunnel for border businesses who have been struggling to make ends meet for months on end is actually just some gopher with a torch.
The government and health officials have repeatedly been asked about the possibility of exemptions or a relaxation of the rules for border zone residents.
On Friday, the Acting CHO said it was being looked at. Then on Monday, the Premier ruled it out. Then on Tuesday, the Health Minister put the option back on the table saying it was being considered.
It’s enough to do your head in.
Time is running out. No doubt if there is some kind of last-minute announcement the Premier will expect to be hailed as a hero as she has every time she has given us back a freedom that she took away from us in the first place.
Because at the end of the day is it really all about keeping Queenslanders safe or is it about keeping her own image safe?
She’d do well to come down from her ivory tower at Main Beach on the weekends and find out what’s really happening on the Gold Coast.
But then again she might just run into a juvenile car thief.