Queensland’s Deputy Premier has hit out at what he says are politicians “irresponsibly” calling for state borders to be reopened.
It comes after an interstate traveller tested positive to COVID-19 after flying from Melbourne to Brisbane and then onto Bundaberg, sparking a major public health alert.
Speaking to reporters on Saturday, Deputy Premier and Health Minister Steven Miles says this case proves exactly why the Premier and Chief Health Officer have been so strict.
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“What this case underlines for me is the risks associated with people travelling, particularly from Victoria, into Queensland,” Mr Miles said.
“We are able to respond rapidly because this is just one case… But you’ve had politicians out week after week irresponsibly calling for our borders to reopen,” he said.
“They’re irresponsibly calling for thousands of people to come, and if you just imagine the risks that would put to Queensland’s health, and to our economy, you would understand why it is crucial that we keep those restrictions in place.”
Queensland Health is now conducting rapid contact tracing in a bid to track down anyone the man may have come into contact with, including passengers on the two Virgin Australia flights he was on and fellow workers at a fruit picking farm in Bundaberg.
Mr Miles also confirmed that the State is in talks with Stadiums Qld, to help get fans back watching live sport as soon as possible.
It comes after the NSW Government gave the green light for fans to return to NRL games from next week, but only in corporate boxes.
“We are working really closely with Stadiums to find a way that we can get people back watching the footy, because that’s what we want,” Minister Miles said.
He admitted that attending the footy won’t be the same as it used to, but it’s a step in the right direction.
“We’re even talking about maybe bringing back the ‘Kegs on Legs’ so that people can get their beer delivered to them in their seats,” Mr Miles said.
“We’re working through all of that detail with the stadiums and we hope to have people back watching the football really soon.”