Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has boldly declared that Queenslanders don’t want the State’s borders open, in stark contrast to the pleas from struggling Gold Coast tourism operators and small businesses.
The State Government is under increasing pressure to allow interstate travel as soon as possible with the shutdown costing the local economy billions of dollars.
After previously stating it could happen as late as September, the Premier has in recent days flagged July 10, although a final decision won’t be made until the end of the month.
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That’s angered businesses on the Gold Coast who say the city will miss out on holiday makers from interstate during the upcoming school break.
But the Premier is standing firm despite repeated attacks from the Opposition in State Parliament.
“I have travelled across regional Queensland over the last two weeks and let me tell you they don’t want their families to get COVID and they don’t want to be sick and perhaps the leader of the opposition, rather than having to focus on her own leadership needs to get out and talk to Queenslanders,” The Premier told State Parliament.
“Because people across Queensland do not want the borders open and risk all of our great health response.”
The Premier says they are “gearing up” for a July reopening as flagged in the State’s roadmap, but insists there will be no early decision made.
“What we are doing very clearly is that we will assess it at the end of the month.
“There is a reason why the borders are shut and that is to protect the health of those families living in those regions.”
Ms Palasczuk dodged an Opposition question on the lack of economic modelling done on the border closure but conceded it was having a significant impact.
“Of course we recognise that business are doing it tough but they would be doing it even tougher if there was an outbreak of community transmission in Queensland.
“In fact, when we first encountered community transmission in Queensland we were very concerned about the Gold Coast and we were very concerned about Cairns.”