Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has given her strongest indication yet that Queensland’s border will reopen next month.
Pressure is growing on the State Government to make a call before the end of the month to allow airlines and businesses to welcome back guests for the school holidays.
It comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison strengthened his language on the border closures, calling on States to reopen.
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“We need to get planes flying around Australia and if you want to see planes flying around Australia, we need to open up these domestic borders,” The Prime Minister told Parliament on Wednesday.
“I would be hoping that at the earliest possible opportunity states will be able to indicate the date in July that that interstate travel will be open again to be able to give that certainty.”
After earlier indicating that interstate travel could be delayed until as late as September, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has now signalled that July is the likely date.
“There is no difference to what the Prime Minister has said to what I have said. I have said very clearly that in Stage three we are looking at what interstate travel can be allowed,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“We are at one on this in terms of July, so so there is no dissent on this, he has said July, I have said July.”
The Premier has also defended the September timeline that she indicated last month.
“The evidence back then was there was a lot more community transmission that was happening in New South Wales and Victoria at the time.
“New South Wales has done a great job in getting that under control but I will always put the health of Queenslanders first.”
National Cabinet will meet on Friday where state and territory leaders will be presented with the latest epidemiology from health officials.
That will play a major role in whether interstate travel will allowed to resume.
However, Ms Palaszczuk wouldn’t be drawn on whether a decision could come as soon as this weekend.
“I have to see the papers, give me a break.”
It comes as the State Government holds talks with airlines about a return to Queensland.
High-level discussions have reportedly been held with Air New Zealand, but Tourism Minister Kate Jones says we shouldn’t read too much into it.
“We continue to work with all airlines that are interested in flying to Queensland. The reason why we are able to have these discussions is that our government has provided more funding to attract airlines to Queensland than any government in the history of our state,” Ms Jones said.
“Because of the great work we have done as a community with our health response, that means even places like New Zealand are seeing that Queensland is world-leading in our health response so we’ll continue to meet with airlines in coming weeks as we reopen Queensland.”