The Queensland Premier has dismissed reports that the state won’t reopen until it achieves a 90 per cent full COVID-19 vaccination rate.
Annastacia Palaszczuk confirmed today the government would be following the National Cabinet plan to reopen at 80 per cent and that reports of a higher target were “misinformation”.
“National Cabinet is working on a national plan. We are waiting for further information to come from the Doherty Modelling to National Cabinet in a fortnight’s time,” she said.
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“In the meantime, let me say very clearly to Queensland, it is important to get vaccinated.
“We are now at 60 per cent. We need to get as many people as possible vaccinated to protect our lifestyle, to protect our freedoms.
The Premier was also quizzed by reporters about what the state would look like when we reach the vaccination target.
“80 per cent means different things to different states,” she said.
“At the moment you can travel to Queensland from Tasmania, South Australia, West Australia and the Northern Territory.
“So a large part of Australia is already opened up.
“Have a look at what it means for New South Wales and Victoria, it’s completed different to Queensland because Queensland is already open.”
It follows concerns from tourism industry leaders that a 90 per cent vaccination target would destroy hopes of a busier Christmas period, with Queensland predicted to reach the 80 per cent target by December 7.
Queensland Tourism Industry Council Daniel Gschwind said it was vital the state opened up sooner rather than later.
“We need to open up, we need to welcome visitors from interstate, it’s very important for us,” Mr Gschwind told Sunrise.
“It’s a $10 billion business interstate visitation. So we need to get back to that point.
“Many operators are hanging on by their fingernails.”
Mr Gschwind said a 90 per cent target simply isn’t realistic.
“We did hear the discussion yesterday from the Chief Health Officer here talking about the desirability of reaching 90 per cent,” he told Sunrise.
“And of course we all hoped it will be 90 per cent but I think the expectation of that happening is quite low.
“I think the more realistic target, the national consensus, seems to be 80 per cent is a reasonable level of protection.
“It’s a reasonable level of protection along with the other health measures which we support.
“We want to provide safe places to work, safe places to visit.
“But at some point we will have to reengage with the rest of the country and the rest of the world.”