“There has not been any refusal”: Qld health defends border bubble exemptions

The Queensland Premier has confirmed that the Prime Minister has reached out with a letter, asking her to reconsider her border bubble plan which is again under fire.

It comes amid rising concerns that the current restrictions will stay in place until next year, with Queensland police earlier confirming they were certainly planning for that.

Related article: Qld police preparing border patrols into next year


But the Prime Minister has now reached out again to all states and territories over border issues, talking about health and freight exemptions.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says it was a pretty ‘generic’ letter.

“The prime minister’s written to all premiers, we’ve only just received that letter, it was a very generic letter, and of course we’re happy to have further discussions at national cabinet,” she said.

“It talks about health, freight – we have a national agreement about freight and about the testing of drivers.

“And in relation to health we want the best health care for all Australians no matter where they live, we know New South Wales residents have hospitals located close to where they are, but of course if there are extenuating circumstances and whether they’re on other sides of the border of course the Chief Health Officers will speak to ensure that person gets the best critical care,” the Premier said.

While Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young was quick to defend a number of health exemptions for those wanting to cross the border.

She’s reiterated that it is relatively simple to apply for an exemption, and that she is yet to refuse one.

“There has not been any refusal, they just need to put in an exemption through the health directions website, and that’s then assessed.

“And if a child was in Queensland, and their parents were elsewhere, then of course we’d allow the parents in,” Doctor Young said.

Meantime, Queensland has gone another day with no new coronavirus infections, but authorities aren’t slowing down with their efforts to stockpile personal protective equipment.

Related article: No new Queensland cases, as govt boosts PPE for ‘what happens next’