australian aviation logo

Community transmission must stop before Queensland opens

written by Adam Thorn | August 18, 2020

Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 at Brisbane's
Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 at Brisbane’s International Terminal Building (Source: Chris Frame)

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has said she will not consider relaxing her tough border closures until there is no community transmission in shut off states.

“I think we’re going to continue to see restrictions in Victoria up until Christmas time,” Premier Palaszczuk said. “That’s very unfortunate for people living there but it’s a serious situation.”

In early August, Queensland shifted to effectively shut its border with NSW and the ACT, despite the latter having no active COVID-19 cases. It came a week after the state shut off to Greater Sydney.

Despite the blow to the state’s tourism and aviation sectors, Premier Palaszczuk told reporters she would “put the safety of Queenslanders first” and did not have “any intention” of relaxing restrictions while the virus is passing through the community.

“You only have to look at what’s happening around the world and we definitely don’t want to see that happening here,” she said.

“I know people want certainty but we can’t give that certainty when the situation is evolving and changing. As you are seeing there are more hotspots being added in NSW. That is something we are monitoring. The situation in Victoria is very concerning. We hope they get their numbers under control … I can’t deal in hypotheticals.”

Queensland Tourism Industry Council chief executive Daniel Gschwind told ABC News he was hoping borders could open long before Christmas.


“We’re hopeful that the measures will be more targeted very soon, because it seems this virus will be around for some time,” he said. “We have to really start living, to some extent, with the prospect of having cases here and there without shutting everything down.”

Last week, Australian Aviation reported comments by Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton that suggested Queensland’s border closure to NSW and ACT was driven by politics, not medical advice.

He added it was “childish” that Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the decision to introduce new travel restrictions rapidly without first informing her NSW counterpart Gladys Berejiklian.


Talking to the Today program, Minister Dutton said “When you get a Premier like Annastacia Palaszczuk making announcements about border closures when Gladys Berejiklian is doing a press conference and she is caught out, the question is asked of her and she knows nothing about it, she hadn’t been contacted by Queensland you would imagine she would be a bit miffed.

“I think it is childish. There is a growing mood here in Queensland at the moment of people who say, ‘If the doctors are saying close the borders or put in place this regime, fair enough,’ but there is a lot of politics being played in Queensland at the moment.”

Comments (7)

  • AgentGerko


    It is unfair to lump NSW and Victoria into the same boat. The last time NSW had more than 21 cases in a day was 23 April, about four months ago. NZ has proven it impossible to remain with zero cases, and until a viable vaccine is created we must accept that a limited number of cases will always be with us in order to have some kind of operational economy. Victoria, of course, is a different kettle and would need to dramatically reduc3 its numbers before anyone will open that border.

  • reeves35


    Complete elimination of community transmission is a pipe-dream. It is fair enough to demand that transmission get down to single figures but zero is unrealistic and will only result in a damaging stop-go-stop regime that destroys businesses further.

  • the Queensland borders will re open before their there election when ever it is held

  • Dave


    Fair enough re Victoria and hopefully NSW transmission will be stopped within a few weeks.
    WA however is out of order, they can safely open the border to all states aside from Vic and NSW. In fact QLD, TAS, SA, WA and even ACT should have covid-safe open borders between each other.

  • Paul


    Well the industry hit hardest by these ridiculous conditions will be tourism and supporting industries such as aviation. Many family businesses will be bankrupt before the premier opens anything again.
    The community transmission will always be there just like the common cold and flu. What is the CMO thinking?

  • How can she now claim that more hot spots are appearing in NSW, when she had already arbitrarily decided to define the whole state of NSW as “a hot spot” more than a week ago? Victoria’s Covid case load under a Labor administration is quite literally orders of magnitude worse than NSW which has a bigger population, but you would not know that from listening to the Queensland ALP Premier’s statements…

  • Greg


    ACT has no active cases and hasn’t had any for ages. Yet QLD labels it a hotspot. Absurd.

Leave a Comment to chris robey Cancel

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Each day, our subscribers are more informed with the right information.

SIGN UP to the Australian Aviation magazine for high-quality news and features for just $99.95 per year

You don't have credit card details available. You will be redirected to update payment method page. Click OK to continue.