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Berejiklian hits out as NSW cases end Queensland border hope

written by Adam Thorn | October 7, 2020
Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 at Brisbane’s International Terminal Building (Source: Chris Frame)

NSW’s 12-day streak of no mystery cases of COVID-19 ended on Wednesday – meaning the state has now fallen short of Queensland’s 28-day requirement to open its border.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian immediately sent a message out via reporters to her Queensland counterpart Annastacia Palaszczuk, arguing, “I appreciate you will probably come out today and say the 28 days is ticking again from the start.

“I will put to you that until the end of the pandemic, it’s highly unlikely, highly improbable that NSW will ever get to 28 days in a row … because that is not how a pandemic works.”

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Queensland reopened to NSW on 10 July but quickly shut back down to Sydney at the end of the month and then to all of the state just a week later.

Last month, Queensland ministers stated they would only consider opening back up to NSW once again when the state had recorded 28 days without community transmission – that is, cases where the source of infection can’t be traced.

Despite earlier claims from NSW that the target was unrealistic, the state had just gone 12 days without a local infection.

The streak ended on Wednesday, though, with one mystery case detected in western Sydney and another two in south-west Sydney.

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Shortly after the announcement of the increase, Premier Berejiklian attacked Queensland’s policy.

“We’re always going to have cases pop up because we’re in a pandemic,” the premier told reporters.

“But we’re also in an economy which is open; where people are undertaking their business [and] where we don’t have borders, but for Victoria. So we really need to put all of that into perspective.”

She also hit out at states, such as Queensland and WA, that are relaxing restrictions for its own citizens while keeping up interstate border closures.

“I’ve noticed that Queensland and WA continue to ease restrictions in their communities, although they keep the border up,” Premier Berejiklian told reporters on Wednesday.

“Now that is a false sense of security: you’re better off getting those borders down, creating jobs through tourism and business and generating economic activity and keeping jobs.”

The pair’s war of words stretches all the way back to June when Premier Berejiklian slammed Premier Palaszczuk’s “ridiculous” plan to delay opening up Queensland until September – before her counterpart responded by stating she would not be “lectured to” on the issue.

In September, Berejiklian even appeared to suggest Queensland was being small-minded in its approach. Speaking on the Today program, Premier Berejiklian said, “I don’t know if it’s because we’re NSW and maybe we have a different world view of our nation, but with Victoria out of action you have to think about what is going to power our economy forward?”

13 Comments

  • Neale

    says:

    The current labor Qld Premier is making good whilst she can, as she won’t be in office come night of 31-10-2020.

  • Ben

    says:

    “We are always going to have cases”… is that the Premier’s version of “It is what it is”? Gladys mentions that the borders are up but they continue to ease restrictions. But fails to recognise that the restrictions are eased BECAUSE the borders are up, if QLD and WA opened the borders they would naturally have to impose more restrictions to apply a level of risk control to their communities. I’ll skip over the hypocricy where how dare QLD close, but we have closed the Victorian border. Strange how she rails against QLD closing off from NSW which has much higher virus levels, but closing the VIC border for the EXACT SAME reason is OK. Typical NSW centric and LNP economy first, health second attitude. News flash Gladys, Sydney is NOT the centre of the universe… fix the health problem, then fix the economy not the other way around.

  • Paul B

    says:

    Power mad Qld Premier. She forgets how many Qlders travel to Sydney for business/work each week. Sadly the Qld CHO and Premier are playing the elimination game in the middle of the election

  • Steve A

    says:

    When NSW open their borders fully, that’s the time for Queensland to consider adding all of NSW to the open border. But how can their argument hold water when they are selective in who they let in?

  • Mick

    says:

    Best thing that could happen to Qld is this bloody woman and her party get kicked out.

  • Mark White

    says:

    Gladys is right – the way WA , QLD, Tas are going they will never open up to other states or internationally as the virus will be present somewhere in the world for ever now. Yes a vaccine will help to wipe out / minimise its impact but until that happens WA QLD and Tas will never open under their current regimes.

  • D

    says:

    You’ll be lucky to have a continuous month in a state or country without the virus especially when there’s no vaccine or guarantee that the vaccine will work. People just need to use their common sense to use masks, keep the social distancing and keep up the hygiene at least until we know that any vaccine will work. It took time to update any vaccine for influenza or any other viruses . This will be no different.
    My point is that we are stuck in another country and cannot come home to our families because of the nonsense between states. We are getting desperate and sick of this but mainly scared because of the effect it is taking on our mental health.
    Our airline reserved our seats for February 2021 as that was the earliest they had which means it would be 1 year that we have left home for urgent and unfortunate circumstances as our flight has been cancelled many times.
    We are Australian and that is our home and want to come back hopefully before Christmas.

  • Marum

    says:

    OK. We have our two feudin’ neighbors, Annastasia Palanoone. and Gladys Bea jerkagain. And people are urging them to not “play politics” with issues. FOR GOD’s SAKE!! They are both politicians. What would you expect them to do? Either of them would sell their granny into slavery, if they could pick up another 1% of the vote.

    Politics 101….Marum.

  • Jales

    says:

    @ Ben.

    She’s not reading this.

    The whole “health first, economy second”, where does that end? The benchmark for the health being“under control” is an EXTREMELY fluid concept, which evidently most health organisations and states can’t agree on.

    If shutting borders fully (health) is the main focus, instead of a collaborative approach to working around this thing sensibility, then there will LITERALLY BE NO ECONOMY left when it’s at a level that this government likes.

    You’re commenting on an aviation website, frequented by people whose livelihoods have been ruined by the whole border mess….

    Just for some more thought.

  • I wish I could share your confidence Neale! There is no comparison Ben between the situation in NSW and the situation prevailing in Melbourne. A couple of orders of magnitude difference, despite NSW having a larger population overall. Let’s face it, ALP administrations are hopeless managers, at both state and federal levels.

  • hdfgh

    says:

    D, what does being stuck in another country have to do with “nonsense between states”. If you’re stuck in another country, that is the FEDERAL governments breakdown not State.
    You also state that we should just live with the virus but keep up social distancing and hygiene….but then you say you are desperate to see family. Well that is where the social distancing and hygiene etc breaks down because people become desperate to see family etc.
    As for mental health, yes these are difficult times but they are still nothing compared to times of war or previous depressions. What do you think life was like during the World Wars? It went on for years! And during the depressions, average people had to go out hunting in the bush for food. It was common 100 years ago for people to be forced to live in the bush eating cockatoos, rabbits etc just to survive.

  • djh

    says:

    Paul, many people in Sydney don’t even travel within Sydney for work and just work from home. As if there’s would be high demand from workers to travel from QLD to Syd regardless of the border.
    Even more people *USED* to travel between Sydney & Melbourne for work but that went down drastically well before the NSW-VIC border was closed.
    Most people are/would be avoiding travel regardless of whether there are border closures.
    Everyone I know in QLD supports the QLD border being closed.

  • James

    says:

    DJH. Utter garbage!

    Show me the figures that show travel between SYD-MEL was going down “drastically” before COVID.

    You have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

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