‘Don’t put words in my mouth’: Palaszczuk erupts over border

 

A frustrated Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has fired up at a press conference this morning, again defending her decision to keep Queensland's borders closed as it is revealed the government 'can't commit' to a September time frame.

Peppered by questions at her daily media conference, a fed-up Ms Palaszczuk said she would not put the health of Queenslanders at risk simply because the southern states were pressuring her to reopen the borders.

'I will always put Queenslanders first, that's my job," she said.

"We've got to protect Queenslanders, their health is my number one priority.

"We will review at the end of each month."

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She also engaged in an off-camera stoush with a reporter saying 'don't put words in my mouth' over a September border reopening.

It came as Queensland's chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young said they must 'hold firm' on the border shutdown but she could not guarantee it would reopen in September.

"We need to hold firm and manage our domestic borders very carefully," she said.

She said September was a 'realistic' time frame to reopen to the southern states but she 'could not commit' to that 100 per cent, saying it all hinged on infection rates.

"I would love to give everyone certainty ... but we can't, this is a day by day development," she said when asked what certainty she could give the tourism industry.

"To even suggest that I know what may or may not be in place in July, that would be extremely foolish of me to suggest that.

"What I have said publicly is the earliest, the very, very earliest ... we might be able to think about opening up our borders in July, that's what the roadmap says, but that's after another two points of review."

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she is protecting Queenslanders. (AAP Image/Darren England)
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she is protecting Queenslanders. (AAP Image/Darren England)

Dr Young said, "I actually of course completely agree" with the Premier that September is a far more realistic option.

"If the tourist industry wants a realistic scenario then they should be preparing for September but I say to them, that if everything went perfectly and it was possible that maybe it could happen earlier, wouldn't they also want to be prepared for that?" she said.

"Having said that I can't even commit that September will be possible, it depends what happens between now and then and it actually depends on every single Queenslander because you have followed the most onerous restrictions possible."

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian again hit out at her state counterparts and continued calls to re-open state borders adding fuel to the raging war of words with Ms Palaszczuk.

Talking on Sunrise this morning, the NSW Premier was asked how frustrating it was that despite NSW making attempts to open up again neighbouring states like Queensland were still closed off to NSW tourists.

"Interestingly, they're more than welcome to come visit NSW, Queenslanders can come to NSW, we just can't go there," she said

"We're happy to welcome other people's tourists."

Ms Berejiklian said we could not get serious about restoring the nation's economy and industries until those borders come down.

"I wouldn't appreciate other Premiers telling me what to do but if you're talking about national economic activity and you're talking about really supporting jobs across the nation, you need to get rid of it (state borders)," she said.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has again called for Queensland’s border to reopen. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has again called for Queensland’s border to reopen. (AAP Image/Dean Lewins)

The jab at Queensland's Premier comes after Ms Berejiklian labelled Queensland's plan to remain closed until September as 'beyond reality'.

"I think closing borders doesn't help Australia, it doesn't help any of the states and it doesn't help our population (and) it doesn't help economic activity," she said on Monday.

Ms Palaszczuk told Ms Berejiklian earlier this week she will "have to wait a little bit longer" to visit Queensland.


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