‘Unconstitutional’: Hanson’s challenge to border closure

 

 

QUEENSLAND'S borders may remain closed beyond September in another surprise blow to the economy as one of the nation's top doctors reiterated that there was no medical reason for the tough stance.

Federal Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said he couldn't see why the borders were still closed.

Professor Kelly warned Queensland authorities to "take into account" that the benchmark they have set for opening the borders - four weeks without a case - was unlikely to be reached soon.

 

Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly. Picture: AAP/Lukas Coch
Australia’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly. Picture: AAP/Lukas Coch

 

 

The Deputy CMO also said there had never been a decision at a national level to shut down borders with states and territories acting alone to "protect their own populations".

"From a medical point of view I can't see why the borders are still closed," he said.

Pauline Hanson slammed the border restrictions overnight, posting on Facebook that she had engaged a pro-bono constitutional lawyer who was willing to represent Queenslanders whose business had been impacted in a High Court challenge.

"Senator Hanson claimed the restrictions were "unconstitutional" and caused her " a great deal of concern".

 

One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas
One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson. Picture: AAP/Mick Tsikas

 

 

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk shocked the tourism industry on Monday when she said borders may stay shut until September, despite her Government's road map stating they could open in July, depending on the infection rate.

On Wednesday Queensland's Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young backed in the Premier, revealed the borders may remain closed beyond September and said businesses should realistically be planning for the closure to last four more months.

"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.

 

Graham 'Skroo' Turner's in Flight Centre's new office, which has two slides, South Bank - Photo Steve Pohlner
Graham 'Skroo' Turner's in Flight Centre's new office, which has two slides, South Bank - Photo Steve Pohlner

 

 

Graham ''Skroo'' Turner, whose Flight Centre empire has been decimated by the COVID-19-induced shutdown, criticised the State Government's cautious approach.

Mr Turner claimed there was no reason to keep borders closed.

"We can't just keep the whole country in shutdown," he said.

"A lot of interstate tourism and business figures and probably even some of Annastacia Palaszczuk's own ministers would agree with me."

Tourism Minister Kate Jones said she wanted to see the borders reopen, but when that happens would depend on when NSW and Victoria got community transmission under control.

Ms Palaszczuk was unrepentant, saying her Government would review border closures at the end of each month.

 

 

 

Originally published as 'Unconstitutional': Hanson's challenge to border closure


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