Dametto presses Premier on border closure
HINCHINBROOK MP Nick Dametto has called on Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to reveal the “trigger point” for closing Queensland’s border again as coronavirus cases mount in New South Wales.
Mr Dametto said there was “growing distress” amongst residents about a second wave of COVID-19 pushing into Queensland with the border remaining open and news today of two new cases in the state.
“There are now several declared virus hotspots in New South Wales and I think it’s time for the Premier to reveal to Queenslanders at what point she will slam the border shut,” he said.
“Hinchinbrook residents have expressed concern. Anecdotally, I’ve had residents report to me about conversations overheard from Victorian visitors to our region bragging about how easy it was to cross the border through our state’s western back roads. This needs to be addressed immediately and while I understand that it is almost an impossible task to manage every possible entrance into Queensland, shutting the border would help control who is and isn’t supposed to be in our state right now.
“Unfortunately, our state’s willingness to reopen our border to New South Wales has encouraged selfish visitors from Victoria and known hotspots in New South Wales to flaunt our rules which puts Queenslanders’ health and our economy at grave risk.”
With a substantial elderly population in Hinchinbrook, Mr Dametto said the risk of an outbreak was “unthinkable”.
“I understand our tourism industry is struggling at the moment, but while Queensland has a low number of active COVID-19 cases, I believe protecting internal travel should be paramount during this time. I would rather five million Queenslanders have the ability to holiday in their backyard than all of Queensland going back into some type of lockdown. No-one can afford that,” he said.
“The State Government has been quite comprehensive in their roadmap to recovery. Now Queenslanders are calling for the government to be proactive with a plan to control the second wave of COVID-19.”