Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced Queensland’s border will shut to NSW and the ACT. Photo: Annette Dew
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced Queensland’s border will shut to NSW and the ACT. Photo: Annette Dew

Three key reasons why QLD had to shut border

With Victoria at crisis point and in lockdown and NSW on the brink of a second wave of coronavirus, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was unapologetic as she laid out the reasons why she must shut the border.

Ms Palaszczuk said it was a 'life and death' situation with cluster outbreaks, lying border hoppers and the economy the key reasons why NSW and the ACT will join Victoria in being locked out of Queensland from this Saturday.

The hard shutdown of the border will mean even Queensland residents won't be able to return to the Sunshine State via road from NSW - they'll have to fly or enter via the Northern Territory.

There'll be limited exemptions for people crossing the NSW/QLD border with it closed to all except freight and those who live in border communities.

Ms Palaszczuk said the shutdown would be hard on businesses but stopping the virus from spreading to Queensland was critical to Australia's economy.

She said Queensland could not afford a collapse of its economy, especially if things worsened in NSW and Australia had to rely on Queensland for goods, like groceries.

"We've got the nation's second largest economy closed (Victoria) and the largest economy (NSW) on the brink, we need to keep the Queensland economy going," she said.

"It is too important if we see the collapse of the NSW economy in the future, we can't afford the collapse of the Queensland economy.

"This is going to be tough for a couple of months, but we are in a world pandemic.

"It is getting worse, it is not getting better."

After continual breaches, the government also pulled the plug on its 'honesty policy' which relied on visitors declaring if they'd visited hotspots.

After countless people - including two infected women - failed to declare they'd visited a hotspot before entering Queensland and many others were caught stowed away in car boots trying to cross the border, Ms Palaszczuk said enough was enough.

"We have seen people deliberately flouting the law to gain entry into Queensland," she said.

"We cannot put Queenslanders at risk.

"This is about keeping Queenslanders safe and catching everyone trying to lie."

Deputy Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said everyone would be stopped and turned around unless they had exemptions.

He said the vast majority of people had been doing the right thing, but there was "clearly" a small number of people purposely doing the wrong thing.

"While those numbers are small, the risk is too high," he said.

Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young. Photo: Annette Dew
Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young. Photo: Annette Dew

On the health front, Ms Palaszczuk was clear she did not want a second wave hitting Queensland.

"This is a life and death situation here," she said. "... Look what's happening in Victoria. People can't even see their loved ones who are dying in nursing homes."