NSW Premier slams ‘unreasonable’ Queensland border demand

New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian on Thursday criticized the border control guideline of her Queensland counterpart.

Berejiklian said to eliminate Covid-19 community transmission in NSW before Queensland opens its borders is “a pretty tall order”.

She has summed up a guideline as ‘unreasonable’ by her Queensland counterpart Annastacia Palaszczuk, who says NSW needs zero community transmission before she considers lifting border restrictions.

“The guideline that’s been set by the Queensland government in relation to when they reopen their border is a pretty tall order,” Berejiklian said.

“I don’t know anywhere on the planet where society could function productively during a pandemic and get an assurance you’re going to [get] zero cases of community transmission.”

“If you have confidence in your health system, confidence contact tracing is something you can do within your state; there shouldn’t be a reason for you to keep your border closed given the low rates of community transmission currently in NSW.”

NSW Health on Thursday reported 12 new coronavirus cases in the 24 hours prior to 8 pm on Wednesday. Three are returned travellers and nine acquired the virus locally.

Of those nine cases, three are locally acquired without a source, including a case in Parkes, a town in central NSW about 350km from Sydney.

Berejiklian also said consistently low increases of new cases were promising.

“We have learned in NSW to manage the pandemic but also to make sure we get on with life,” she said.

“We allow our citizens the maximum freedoms and the maximum quality of life that they can have during this difficult time.”

Queensland declared the entirety of NSW a COVID hotspot on August 8, despite many regions having no confirmed cases. The definition of what constitutes a hotspot is likely to be a hot button issue when National Cabinet meets on Friday.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison is pushing for a consistent definition of a hotspot in an attempt to begin reopening state borders.

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