Queensland has recorded eight new coronavirus cases overnight, the state’s biggest daily rise in nearly five months, including three more workers from Ipswich Hospital.
The other five cases were members of the same family who were under quarantine in a household when they were diagnosed. These cases are linked to the cluster at the Queensland Correctional Services Academy.
The spike in cases follows New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian admitting she ‘does begrudge’ the Queensland premier of her decision to keep the southern border shut.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) has said she has no intention of opening her state’s border this month
Speaking on Today on Wednesday, Ms Berejiklian said there was no health basis to keeping the border shut.
‘I do begrudge her because the situation has got very low community transmission,’ Ms Berejikilian said.
‘And NSW has shown that you can have open borders.’
Tensions between the two leaders have been simmering for months over Queensland’s decision to keep the southern border shut.
Ms Berejiklian said a number of Queensland residents were in New South Wales hotels under quarantine with COVID-19.
She said if NSW had high numbers like Victoria then closing the border was a sensible measure, however, state’s with a confident health system and low numbers should not be isolated.
‘When the case numbers are so low at this stage and yes, it’s a daily battle, why would you close your borders? Why would you hurt your businesses and jobs in your own state?’
The eight new cases in Queensland brings the number of active cases in the state to 29. Since the pandemic began there have been 1143 confirmed cases in the state, six of therm deadly.
The Queensland government has been accused of disrupting people’s lives with their tough border closures (pictured, the border checkpoint with NSW on August 7)
Speaking on Today on Wednesday, Ms Berejiklian (pictured) said there was no health basis to keeping the Queensland border shut
Australian state border restrictions
Victoria: Completely open, but other states are banning residents from going there
NSW: Border with Victoria is closed but others are open without restriction
Queensland: Open to everywhere but Victoria, NSW, and the ACT
Northern Territory: Open to everywhere but Victoria and Sydney, which must do hotel quarantine
South Australia: Closed to Victoria, NSW arrivals must self-isolate, rest are open
Tasmania: Closed to Victoria, everywhere else must do hotel quarantine
Western Australia: Closed to everywhere without an exemption
Ms Palaszczuk told parliament on Wednesday morning that despite the jump in cases there was no need to be alarmed and credited the state’s ‘professional testing system’ and ‘vigilant’ residents.
‘We have had remarkable success in containing the virus.’ she said.
Ms Berejiklian has previously hinted that Ms Palaszczuk was not returning her calls over the border issue but backtracked on Wednesday morning.
‘I have had conversations with her. Yes, I have spoken to her but we also have these conversations at length at National Cabinet,’ Ms Berejiklian said.
The NSW Premier said one of her concerns was the Australian economy as a whole and ‘with Victoria out of action’ other states need to step up.
‘Normally NSW and Victoria subsidises the smaller states with GST and other things, so what is going to happen in six months or a year if our economies aren’t able to function in a reasonable rate?’
Queensland briefly reopened the state’s southern border in July before shutting again amid a spike in cases in New South Wales.
The Queensland treasurer in September revealed that the state’s economic forecasts were being based on the assumption that Queensland border would not reopen until early 2021.
Motorists are stopped at a checkpoint at Coolangatta on the Queensland-NSW border in August
Scott Morrison has previously demanded an explanation as to why a northern New South Wales woman had to wait 16 hours for a flight to Sydney after pregnancy complications when facilities at Brisbane were two hours away.
Mr Morrison had previously said he was heartbroken that Kimberley Brown, from Ballina was unable to obtain a travel exemption for urgent surgery.
Following the pregnancy complications, a later ultra-sound revealed Ms Brown had tragically lost one of her unborn twins. ‘
‘It’s unthinkable. To know this family has had to deal with border permits at a time when only one thing should have mattered, and that is the health of this young child,’ Mr Morrison said.
‘I know state borders are putting enormous stress and strain on Australians.
‘We need to get these principles established to ease the impact of these restrictions. We’ve got to put aside the disagreements we’ve had about this and get arrangements that can be workable and also protect people’s health. ‘
Mr Morrison said he was heartbroken that Kimberley Brown (pictured, with her partner), from Ballina, in northern New South Wales, lost their child
The couple were forced to get an emergency flight from Lismore to Sydney despite living just two hours from a hospital in Queensland
Meanwhile, the AFL has been rocked by reports its controversial quarantine hub in Queensland has turned into an ‘out of control’ party.
About 400 AFL players and officials flew to Queensland from coronavirus-riddled Victoria a week ago after being given approval to dodge the state’s lockdown.
The move infuriated those who unsuccessfully applied for a medical exemption to skip premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s mandatory hotel quarantine.
AFL boss Gill McLachlan is angered by the behaviour in the hub at the Mecure Resort, after scrutiny across Australia, with many angry the game’s elite are being treated specially.
Babysitters, grandparents and swimming coach are among those holed up in the quarantine hub. Pictured are family members of AFL players arriving on the Gold Coast on July 30
Furious Channel Nine reporter Tony Jones described the quarantine hub as ‘out of control’ and questioned some of those who have been allowed into the hub.
‘I don’t agree with some of the people that have gone up there. You’re talking about grandparents, babysitters, the girlfriend of a reporter, there’s even suggestions a swimming coach has gone up there for the kids — this is out of control,’ Jones told Footy Classified on Monday night.
Fremantle Dockers stars were revealed to be living it up in the Queensland AFL hub, with several players sharing pictures from an incredible waterfall adventure on Tuesday.
Despite having little time between matches in the AFL’s condensed fixture, the Dockers players made the most of their morning off to explore their new home town
Birds eye video footage of the quarantine hotel showed AFL officials and WAGs make the most of the luxury Mercure resort