NSW is pushing hard for Queensland to ease border restrictions with the state’s leaders publicly slamming Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk on Wednesday.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian told 2GB that the Queensland Premier was secretive and unhelpful and claimed she had made decisions on the border without consulting NSW.
“I’ve tried to establish a positive relationship, but it’s a bit difficult when decisions are made without them even telling us,” she said.
“She has made a decision and isn’t willing to talk about that decision. She’s refusing to budge.
“It’s not for want of trying.”
Ms Berejiklian said it was an uphill battle compared with how she had been able to negotiate NSW-Victoria border restrictions with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews and Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who she said all “worked together”.
Just minutes earlier, NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro told the Today show that Ms Palaszczuk should “show some heart” and stop playing State of Origin with people’s lives.
“Reading this morning that the AFL Grand Final announcement will happen in Queensland, 400 AFL officials out of coronavirus central, which is Melbourne, will go across the border into Queensland, yet a young family can’t get emergency healthcare across the border,” he fumed.
“I think Annastacia Palaszczuk continues to show politics trumps good policy, and I think she is undoing all her good work.”
Mr Barilaro said he could not understand how officials from Melbourne could be allowed to cross the border but a young couple living in Ballina and trying to give birth in Brisbane were told they would have to quarantine for two weeks.
“I don’t get it. I don’t understand why the Premier of Queensland can’t see it,” he said.
“Show some heart. Show some ability to understand the impact this is having and understand that the Queensland border is a seamless border. Health services are delivered in NSW for Queenslanders and vice versa.
“It has become now a bit of a joke that these borders are becoming a real problem for those communities that live on those borders. This is not about just Queensland verse NSW. It is not State of Origin, it is about people.”
Mr Barilaro and Tweed MP Geoff Provest called earlier on Wednesday for restrictions on the northern border to be eased to help residents living in border communities.
The Deputy Premier said he wanted exemptions made on quarantine conditions for healthcare workers, medical patients, boarding school students and construction workers.
“My number one priority is the safety of our communities and to stop the spread of this virus, but there are unique circumstances facing border communities which need to be taken into account,” he said.
“I’ve spent time on both the northern border and the southern border in the past fortnight, and down south we have made changes off the back of community feedback and data which showed a significant drop in COVID cases in Victoria.
“The northern border presents a different challenge as Queensland has enforced the closure, but we are not Victoria and with virtually no cases of infection in regional NSW, I am calling on the Queensland Government to reconsider restrictions.”