‘Are you going to India?': Queensland isn't in any hurry to open borders

A steel shade structure went up on Friday over the Gold Coast highway at Tugun, where police and soldiers are manning the border checkpoint between New South Wales and Queensland.

© Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Jason O’Brien/EPA

The permanent shelter was put in place a day after the Queensland premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, made comments that implied the temporary border closure might drag on beyond Christmas.

A roadside monument to a pandemic with no end in sight.

“It’s the uncertainty … that’s as big a problem as anything,” says Emma Visman, who moved from Queensland to the northern NSW town of Ballina last year.

Related: Reality TV production in Byron Bay under pressure to shut down as woman charged with Covid breach

Visman’s partner, a Fifo worker in the Northern Territory, has been unable to return home for the past few months. Most of her family and friends are across the border in Queensland.

“I understand why the border is closed, but there’s no clear message about [when we might be able to re-enter Queensland],” she says. “Any message we get is so vague. They basically expect you to deal with the fact this is going to happen for a long period.

“I’m fully vaccinated and I’m following the rules. What I’m most upset about is that last year when we were all first locked down, we had this sort of solidarity as a country.

“This year it feels like if you’re stuck in this situation, the attitude is it’s too bad.”

The latest angst about the Queensland-New South Wales border has stemmed partly from a national focus on Victoria and NSW, where Covid case numbers remain high. Pathways to removing lockdown restrictions in those states are linked to vaccination rates.

Queensland has its own roadmap, but the plan does not mention vaccination rates or when the borders might open.

Palaszczuk said this week people should “take a deep breath” and wait until next Friday – the next national cabinet meeting – before she could given any more detail about when the roadblocks would be removed.

© Photograph: Jason O’Brien/EPA Queensland has its own roadmap, but the plan does not mention vaccination rates or when the borders might open.

Related: Covid-19 vaccine Australia rollout tracker by state: total number of people and per cent vaccinated, daily vaccine doses and rate of progress

Asked if interstate travel could be allowed by Christmas, Palaszczuk said: “Go and ask New South Wales and Victoria.”

“The reason we have tough border measures in place is because there is a massive outbreak at the moment in New South Wales and Victoria and their hospitals are going to be overwhelmed,” Palaszczuk said.

“I think everyone needs to take a really deep breath here, because what we are trying to do is protect this state and keep Queenslanders healthy and out of hospitals.”

She also dismissed the idea of allowing international travel.

“Where are you going to go? Are you going to go to India?”

“I think the federal government needs to identify very clearly what are the countries that Australians can travel to, OK?”

Queensland’s success at beating back Covid outbreaks and the relative freedoms in the state have emboldened a hardline and broadly popular border policy.

Even as media pressure amplifies – the Courier-Mail’s front page on Friday called Palaszczuk the Christmas “Grinch” – the premier and her conservative chief health officer, Jeanette Young, have remained steadfast.

In the process, genuine concerns about the state’s management of the border – including a lack of communication, planning, compassion and common sense – have become swept into an increasingly polarised debate.

Those directly affected by border closures say they have grown increasingly frustrated.

Melbourne woman Emma Bisshop’s mother is in an aged care facility in Cairns. She had hoped to travel north for Christmas.

“We are acutely aware that time with Mum is precious,” she says.

“I’ve actually been very thankful that she’s been protected from Covid. I’ve been happy that Queensland shut the borders. We’ve got our vaccinations so we can visit her, but the hardest part is not knowing when – or if – that can even happen.”

Hilary Jacobs, the president of the Greater Southern Gold Coast chamber of commerce, says it is “evident that people are getting tired” of the border closure.

“The Queensland population has been a migratory population,” she says. “Many Queenslanders started life in the southern states or only retired to Queensland, and as a result of that, many of those people haven’t been able to see their extended family, their children [or] grandchildren. They’re missing the vital growing up years of their family.

“The biggest problem for business at the moment in Queensland is that we have no idea from one day to the next where we’re heading.

“What we do need to understand are what will be the triggers for the border bubble being fully reinstated, or the bubble not being required at all? When we can take bookings from interstate travellers safely, and when we can have confidence?”

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

GOP group uses IRS proposal to target vulnerable House Democrats

A Republican group aligned with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is launching fresh attack ads against two vulnerable Democrats, using a Democratic proposal to increase government oversight of financial transactions ... Read more »

Assistant Director Told Deputies He ‘Should Have Checked' Every Round in Alec Baldwin's Gun ‘But Didn't': Search Warrant

© Provided by Law & Crime A sign points to the direction of the Bonanza Creek Ranch where a fatal shooting occurred on a movie set on October 22, 2021 ... Read more »

'Rust' assistant director says he neglected to do gun check before Alec Baldwin-related shooting

The assistant director on Alec Baldwin’s film, “Rust,” said he neglected to do a thorough check on a gun used before a fatal shooting on set. © Associated Press, Jae ... Read more »

Spiking victim hopes nightclub boycott will help others feel heard

One victim of spiking said she hopes a boycott of the UK’s nightclubs will help other victims “feel that they’ve been listened to”. Dozens of local Instagram pages have been ... Read more »

Retired NY Times columnist Kristof announces run for Oregon governor

FILE PHOTO: Kristof poses for photographers on the red carpet as he arrives for the TIME 100 Gala in Manhattan, New York By Brendan O'Brien (Reuters) – Former New York ... Read more »

Budget 2021: Rishi Sunak promises tax cuts by next election despite continued squeeze in the cost of living

Tax cuts will come before the next election, Rishi Sunak pledged on Wednesday as he laid out a Budget and spending review which promise a continued cost-of-living squeeze next year ... Read more »

What You Need To Know About Crossing The U.S. Border By Land

© Provided by Chatelaine The border crossing from St. Stephen, New Brunswick to Calais, Maine. (Photo: Getty Images) The border crossing from St. Stephen, New Brunswick to Calais, Maine. (Photo: ... Read more »

Sunak cuts the Universal Credit taper rate to ease cost of living pressures

© Provided by City AM Rishi Sunak has today cut the Universal Credit taper rate in a move that will put £2bn back into the pockets of the country’s lowest ... Read more »

How to climb the wreckage of the Chitauri ship in Marvel's Guardians of the Galaxy

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy find themselves once again having to climb the wreckage of a ship, but this time it’s a Chitauri vessel. With Starlord’s newly found ice bullets, ... Read more »

Budget money for devolved nations ‘fails to offset economic pressures'

Rishi Sunak has been accused of failing to meet significant financial challenges in Scotland and Wales despite unveiling record funding for the UK’s devolved governments. The chancellor said Treasury grants ... Read more »

FaZe Swagg Reveals Warzone Settings

FaZe Swagg is one of the most popular Warzone content creators at the moment and he revealed his latest Warzone settings in a new video. Swagg is also apart of ... Read more »

Archer confirms Supercars sale to RACE

© Edge Photographics Shane van Gisbergen, Triple Eight Race Engineering RACE, the consortium that’s been formed out of what was long-known as the TLA/ARG bid for Supercars, is, according to ... Read more »

Democrats push for boost in wildland firefighter pay, increased mental health benefits

Democrats – and select Republicans – voiced their support for a bipartisan bill that would boost wildland firefighter pay and reclassify their job titles as firefighters during a House subcommittee ... Read more »

Florida bucks Biden, strips federal aid from mask mandate schools

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Department of Education this week stripped a local school board of federal aid money over its masking policy, directly defying the Biden administration, which cautioned the ... Read more »

Gillette Gaming Alliance unveils all-star streamer lineup

The Gillette Gaming Alliance announced today that it’s returning with an all-star streamer lineup. While a number of streamers are familiar faces and returning after previous involvement, new streamers will ... Read more »

Raiders' Mark Davis wants to see NFL report on WFT released

Roger Goodell offered up an excuse as to why the NFL won’t be releasing a written report on the Washington Football Team investigation on Tuesday. One owner has already disagreed ... Read more »

Special Costume Sync Pair Diantha and Keldeo moves in Pokémon Masters EX

As part of the upcoming Poke’ War event, DeNa is adding four new Sync Pairs to the game. The new event will allow players to pick one of the two ... Read more »

Can You Still Play on Verdansk After Vanguard?

With the release of Call of Duty: Vanguard, a new warzone map is coming and so what does that mean for the original map, Verdansk? After Season 6, Verdansk will ... Read more »

Hospital and Valley Manor explain vaccination policy

Barry’s Bay – Health care workers at St. Francis Memorial Hospital and Valley Manor are dealing with mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policies and in response to a community protest, both institutions ... Read more »

Search broadens for 10-year-old missing in Nova Scotia since Tuesday

NORTH PRESTON, N.S. — The search for a missing 10-year-old boy continued outside Halifax Wednesday afternoon, with searchers looking from the ground, the air and along the shoreline of a ... Read more »

California man arrested for allegedly threatening Gaetz

A California man was arrested for allegedly threatening Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) last week. © Greg Nash Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) makes a point of order regarding a video involving ... Read more »

Democrats ditch billionaires' tax proposal after just 1 day, says top tax writer in the House

A proposal from the Senate that would target American billionaires is now out of the Biden administration’s tax plan, House Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal told Bloomberg News. © ... Read more »

France Consumes 10B Baguettes Every Year, Looming Price Increase Causes Concern

The baguette is such a key staple in France that residents consume 10 billion loaves every year and French Culture Minister Roselyne Bachelot nominated the bread for inclusion on UNESCO’s ... Read more »

Huma Abedin makes a mockery of real sexual assault

Huma Abedin says in her new memoir she was sexually assaulted by a US senator. REUTERS/Caitlin Ochs Huma Abedin, the estranged wife of compulsive pervert Anthony Weiner, has a secret ... Read more »

Water firms ‘won't be allowed' to make customers foot bill for ending sewage spills

Water companies will not be allowed to make customers foot the bill for fixing sewage overflow problems, The Telegraph understands. © Provided by The Telegraph Sewage spills Sources in the ... Read more »

Shell comes under attack from Wall Street raider

Shell has come under attack from a Wall Street raider demanding a break-up of the oil and gas giant after taking a stake worth about $750m (£545m). © Provided by ... Read more »

The route from Iraq to Belarus: How are migrants getting to Europe?

© Provided by dw.com Most of the refugees attempting to cross the Belarusian-Polish border are from Iraq To put it into perspective: Since the beginning of October, there have been ... Read more »

The Repair Shop stars' private homes unveiled: Will Kirk, Suzie Fletcher, more

© Provided by Hello! repair-shop-stars Their eclectic workshops may be well used, but when The Repair Shop stars need some downtime, they have stunning homes to retreat to.  MORE: Will Kirk ... Read more »

Industrial plastics found in some fast food, researchers say

© Thinkstock Industrial plastics found in some fast food, researchers say A new study found small amounts of chemicals known as phthalates in food samples from fast food chains such ... Read more »

US ends immigration arrests at schools, 'protected' areas

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. immigration authorities will no longer make routine arrests at schools, hospitals or a range of other “protected” areas, under new guidelines released Wednesday by the Department ... Read more »

‘Let's Go Brandon' rapper Bryson Gray boots Adele out of No. 1 spot with banned anti-Biden song

Bryson Gray’s (left) anti-Biden rap “Let’s Go Brandon” has bumped Adele off the top spot on iTunes’ iTopChart. Getty Cover your ears, President Biden! A controversial new rap song mocking ... Read more »

Eric Garner: A top NYPD official says there was no coverup in the investigation of the arresting officers

A top-ranking New York Police Department official testified during a judicial inquiry on Tuesday there was “no coverup” in the internal investigation into officers who were on scene when Eric ... Read more »

READ THE SEARCH WARRANT: New details revealed in ‘Rust' shooting investigation

Santa Fe County District Attorney Mary Carmack-Altwies speaks at a news conference after actor Alec Baldwin accidentally shot and killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins on the set of “Rust” in Santa ... Read more »

‘Rust' assistant director admits he ‘should have checked' gun before fatal on-set shooting

The assistant director who handed Alec Baldwin the prop gun that killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins admitted that he “should have checked” all of the rounds inside the barrel — and ... Read more »

Val Bisoglio, ‘Sopranos' and ‘Saturday Night Fever' actor, dead at 95

Val Bisoglio appears in a scene from the film “Saturday Night Live.” The veteran actor died last week at age 95. CBS via Getty Images Val Bisoglio, an actor best ... Read more »

Ten ambulances rush to scene after woman and three children struck by car

© Provided by Extra.ie Ten ambulances were sent to the scene of a major traffic collision in Carluke, Scotland, after a young woman and three children were struck by a ... Read more »

Avendus Group arm plans Rs 1,000 cr debt fund for investment in Indian firms

© Provided by Zee Business Financial services group Avendus on Wednesday said its asset management arm has launched a debt fund with a target corpus of Rs 1,000 crore for ... Read more »

Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed meets Bahrain's King Hamad in Abu Dhabi

© Mohamed Al Hammadi / Ministry of Presidential Affairs Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, receives King Hamad of ... Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic