Tearing down blockade could be ‘catastrophic’


THE Queensland Government says its controversial border closures criticised by the public and politicians alike have been "vindicated" by the Federal Court.

Attorney-General and Justice Minister Yvette D'Ath pointed to Tuesday's Federal Court finding on the effectiveness of hard border restrictions in Western Australia (WA).

Mrs D'Ath said the Federal Court found a precautionary approach should be taken to decision-making about the measures required for the protection of the community.

"The Palaszczuk Government has strong border restrictions in place to protect Queenslanders and this decision shows just how important they are," she said.

Cars filter through a Coolangatta border checkpoint. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Steve Holland
Cars filter through a Coolangatta border checkpoint. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Steve Holland

"The Federal Court found the risk of infectious people entering Western Australian posed a high probability of the virus being transmitted locally within the State, including a moderate probability of uncontrolled outbreaks.

"It found that uncontrolled outbreaks include the risk of death and hospitalisation. In the worst-case scenario, the health consequences could be potentially catastrophic."

Ms D'Ath took aim at the Queensland LNP over its calls to reopen borders earlier in the coronavirus crisis, when Victoria was not facing an escalating case load.

"Queenslanders won't be lectured by Clive Palmer on reopening our borders too soon, a worrying proposal that's been advocated by the Queensland LNP at least 64 times," she said.

"The LNP's dangerous policies pose a serious risk the to the health of Queenslanders and to jobs and the State's economy."

Earlier this month, LNP Leader Deb Frecklington said the Labor Government had failed to do any economic modelling around the New South Wales and ACT closures and failed to grasp how serious the impact would be.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath. Picture: Liam Kidston
Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath. Picture: Liam Kidston

"Queenslanders must be kept safe to protect lives and livelihoods and the LNP supports stronger action on borders," she said.

"No modelling shows Labor are flying blind through the biggest economic crisis in almost a century.

"It is shocking that the Palaszczuk Labor Government has failed to carry out its own economic modelling on the cost of the new border closure.

"Labor can't just rely on the Federal LNP Government to do the heavy economic lifting through Job Keeper.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has hit out at state-imposed border closures.

This month he issued a plea to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk asking for her to make "critical" changes to the tough border measures to stop the disruption of supply chains, farmers being impacted and to allow cross-border residents to access health care.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: NCA NewsWire/Dan Peled

The Bulletin has reported extensively on border residents from communities as far south as Ballina and Kyogle being negatively impacted by Queensland's border blockade.

In recent days, the Northern Rivers Joint Organisation (NRJO), a united front of six northern NSW councils including Byron and Tweed rallied against the border closures.

NRJO chair Kyogle Mayor Danielle Mulholland said among other problems caused by the border closures, residents have been unable to farewell terminally ill family members.

Originally published as Tearing down blockade could be 'catastrophic'