Queensland’s premier has stopped short of closing the Sunshine State’s border to New South Wales but has warned the state’s residents not to travel south.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said that Queenslanders should remain safe within their own state where there were zero new cases on COVID-19 on Monday and should not travel to NSW.
The premier reaffirmed her stance that she would slam the borders shut should there be significant community transmission of coronavirus in Sydney.
New South Wales recorded 14 new cases on Monday, while Victoria recorded 384.
‘I would advise Queenslanders at the moment not to travel to New South Wales,’ Ms Palaszczuk told reporters on Tuesday.
‘Now is not the time to leave Queensland; now is the time to stay in Queensland.’
Queensland has managed to effectively halt the spread of coronavirus with just five active cases across the state.
Further south, Victoria’s situation continues to escalate with 4775 active cases following 384 new cases overnight.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison cut short his planned tour of Queensland on Tuesday to return to Canberra for crisis talks about the deadly outbreaks in the southern state’s aged care facilities.
Even though Queensland has so far been able to control the spread of coronavirus, Ms Palaszczuk said they are prepared for any outbreak through worst-case scenario testing.
The testing includes all emergencies services and health professionals.
‘We’re always constantly making sure we’re ready, just like we do for cyclones and floods, we always get together all of our key agencies to make sure they are prepared,’ she said.
‘It is a huge job for our police, emergency services, SES and, of course, our health professionals.
‘Every single week, we are looking at our plans, we are monitoring and we are always making sure we are ready.’
Queensland’s borders remain closed to Victorians and anyone who has visited declared hotspots in NSW.
However, police have still turned some 650 people away at the border and 10 arrivals at Gold Coast Airport.
Ms Palaszczuk said she is surprised people are still trying to enter the state when they are clearly ineligible.
‘People should use their common sense, and they just shouldn’t do it [try to enter the state]. The rules are tough and they are being enforced,’ she said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison talked up his government’s incentives for businesses to invest more and revive jobs during a visit to a tuna company on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast.
‘We can’t continue to have confidence about jobs unless we continue to do the things that will support businesses to make investments,’ he told reporters.
‘A $60,000 investment in a blast freezer here at Walker Seafoods is supporting the 50 jobs that are here because it means that (owner) Pavo can go and catch different fish because he can freeze them in the blast (chiller) and send it to a different market.’
Business Council of Australia chief Jennifer Westacott renewed calls for a 20 per cent investment allowance.
‘Investment before the crisis was already weak. Now it is diabolical,’ she told a tech industry conference.
Every time a new supermarket or mine opened, or a business upgraded its plant and equipment or digital technology, hundreds or thousands of jobs were created, she said.