Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton and Senator Pauline Hanson have placed pressure on their home state’s premier to reopen Queensland’s borders, arguing that keeping them closed is bad for the economy and according to Hanson, allegedly unconstitutional.
However, speaking to reporters on Friday, Palaszczuk said that Queensland’s borders would remain shut, but that the decision is being reviewed every month.
Palaszczuk said the increased community transmission of COVID-19 in New South Wales and Victoria was a threat to Queensland’s very low transmission rates.
The premier said she “did not take the decision lightly” and would like to see the other states get their community-based transmission under control before she would consider reopening Queensland to the rest of the country.
“Unfortunately, they have 401 active cases in New South Wales, at the moment. We’ve just seen a school close in New South Wales. It’s a changing situation in News South Wales and we just don’t want to put Queenslanders at risk at this stage,” she said.
Dutton, who has been the federal representative for Queensland’s south-east electorate of Dickson since 2001, said that Palaszczuk could reopen Queensland by July which would offer tourism operators “some light at the end of the tunnel.”
Dutton told 2GB radio: “Lives are being destroyed, and the premier’s conducting some social experiment here.”
“When you’ve got the deputy chief medical officer coming out and saying look there’s no medical reason as to why the borders are closed or remain closed, and that they could remain closed until September if not beyond, I think people are rightly questioning what is going on,” he added.
— The Today Show (@TheTodayShow) May 21, 2020
Queensland One Nation Party Senator Pauline Hanson said on Friday that she too believed the state’s borders should reopen and said she was launching a legal challenge in the High Court.
QLD BORDER CRISIS
‘It is unconstitutional’: @OneNationAus leader Pauline Hanson threatens to take ‘scaremongering, lawless’ Queensland premier to the High Court for refusing to open up the borders.@AlishaRouse @DailyMailAU #auspolhttps://t.co/82vVSK55J7
— Pauline Hanson 🇦🇺 (@PaulineHansonOz) May 21, 2020
Speaking on Nine’s Today program on Friday, Hanson said that she had received offers from three legal firms to handle the case and that 45 people have volunteered to be plaintiffs.
Hanson said she wanted to set a precedent with the court case and to put pressure on Palaszczuk to change her mind.
Responding to a question from a reporter on Friday, Palaszczuk said Hanson is welcome to take the matter to the High Court but that by the time it got there the borders would likely be opened.
Epoch Times reporter Caden Pearson contributed this article.