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Queensland ‘nominates a date’ for border reopening

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the Queensland state government has “nominated a date” for the borders reopening.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the Queensland state government has "nominated a date" for the borders reopening.

Premier Annastacia Palasczuk had come under fire from tourism operators, media commentators and some members of the federal government for keeping the borders closed.

Earlier this week, Ms Palaszczuk pointed to a July reopening, as indicated in the state's three-step roadmap to easing restrictions released in May.

On the roadmap it reads under July 10: "Subject to further planning and review intrastate and interstate travel will be permitted."

Coronavirus: Queensland borders could open in weeks

Last month, Ms Palaszczuk said borders could remain closed until September and yesterday said she did not regret those comments based on the health advice, and number of new cases, at the time.

Ms Palasczczuk was expected to front the media later this afternoon with more details about the date but instead pointed to the roadmap.

A spokesperson for Ms Palaszczuk said she would still make a decision at the end of the month.

"If someone can't come to your state from Sydney, then someone can't come to your state from Singapore," Mr Morrison said, speaking on the topic of international student agreements.

"If you want to open up borders for international students, then you have to open up borders for Australians.

"I welcome the decision by the Queensland Government to nominate a date for the opening of that border in Queensland. That is welcome."

Coronavirus: WA premier defies Scott Morrison

Mr Morrison said Western Australia was the only state that still remained unlikely to open their borders in July.

"It is not a National Cabinet position that has been followed by Western Australia on that issue or any of the other states, that is a matter they have chosen to do unilaterally and it is for them to make their explanations on those issues," he said.

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Moment that changed Mayor's mind on border closures

Earlier this morning, Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate also changed his tone on the border closures, calling on Ms Palasczuk to nominate a date.

Mr Tate said the imagery of 30,000 protesters gathered last Saturday in Brisbane changed his mind.

Peaceful scenes in Brisbane’s Black Lives Matter march

"I call it how I see it. COVID-19 is a dynamic moving target at the time of calling it, I absolutely backed that because nobody could tell you how contagious the disease was at that time," he said this morning.

"Thirty-thousand protesters not abiding by COVID-19 kind of wakes you up and you go 'well something's wrong here'.

"The scoreboard has changed and you've got to reasses."

Despite changing his opinion on the state government's stance on borders, Mr Tate said he was not calling for an immediate reopening - just a specific date so businesses could plan ahead.

"After today's national cabinet I would like to know a date ... so that airlines can plan, businesses can plan - they can restock - all those sorts of things," he said.

Coronavirus: Queensland looks to New Zealand to travel

"You can't just go right, tomorrow we open because people can't just scramble to get ready in time."

Mr Tate pointed to exactly two weeks after the protests as a potential date for opening the border.

"(It) would be great to have a statement go 'the minute the 14 days is over and there's no positive case out of that event, it's been a great experiment 20,000 or 30,000 people (let's) open the border'," he said.

"You don't need to be a genius."

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Source: 9News

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