Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has faltered when questioned by media this morning about why her state’s borders are still closed to Canberrans, when there have been zero cases of COVID-19 in the territory for more than 60 days.
“From memory, someone came through Canberra into Queensland with the virus. That’s my memory,” the Premier said.
She’s referring to reports prior to the August 5 border closure that a traveller had passed through the ACT en route to Queensland. The traveller was not COVID-19 positive, but had reportedly visited a NSW ‘hotspot’.
The Premier faced the press this morning and addressed comments by Finance Minister Mathias Cormann that she was “cold hearted” to not allow a series of recent exemption applications on compassionate grounds.
“I say to Mathias, I say, these are difficult decisions and they’re heartbreaking. I’m human just like everyone else. These issues hurt me deeply. They hurt me deeply because during this pandemic I have lost loved ones as well. I know exactly what people are going through,” the Premier said.
“I feel these issues very personally. Just like everyone else does. That’s why we’ve put in place this specialist care unit. We have more than – we have 80 people in this exemptions unit looking at these issues.
“And these people are human beings as well. They’re having to go through all the details, and make really difficult and tough decisions.”
Ms Palaszczuk told this morning’s Economic and Governance Committee that there had so far been 229 exemptions granted for specialist workers, health staff and for compassionate cases.