The Palaszczuk Government has welcomed today’s Federal Court decision on the effectiveness of hard border restrictions in the fight against coronavirus.
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath said the Federal Court’s finding that border restrictions were the most effective measure in keeping COVID-19 out of Western Australia vindicated Queensland’s stance on borders.
“Queenslanders won’t be lectured by Clive Palmer on re-opening our borders too soon, a worrying proposal that’s been advocated by the Queensland LNP at least 64 times,” the Attorney-General said.
The Western Australian Government is claiming victory in a key legal battle with mining billionaire Clive Palmer, after the Federal Court ruled WA’s border closure was more effective in preventing the spread of COVID-19 than any other measure.
Mr Palmer launched a High Court challenge back in May after he was denied a travel exemption to enter the state.
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.
“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.
“The LNP’s dangerous policies pose a serious risk the to the health of Queenslanders and to jobs and the State’s economy.”
In a summary of his judgement, Justice Darryl Rangiah ruled the WA border closure did not eliminate the potential of importation of COVID-19 from other states and territories, because “exempt travellers” were still allowed to enter WA.
However, he said the border closures had reduced the number of people entering the state from 5,000 a day in 2019 to around 470 people a day.