Coronavirus: The state of our borders

Palaszczuk reveals personal border pain

Amid a barrage of personal attacks over her strict border measures, Queensland's Premier was forced to ask herself whether it was "all worth it".

Annastacia Palaszczuk announced Queensland would open its borders to Victoria and Sydney from December 1, after months of keeping the gates slammed shut, meaning only South Australia is still unable to enter the Sunshine State.

Speaking on the Today show on Wednesday morning, Ms Palaszczuk revealed an onslaught of personal attacks over her harsh border measures took such a toll on her and her family that she had considered throwing in the towel.

Heartbreaking stories of everyday people such as a daughter being denied access to her father's funeral and a man with brain cancer denied hotel quarantine exemption made national headlines, with fury felt across the country.

It resulted in death threats being sent to Ms Palaszczuk and her chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young, with two people now before the courts.

"We were just trying to do our best for the people of Queensland to keep them safe, and it did take a toll," she said.

"There was a moment when all my family came over and we sat down and thought, you know, is this all worth it?

"But look, at the end of the day the people of this state give me my inspiration and my strength and I keep going for them … I was flooded with letters and phone calls and emails and drawings from young kids.

"It really touched me, it was unbelievable."

Queensland will open its borders to Victoria and Greater Sydney from December 1. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Queensland will open its borders to Victoria and Greater Sydney from December 1. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

 

 

 

Ms Palaszczuk wasn't without her own family heartbreak amid the pandemic, speaking about the loss of her grandmother.

"I wasn't able to say goodbye. We had to sit socially distanced at the funeral," she said.

"I also lost my uncle and his family could not see him in hospital when we had the outbreak.

"I know the toll it has take on families and it's very distressing, I understand that."

While Ms Palaszczuk admits she knew how many families had been hurt by border measures, she reiterated it had kept Queensland safe and allowed the state to welcome in friends and families from former hot spots in time for Christmas.

chief health officer of Queensland Dr. Jeannette Young and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk both received death threats over their border measures. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Attila Csaszar
chief health officer of Queensland Dr. Jeannette Young and Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk both received death threats over their border measures. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Attila Csaszar

Ms Palaszczuk confirmed on Wednesday morning Victorians would join Greater Sydney in being allowed into the state from 1am December 1.

"It's wonderful news and I congratulate Dan Andrews, their chief health officer and all of Victorians because this is just such fantastic news," she told ABC News on Wednesday morning.

"Is my state prepared for this? We're absolutely prepared for the influx of people for the Queensland holidays. In fact, just yesterday we saw a 250 per cent increase in some of our tourism operators across Queensland so that is wonderful news.

"I think we will now see with the borders opened... the Gold Coast and places like Cairns and the Whitsunday now doing a roaring trade."

Ms Palaszczuk said her chief health officer, Dr Jeannette Young had not only looked at the 28 days of no community transmission as the trigger point to reopen to the state, but also testing rates and sewage testing analysis.

As for whether the Queensland border blockade can come down completely, Dr Young will assess South Australia at the "end of the month".

"It just depends on South Australia … If they are still seeing any outbreaks then there might have to be a border pass for them," Ms Palaszczuk said.

Ms Palaszczuk has also not ruled out slamming the borders shut again if there was another outbreak in the future.

"We have to remember it can happen at any time … We have seen what happened in Adelaide," she said.

"It only takes one person to get out (of hotel quarantine) or go out into the community and we could be back into a semi-kind of lockdown.

"I can't predict the future. At the moment, everything is looking really positive."

Originally published as Palaszczuk reveals personal border pain


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