Editorial: States must start working together
Editorial: States must start working together

States must work together to fix border mess

Annastacia Palaszczuk's hubris on Wednesday night when she texted the single word response "Queenslander" to New South Wales counterpart Gladys Berejiklian was certainly understandable.

After all, the mighty Maroons had just scored a miracle against-the-odds victory while four nights earlier Ms Palaszczuk secured a historic triumph of her own at the state election.

However, Ms Palaszczuk's re-elected government is increasingly appearing like a shag on a rock when it comes to its belligerent attitude towards the coronavirus pandemic and economic recovery.

Ms Berejiklian had been left waiting days for a response to her request to discuss a better approach to the border after originally texted the Queensland Premier on Sunday.

Ms Palaszczuk yesterday dismissed her counterpart, insisting it was still her Government's intention to review the border closure at the end of each month.

For many people, the frustrating part about all of this is the divergence in approaches of different governments when they're assumedly making decisions based on the advice of experts with the same qualifications, data and research into this disease.



NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dylan Coker
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dylan Coker



NSW will open its borders to Victoria on November 23 after the Andrews Government managed to suffocate that's state's deadly second wave of cases.

Meanwhile, Queensland remains out of bound to the millions of people from Greater Sydney, as well as Victoria, until at least December as the Palaszczuk Government sticks to its guns of arbitrarily making decisions at the end of each month.

Our struggling tourism sector might be benefiting from Queenslanders touring their home state right now, as figures indicate.

However, as experts will attest, these are often low yield tourists who don't necessary dive into the full experience of a destination because they've been there before.

That means while hotels and other accommodation providers might have sufficient bookings, ancillary activities like restaurants, theme parks, boat tours and zoos often miss out.



Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk. Picture: Patrick Woods / Sunshine Coast Daily.

Ms Palaszczuk's approach might be sustainable in the short term while the Morrison Government is effectively paying for it through its ongoing and highly costly JobKeeper payments for workers.

But things will rapidly go pear-shaped after March when these payments get removed.

Critics will claim the Commonwealth should just continue to pay yet the cost will be extraordinary and the health benefits minimal given the system has shown it can rapidly use contact tracing to shut down outbreaks.

And with a vaccine still unlikely until the end of next year, clearly something has to change with the Palaszczuk Government's current approach.





As The Courier-Mail has repeatedly observed, Queensland is in great shape compared to many other international jurisdictions and much of our success can be traced back to how well our chief health officer Jeanette Young prepared for this kind of event.

But we should not convince ourselves it is sustainable to shut our eyes and hide under the doona until the scientific community comes up with a solution.

That's why we need our political leaders to behave how they did during the initial National Cabinet meetings at the outset of this pandemic, sideline their partisan and parochial attitudes and work together on ways we can both manage the health crisis and economic challenges so we come out of COVID-19 stronger.

After that we can all get back to hating the Blues.




WE'D heard it all before.

A depleted Queensland Origin team, full of young replacements and having lost the last two series, would be no match for the superstars of the NSW Blues.

No amount of Queenslander spirit would make up for the gulf in class, we were told.

But we also knew what would happen. Even when we trailed 10-0 at half time. The fans who have followed this drama for decades knew the Maroons would storm back. And so it came to pass.

Revved up by the supercoach, Wayne Bennett's babies laid on three second half tries, and the Origin virgins in Adelaide were treated to an all-time classic.

In the end, the NSW players, fans and pundits were left scratching their heads. After all these years, they still don't get it.


Responsibility for election comment is taken by Chris Jones, corner of Mayne Rd & Campbell St, Bowen Hills, Qld 4006. Printed and published by NEWSQUEENSLAND (ACN 009 661 778). Contact details are available at couriermail.com.au/help/contact-us



Originally published as States must work together to fix border mess

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