Queensland Police with the assistance of the Australian Army stop all traffic into Queensland at the NSW border crossing. Picture: Scott Powick
Queensland Police with the assistance of the Australian Army stop all traffic into Queensland at the NSW border crossing. Picture: Scott Powick

Stop the border politics

IT SEEMS support for the Prime Minister's desire to open borders and "live with the virus" is increasing in Queensland, with Ian Wade (Letters, Sep 2) summing up the situation admirably.

What concerns me are the inconsistent statements and stubbornness shown by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk's team.

After the recent ridiculous decision to close the border with NSW when there were no virus cases within 500km, the Premier rubbished constructive advice from senior political figures and even now from the Prime Minister.

She has made the unbelievable statement that "Queensland hospitals are for Queenslanders only" - a comment that contributed to the death of an unborn child when Ballina residents could not travel to Brisbane for urgent medical treatment.

Now the Premier asserts that borders will remain shut for September at least, even though cases in NSW are low and being managed competently.

The Premier also states that Queensland would have been overrun with the virus - as in Victoria - had she not taken such a draconian stance on borders.

Does she not remember that the Victorian shambles has nothing to do with borders, but rather incompetent handling of returning travellers in quarantine?

Does she not realise that her own borders are porous? Anyone can walk or cycle across the border at Coolangatta or just lie at airports to get into Queensland unchecked.

It is time to get heads out of the sand and support the PM's desire to unite Australia again.

Playing local politics with borders is disgraceful.

Andrew Braithwaite, Coolangatta

 

THE claim by Des Deighton (Letters, Sep 2) that border closures are destroying the economy overlooks the reality that the open border policy of Victoria did just that.

According to Federal Treasurer Frydenberg, Victoria's economic woes are a drain on the entire Australian economy.

When our Premier agreed to the National Cabinet roadmap to reopen the border it only took two dishonest people to cause the outbreak that forced the reintroduction of restrictions in southeast Queensland.

The closure of the border was unavoidable. Thanks to the diligence of Queenslanders following sound health advice we are containing the risk so far.

Imagine the economic disaster if this virus was to get into one of our meatworks, coal mines or other large workplaces.

As for Deighton's doom and gloom, perhaps he should revisit his old stomping ground of Longreach.

The place is buzzing with tourists and the local economy is booming.

In Rocky, where most people support border closure, the economy is ticking over to the extent its impossible to rent a home. On the Capricorn Coast real estate agents are reporting record sales.

Deighton wants Labor to lose the next election. Perhaps he's looking forward to a Coalition by the three political leaders who agree with him on borders. Just imagine Pauline Hanson, Clive Palmer and Deb Frecklington running the state.

Robert Schwarten, North Rockhampton

 

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LONG WAIT FOR FAST RAIL

 

I REFER to your story "Putting state on fast track" (C-M, Sep 2).

If it took 131 years to build the Redcliffe rail extension, how long will the Caboolture to Maroochydore link take? The corridor study was released in 2001 so that's 19 years so far - then add another 50 years at least.

This typifies Queensland Rail's management philosophy.

So residents of the Sunshine Coast, don't hold your breath for the completion of your rail corridor.

QR can't even get the Citytrain driver overtime under control.

Queenslanders, please don't cast your vote based on this election beat-up.

John Shea, Oxley

 

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LET'S PUT CLOCK FORWARD

 

HOW refreshing it was to read that the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland is prepared to loosen its "apolitical shackles" and comment on the inability of the Palaszczuk government to frame a recovery plan for Queensland to exit from the financial horrors of COVID-19 (C-M, Sep 2).

After all, it was in 2010, following a request from the then Labor government, that the CCIQ was able to assess the extra costs and revenue losses that Queensland businesses suffered when clocks on the east coast are "out of sync". Since then the CCIQ report that ensued has either been lost or misfiled.

Since October 1971, with a couple of exceptions, businesses in our state have haemorrhaged severely for six months every year.

October 4 is a few weeks away and, again, the losses will apply for another six months.

This period will be different though. It will be exacerbated by the costs of COVID-19.

In other words, a triple whammy of financial ruin.

Why is it that our state leaders seeking re-election to Parliament appear to lack the political fortitude to at least start a debate on this issue?

If "creating jobs" is the mantra that is going to be stuffed down our throats between now and the state election on October 31, then a bipartisan discussion might add some meaty policies to the forthcoming campaign.

Graeme Brittenden, Bongaree

 

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HOTEL QUARANTINE WORSE THAN A PRISON CELL

 

AFTER visiting his ailing father in New Zealand, my son-in-law returned home to Brisbane four days ago.

He was prepared to face the mandatory isolation, as he had done when he first arrived in Auckland.

What he was not prepared for was the non-existent daily temperature checking (pictured) and the inability to get regular, fresh air and exercise, a stark contrast to what he experienced while in isolation in Auckland.

In New Zealand, his temperature was checked every day. This has not happened once in the four days he's been back.

In New Zealand, he was allowed unlimited, but supervised, daily access to the outside hotel carpark for exercise.

His hotel room on the God Coast does not have the luxury of opening windows or a balcony for fresh air and he will be cooped up in this claustrophobic place with nowhere to go for another 10 days.

Unlike a prisoner in jail, he is unable to go outside to exercise or to see other people.

He has to plead considerable stress and discomfort before Queensland police will allow a so-called "wellness walk" of extremely limited duration.

Queensland Health should look to New Zealand for doing the right thing for their citizens caught up in these COVID protocols through no fault of their own.

Raymond Lew, Rochedale

 

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LOST IN TRANSLATION

 

I REFER to Mike O'Connor's column (C-M, Sep 1) in reference to immigrants learning English.

This is not always completely satisfactory due to a number of circumstances. The main reasons are age and culture.

I am fortunate to have married an Italian lady from northern Italy.

She accompanied her mother, brother and sister here in 1959. Her father preceded them four years earlier. None of them could speak English.

The siblings immediately began to learn ostensibly because of schooling.

The father and mother not so well as they both worked in mainly ethnic communities where Italian was the only spoken language and in a particular dialect.

My wife and her siblings quickly excelled and English is the only language spoken. My sister-in-law became a vet and her brother a fitter and turner. The use of English for these courses was mandatory.

Because of their age and cultural backgrounds the parents hovered around their familiar communities. Their English was never good.

John Miscamble, Ferny Hills

 

IT IS always interesting to read the glowing responses from the usual suspects in relation to Mike O'Connor's columns.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but to Richard Marman (Letters, Sep 2) I'd simply say I've travelled to many non-English-speaking countries, including China, and have never encountered any issue about my inability to speak another language.

The only negative moments I've seen in my overseas travels are when a few of my fellow tourists - generally white middle-aged men - rudely and embarrassingly complain about the hotel clerks or retail sales people not having a grasp of the English language.

Steve Ryan, Beaudesert

 

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Originally published as Stop the border politics