The Queensland Premier has taken another dig at her southern neighbours, shrugging off suggestions she admires NSW for its vaccination record.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has shrugged off suggestions she admires NSW for its vaccination record, declaring in an early morning TV interview she would not leap “too far” or “too quickly” to praise her southern neighbour.
Ms Palaszczuk took a subtle dig at NSW while she was on the breakfast TV circuit on Tuesday following her government’s announcement that the Queensland border will be opened entirely to vaccinated Australians from December 17.
The Premier revealed the state’s “measured and cautious plan” on Monday, setting out the easing of restrictions on specific dates – and signalling they could arrive even earlier – if the desired vaccine coverage is reached.
On the Today show on Tuesday she announced a vaccination blitz was under way in order to get Queenslanders jabbed – particularly those in regional areas – so the state can reach the 70 per cent and 80 per cent fully vaccinated targets it has set down for restrictions to ease.
Ms Palaszczuk noted that NSW and the ACT were above 90 per cent first dose coverage and added that a 90 per cent target was something she had been ridiculed for previously.
“We could be the best vaccinated country in the world if we get our vaccination levels up. How good would that be?” Ms Palaszczuk said.
She was then asked: “Sounds to many like you admire NSW. I mean, that is a big leap for a Queensland premier.”
“Not too far and not too quickly,” Ms Palaszczuk replied.
Queensland will open its domestic borders to the vaccinated from Covid-19 hotspots on November 19 or earlier if the vaccine rate for those over 16 reaches 70 per cent in the state.
Only 56.6 per cent of eligible Queenslanders are fully vaccinated.
The Premier said visitors from areas of concern would be limited to travel by air and must have returned a negative virus test in the 72 hours before arrival.
Visitors from Covid hotspots will also be required to complete home quarantine for two weeks.
The restrictions will ease again on December 17 when the state is expected to reach 80 per cent coverage and vaccinated arrivals can come by air or road and will not need to quarantine.
There was, however, bad news on Monday for Queenslanders who have not been jabbed.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said there would be certain freedoms that were only available to people that had been vaccinated after December 17.
“We will work with industry and business but we expect that there will be some settings and venues that decide to be vaccinated only, and in return they will have eased restrictions,” he said.
– With James Hall