Queensland tightens border as virus cases squeeze in the course of the …

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  • National
  • Queensland
  • Coronavirus pandemic

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By Stuart Layt and Toby Crockford

July 30, 2020 — 12.01am

About Queensland
Queensland (locally KWEENZ-land, abbreviated as Qld, officially the State of Queensland) is a state of Australia. It is the second-largest and third-most populous Australian state. It is a federated state and a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Situated in the north-east of the country, it is bordered by the Northern Territory, South Australia and New South Wales to the west, south-west and south respectively. To the east, Queensland is bordered by the Coral Sea and Pacific Ocean. To its north is the Torres Strait, separating the Australian mainland from Papua New Guinea. With an area of 1,852,642 square kilometres (715,309 sq mi), Queensland is the world’s sixth-largest sub-national entity, and is larger than all but 15 countries. Due to its size, Queensland’s geographical features and climates are diverse, including tropical rainforests, rivers, coral reefs, mountain ranges and sandy beaches in its tropical and sub-tropical coastal regions, as well as deserts and savanna in the semi-arid and desert climactic regions of its interior.
Queensland has a population of over 5.1 million, concentrated along the coast and particularly in South East Queensland. The capital and largest city in the state is Brisbane, Australia’s third-largest city. Ten of Australia’s thirty largest cities are located in Queensland, with the largest outside Brisbane being the Gold Coast, the Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Cairns and Toowoomba. The state’s population is diverse, with 28.9% of inhabitants being immigrants.Queensland was first inhabited by Aboriginal Australians and Torres Strait Islanders. Dutch navigator Willem Janszoon, the first European to land in Australia, explored the west coast of the Cape York Peninsula in 1606. In 1770, James Cook claimed the east coast of Australia for the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1788, Arthur Phillip founded the colony of New South Wales, which included all of what is now Queensland. Queensland was explored in subsequent decades, and the Moreton Bay Penal Settlement was established at Brisbane in 1824 by John Oxley. Queensland was separated from New South Wales on 6 June 1859 (now commemorated as Queensland Day), thereby establishing Queensland as a self-governing Crown colony with responsible government, named in honour of Queen Victoria. Queensland was among the six colonies which became the founding states of Australia with Federation on 1 January 1901. Since the Bjelke-Petersen era of the late 20th century, Queensland has received a high level of internal migration from the other states and territories of Australia and remains a popular destination for interstate migration.
Queensland has the third-largest economy among Australian states, with strengths in mining, agriculture, transportation, international education, insurance and banking. Nicknamed the Sunshine State for its tropical and sub-tropical climates, Great Barrier Reef and numerous beaches, tourism is also important to the state’s economy.

Queensland tightens border as virus cases squeeze through the …

About tightens

Queensland is tightening its border again as the state records three new cases after two women slipped through the cracks following travel through NSW and Victoria.

The state’s total is now 1079 cases, after two 19-year-old women were diagnosed with the disease in Logan, south of Brisbane.

Queensland tightens border as virus cases squeeze through the …

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A third woman, understood to be a close contact of those two women, was confirmed as having tested positive for the virus on Wednesday afternoon.

Queensland Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski said an investigation would be launched into how the two new cases were able to cross the border and enter the community when they should have been in quarantine.

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He told reporters initial investigations suggested their border declaration passes might have contained incorrect information.

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“We want to work out what’s actually happened here, not only in terms of what any individual may have done but also how the system has operated,” Mr Gollschewski said.

According to the Queensland Police Service, 2168 public health infringement notices have been issued for COVID-related breaches since March 30.

However, 5.8 per cent of those – equating to about 125 fines – have been withdrawn upon review.

The news of the new cases came as Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced on Wednesday that all of the greater Sydney area was considered a hotspot for the virus.

Ms Palaszczuk said the changes would not come into force until this weekend.

The NSW areas to be declared hotspots from 1am Saturday

  • Bayside
  • Blacktown City
  • Blue Mountains City
  • Burwood
  • Camden
  • Campbelltown City
  • Canada Bay City
  • Canterbury-Bankstown
  • Central Coast
  • Cumberland
  • Fairfield City
  • Georges River
  • Hawkesbury City
  • Hornsby Shire
  • Hunter’s Hill Municipality
  • Inner West
  • Ku-ring-gai
  • Lane Cove Municipality
  • Liverpool City
  • Mosman Municipality
  • North Sydney
  • Northern Beaches
  • Parramatta City
  • Penrith City
  • Randwick City
  • Ryde City
  • Strathfield Municipality
  • Sutherland Shire
  • Sydney City
  • The Hills Shire
  • Waverley
  • Willoughby City
  • Wollondilly Shire
  • Woollahra City

“We have done this to ensure that we give notice to Queenslanders that might want to return home,” she said.

“We are in extraordinary times at the moment and we have to do everything we can.”

Queensland residents returning from greater Sydney after 1am on Saturday will have to quarantine themselves in a hotel for 14 days at their own expense.

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Residents from other parts of NSW are still allowed to travel to Queensland with a valid border pass, as long as they have not been in a listed hotspot area.

Ms Palaszczuk said depending on how the situation unfolded, they could put a hard border in place again with NSW.

Victorians are barred from entering Queensland at present.

“Let me assure Queenslanders that we have been preparing for these scenarios. We have done this before and we would do it again,” she said.

“When the Chief Health Officer advises the Queensland government and myself to close the border, we will close the border.”

For her part, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said she wasn’t consulted about the border announcement.

“That’s a matter for the Queensland Premier, but it would have been nice if she told me,” she said.

“I note that the cases they’ve announced today are all from Victoria.”

Ms Berejiklian said she believed restricting more travel from Sydney into Queensland would hurt Queensland economically.

“The only challenge for NSW is limited freedom of movement for our residents,” she said.

“The economic consequences in Queensland … will hurt much more than it hurts NSW, we are in the strongest position in the nation which we want to maintain obviously.”

With the three new cases, Queensland currently has eight active cases of the virus, with urgent contact tracing under way to detect any other people who might have come down with the disease.

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  • Coronavirus pandemic
  • Government
  • Queensland Health
  • Health
  • Queensland Police
  • Brisbane
Stuart Layt

Stuart Layt covers health, science and technology for the Brisbane Times. He was formerly the Queensland political reporter for AAP.

Toby Crockford

Toby Crockford is a breaking news reporter at the Brisbane Times

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