Today host Karl Stefanovic has issued a “grovelling” apology to Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for criticising her tough approach to locking down the state earlier in the coronavirus pandemic.
Stefanovic was forced to eat his words on Friday given the premier’s hardline move proved effective in tackling the virus, with the state now reopening its borders, except to Victoria, for the first time in months.
The host expressed excitement about once again being allowed to travel to Queensland, subsequently apologising for earlier calling Ms Palaszczuk’s actions “crazy and illogical”.
“That’s right, I remember all of that,” the premier responded before the 1960 Brenda Lee song, ‘I’m Sorry’, was played.
Stefanovic said his apology came delivered on behalf of both himself and NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian who has also been publicly critical of Ms Palaszczuk’s coronavirus policy.
“I’m sorry, are we ever going to talk again?” Stefanovic told an amused Ms Palaszczuk, who was gracious in her acceptance of the apology.
Today co-host Alison Langdon said she predicted some “grovelling” would be taking place on Friday morning, so arranged with Today reporter Jess Millward to present the premier with an “apology gift”.
“Thank you, this means a lot, thank you so much,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“On behalf of the people of Queensland Karl, we accept your apology.”
Almost 314,000 people have now downloaded border passes to enter the Sunshine State, which reopens its borders to everyone but visitors from Victoria at 12pm AEST.
Ms Palaszczuk said Victorians would remain locked out for the foreseeable future.
“As long as it takes... I hate to say that, but it's as long as it takes until the community transmission there is under control,” she told Today.
“There is no community transmission in any other state or territory.”
The premier also warned of long delays at border checkpoints and urged people to delay their entry if they could, telling people they “could be sitting in traffic for hours”.
“If you're thinking about coming today, maybe think about changing your plans,” she said.
Do you have a story tip? Email: email@example.com.