Today show host Karl Stefanovic has taken aim at the Queensland government for continuing to keep its borders closed, saying it “defies belief”.
Despite Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk standing in parliament in May describing the pandemic as having dealt tourism “a crippling blow", the state’s solicitor general has filed court documents stating the government doesn’t admit the the tourism industry is suffering any financial hardship.
“This is about arrogance,” Mr Stefanovic said on Wednesday morning.
“It defies belief to me and more importantly, reality,” he continued.
It comes as a group of businesses owners attempt to force the government to hand over documents justifying the interstate travel ban.
The government’s argument could delay the case by forcing business owners to provide detailed records showing a drop in revenue since restrictions came into place.
If the border remains closed until September, previous estimates suggest the tourism industry will lose $5 billion in revenue, The Courier Mail reports.
“This is just arguing against the absolutely bloody obvious, and what is really concerning is not just that arrogance, but the Queensland Government listening to the people,” Queensland senator Matt Canavan told Today.
In May the Premiere called the hit to the state’s $12 billion tourism industry “heartbreaking”.
“It has been heartbreaking to make tough but unavoidable decisions, for example, the decision to close our borders and place hard restrictions on the industry knowing they would hurt, while at the same time understanding they were absolutely critical to save lives,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
State Member for Burleigh Heads, Michael Hart, has installed a billboard pleading with government to “open Queensland's border”.
“Planes equals jobs” the billboard at the Reedy Creek and Bermuda Street intersection reads.
"I'm hoping the billboard will send a strong message to the Premier that the people of the Gold Coast want to see planes flying back into our airport and a time frame for our borders to be open," Mr Hart told the Today show.
It’s the second billboard to be launched in recent weeks with Ms Palaszczuk standing firm on the border closure despite no new coronavirus cases reported in Australia in the past 24 hours.
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