GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos SEPTEMBER 16, 2020: Police check cars at the Queensland border with NSW at Griffith Street at Coolangatta. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland
GOLD COAST, AUSTRALIA - NewsWire Photos SEPTEMBER 16, 2020: Police check cars at the Queensland border with NSW at Griffith Street at Coolangatta. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Steve Holland

METHOD OR MADNESS: Qld tight-lipped over Clarence border

THE Clarence is no closer to finding out when they will be allowed into Queensland as the state maintains its methods of choosing border zones.

The Clarence Valley is the only local government area in the Northern NSW Local Health District not included in the latest border zones, which include council areas stretching west to the border.

Glen Innes Shire, which stretches further to the south of the Clarence Valley, was one of five local government areas included in the border zone that will be open to Queensland from October 1.

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When first asked why the Clarence Valley was excluded, a Queensland Health spokeswoman said the border decisions were made with the consideration of several factors including the number of cases, source of infection, and the general movement of people.

However, The Daily Examiner has collated the statistics of all COVID-19 cases, the type of transmission and the number of days since the last case, and presented it to Queensland Health and put to them based on these numbers, what would the case numbers or statistics need to look like for the Clarence to be allowed in.

In a response yesterday, a Queensland Health spokesperson did not give a concrete figure as to what the numbers would be, or when the restrictions would be reassessed.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (left) watches the Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young as she speaks during a press conference at Parliament House in Brisbane. The Premier announced Queensland will open its borders to five NSW local government areas. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (left) watches the Chief Health Officer Dr Jeanette Young as she speaks during a press conference at Parliament House in Brisbane. The Premier announced Queensland will open its borders to five NSW local government areas. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

They said that the border zone decision balances the health and safety of Queenslanders with preventing the need to put back in place more restrictions.

The border zone was decided based on the location of key services for border towns. This includes both sides of the border - people who live in Queensland but work or go to school in their neighbouring border town, or people who live in New South Wales but come to work or school in their neighbouring border town in Queensland.

"The border zone was extended as we have confidence that it is safe to do so and the potential risk of COVID-19 transmission from Queenslanders and NSW border zone residents moving across the border is low," the spokesperson said.

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"Extending the border zone enables more Queenslanders and the NSW residents who live close to the border to go about their day-to-day lives as they usually would. We are continuously monitoring the situation within other jurisdictions across the country."

Queensland Health said it would consider declaring other hot spots or reimplementing border restrictions on other states if there are outbreaks and uncontrolled community transmission.

It came as Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack criticised state governments over their border restrictions.

"It's not good enough that we've got tight lockdowns, border restrictions that are preventing many people from travelling where they want to be around this great nation," he said.

>>> RELATED: Torn between two bubbles

Queensland recorded no new cases of COVID-19 yesterday, and has only 8 active cases currently.

NSW yesterday recorded its second day in a row of no new cases.


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