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 Queensland’s Palaszczuk plays politics with borders

21.05.20. With her political fate to be decided in a few months at the polls, Annastacia Palaszczuk has rolled the dice. Keeping Queensland’s borders closed based solely on the coronavirus subject will produce one of two things. If COVID-19 fails to support a nasty second run the PalaceDuck will be top of the Christmas tree. If not, the state will be totally ruined and the duck will have its neck wrung and served up as Peking Duck—in Siberia!
Tourism industry ‘won’t survive’ border closures
Australia’s two most populous states are set to remain effectively isolated from the rest of the country for months as premiers from the smaller states insist they will not be bullied into relaxing border closures, despite advice from medical experts and federal officials that interstate travel poses no health risks.

Source: Craig Johnstone, News Corp

The standoff over the future of state and territory border closures has widened a rift between Australia’s federal health officers, who say there is no medical reason to continue the border shutdown, and their state counterparts, who fear the virus spreading from the nation’s two largest states.
It has also escalated bickering between state and territory leaders as tensions increase between beating COVID-19’s threat to Australian lives and minimising the devastating impact on livelihoods.
There are mounting fears that some parts of Australia’s tourism industry — already suffering deep job cuts and plunging revenue — will not survive a long period of ­interstate travel bans.
However, Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk remained unmoved, saying the closure of her state’s borders would continue because she always put Queenslanders’ lives first.

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • seadogger 21/05/2020, 6:18 am

    Good on ya Anna…keep the boarders closed for 12 months.. this will ensure you are tipped out of Govt in October and be relegated to your phone box opposition cabinet that your side has experienced before. Not enough members for a cricket team.
    Keep up the good work Anna .. Idiots gone power crazy or too dumb to realise they are being manipulated

    • Big Al 21/05/2020, 10:58 am

      SD, I hope you’re right, but my gut tells me that the moron-level is much higher than ‘we’ make like to believe, and they’ll all vote to keep their JobSleeper payments for as long as possible, which is how the Placeduck will play to their fears against Fry-Dumb-Bugger’s attempt to rein in the bleeding budget later this year.

      All the blokes I know think like me (and you, I suspect), but all their wives bar one think the guvmint’s lockdown is saving lives: Theirs, unquestionably so, but my comments to them about how f***ed up the economy has become because of these stupid lockdown of a mostly healthy poupulation draws their talons most deadly, so I need to walk away to save my skin.

    • wal1957 21/05/2020, 11:40 am

      It’s not going to matter.
      We could toss out Palachook and put in the best ever Government from the past 50 years and Qld is still going to be stuffed! The economic damage that has been inflicted will take at least a decade to recover from.
      If we do have an increase in detections of the virus and Palachook tries to ‘lockdown’ everything again…I think she may be in for a rude awakening. Most people I know have had an absolute gutful!

  • luk1955 21/05/2020, 6:49 am

    IT is increasingly clear that this was a plandemic, designed to see how much tyranny our psychopaths could inflict on us. And it is clear, that too many people are scared of these psychopaths, and that the “leaders” themselves are hitler wanna bes. Give a power to a pollie and when that power is no longer needed, the pollies hang onto the powers. We need to eradicate the current crop of “leaders” at the next elections and get some new faces in. In this case, the cure was far worse than the disease.

  • Pensioner Pete 21/05/2020, 7:33 am

    Quoting above, “If COVID-19 fails to support a nasty second run the PalaceDuck will be top of the Christmas tree. If not, the state will be totally ruined”

    Sorry to inform, the state is totally ruined right now, with the State debt running at $93 Billion and to exceed $100 Billion within months.

    The number of small businesses which have closed their doors forever in Queensland is a catastrophe of monumental proportions.

    Despite all this, with the demographically engineered electoral boundaries, the optional preferential voting and the cluster of electorates in the SE corner of Queensland plus a completely ineffective LNP opposition party, leads to a mission of some considerable difficulty in tossing these Labor Communist bastards to the political kerb come 31 October.

    • Pensioner Pete 21/05/2020, 8:24 am

      An update: Pauline Hanson is standing up for Queensland as usual, she is threatening to take Puzzleduck to the High Court of Australia to test the Australian Constitution on the legality of border closures.

      One may ask, where are the Queensland opposition? It seems to me, the LNP are still asleep at the wheel and missing this opportunity to raise their profile, as per usual demonstrating their incompetence as an opposition party.

      Refers: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8341825/Pauline-Hanson-threatens-lawless-Queensland-court-refusing-open-borders.html

      • DT 21/05/2020, 10:55 am

        No, Pauline Hanson is speaking about a barrister who has volunteered to test the legality of border closures however, when former DFAT Minister Alexander Downer investigated this he discovered that there is a precedent, State borders closed during the Spanish Flu pandemic early 1900s.

        The Constitution apparently provides for closures or prohibiting travel for the purpose of public safety.

        Of course the LNP would have this information.

      • Pensioner Pete 21/05/2020, 12:05 pm

        DT: Firstly read the link regarding Pauline Hanson’s statement. Secondly, take a gander at this link about the Spanish Flu situation in Australia at the time which is not exactly how things are transpiring in Australia regarding border closures and the Chinese Wuhan Virus.

        https://labourhistorycanberra.org/2018/06/the-spanish-influenza-pandemic-in-australia-1912-19/

    • Rubyred 22/05/2020, 10:10 am

      Yes why could not the Qld LNP come out and say they will take the Labor Party to the High Court over the damage to the economy by keeping the borders shut even if they know that may not be the case?. Pauline is way ahead of them publicity wise and no wonder. Of course the leftie newspapers and TV stations do not give Conservative Parties any support except for Sky News. The apathetic general public should try tuning in to Sky News and hear the truth for a change.

  • Aktosplatz 21/05/2020, 7:56 am

    I agree with all of the above posts, but I will just add that we’ve always known that Pallychook is as Thick as a Brick.

    So I am not surprised at this inane behaviour, I am annoyed that there are no signs of life from the Opposition.

    And that will continue to be the case up until a week before the election when these total LNP Strangers suddenly appear to try to convince us to vote for them.

    Again, only Pauline is standing up for us; she’s claiming that Pallychook shutting the borders is unconstitutional. and she could be right.

    Australia is a Federation based on economic lines with each State contributing according to their means therefore Qld is in breach of the makeup of the Commonwealth.

    • Pensioner Pete 21/05/2020, 8:30 am

      Akto: s92 of the Australian Constitution is worth a read in reference to borders as is s128 regarding the mode to altering the Australian Constitution, both of which, appear to be completely ignored by federal and state governments.

      • Big Al 21/05/2020, 11:13 am

        PP, I don’t think the Australian constitution S92 has any effect at all on the Chook’s ability to close the borders, because it’s the Qld Constitution that prevails:

        https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/view/pdf/2002-06-06/act-2001-080

        S55 Delegation by Minister(1) A Minister may delegate a power of the State to an appropriately qualified officer of the State.

        And this is how the CMO under the legislation wields the control she has that was given to her by us dumb voters that elected the @ssholes to make the law that allows her to do anything she deems necessary to protect all her ‘precious’ fellow citizens – see here:

        https://www.health.qld.gov.au/system-governance/legislation/cho-public-health-directions-under-expanded-public-health-act-powers/border-restrictions

      • Pensioner Pete 21/05/2020, 1:39 pm

        My understanding is the Australian Constitution prevails should State legislation be in conflict. s109 of the Australian Constitution refers.

      • Big Al 21/05/2020, 2:27 pm

        PP, you’re absolutely right, the Oz cons takes precedence where there is conflict, but in this case, there is no conflict as the States are allowed to make laws to protect their cits within their borders; if that means stopping the cock-roaches comin’ in, that’s what the Qld CMO is allowed to do, but she can’t stop commerce with them – go figure?

  • DT 21/05/2020, 10:49 am

    The new QLD Premier is a Health Department official who needs a makeover.

  • DT 21/05/2020, 10:59 am

    I do not often use The Conversation as a reference however …

    “What limits does the Constitution impose on the states?

    A state cannot exclude people from entering it because it has some objection to them, such as their character or behaviour. For example, shortly after federation, NSW enacted the Influx of Criminals Prevention Act 1903 to prevent convicted criminals from other states entering New South Wales. It tried to use the act to prevent John Benson, a convicted vagrant, of entering the state.

    Read more: NSW and Victoria announce ‘shutdowns’, as federal government widens and ramps up income support

    But the High Court struck down the law because it prevented freedom of interstate movement in breach of section 92 of the Constitution. While some judges recognised that a state may have power to act where it is necessary to protect “public order, safety or morals”, they did not consider that the exclusion of vagrants could be justified as such a necessity.

    Since then, the High Court has accepted that a state law may impede the entry into the state of persons, animals or goods that are likely to injure its citizens. These include risks of the transmission of animal and plant diseases and the entry of noxious drugs.

    Justice Brennan stated in the case of Nationwide News that where the true character of a law

    is to protect the State or its residents from injury, a law which expressly prohibits or impedes movement of the apprehended source of injury across the border into the State may yet be valid.
    A court would need to consider the severity of the restriction and the need for the measure.

    If the law is enacted for a purpose other than simply impeding movement across state boundaries, such as to protect public health, and the measures imposed are appropriate and adapted to fulfilling that purpose, then the law is likely to be held to be valid. It will depend on the factual circumstances in any particular case.

    What about current proposals to restrict movement across state borders?

    Current proposals to restrict the movement of people across state borders are clearly for the legitimate purpose of protecting public health. No one could argue that the reason is “protectionist” or simply an objection to residents from other states entering the state.

    So far, actions and proposals by various states have not been directed at preventing people from crossing state borders. Instead, they have involved health checks and requirements to self-isolate for 14 days if they do enter the state.

    While this may impose a “burden” on interstate movement of people, it does not prevent it, and the self-isolation requirement seems to be appropriate and adapted to the public health need.

    The states have also made appropriate exceptions, such as in relation to emergency service workers and people transporting goods in and out of the state. An exception may also need to be made to ensure that federal members of parliament can travel to and from Canberra to fulfil their representative functions.

    If more extreme measures were taken, which could be regarded as not being appropriate and adapted to achieving the protection of public health, then they would be more vulnerable to legal challenge.

    But in any case, the High Court would take into account the evidence that the state was relying on and its efforts to calibrate the restrictions appropriately in the circumstances. More extreme risks may justify more extreme measures in limiting interstate intercourse.

    Are there any other constraints on states ‘going it alone’?

    First, any state action must fall within its existing legal powers. These include those under its public health legislation, or it first may need to enact new legislation or make appropriation regulations under existing statutes. If a state is restricting the liberty of its residents, then it needs lawful power to do so.

    Secondly, while states have extremely broad legislative powers (subject to section 92 of the Constitution), if the law of a state conflicts with a law of the Commonwealth, then section 109 of the Constitution provides that the Commonwealth law prevails and the state law is inoperative to the extent of the inconsistency.

    Read more: Coronavirus modelling shows the government is getting the balance right – if our aim is to flatten the curve

    So if a Commonwealth law gives a person the right to enter the state, and the state law is inconsistent with it, the Commonwealth law would override state law. So states should be careful to not make any laws that might conflict with Commonwealth laws.

    Thirdly, if the federal parliament wished to override particular state laws, and it had a source of constitutional power to legislate (such as its power with respect to quarantine), then it could legislate in such a way as caused an inconsistency, rendering the state law inoperative to the extent of the inconsistency.

    The states can close borders to protect their citizens

    Overall, despite the constitutional guarantee that intercourse among the states shall be absolutely free, the states retain a degree of latitude to limit border-crossing as long as it is appropriate and to protect public health.

    Read more: Scalable without limit: how the government plans to get coronavirus support into our hands quickly”

  • Rubyred 22/05/2020, 9:57 am

    It seems to me that in the case of the traitor Daniel Andrews the Commonwealth law should override his power to give the Communist Chinese Govt a foothold on Australian soil by signing up to their Belt and Road plan in order to borrow billions from them to hoodwink the Victorian people that he is working in their interest by building infrastructure. If that is not so then the Federal Govt should change the law so that Communists are not able to do anything to jeopardise the welfare of Australians.

  • JG 22/05/2020, 10:13 am

    Another puppets who should be join the Duck on the way out is the useless so called Chief Medical Office. And off course who could the forget the Dick in charge of Treasure debt buying into Virgin with his two bits of nothing but taxpayer debt.

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