Push to reopen Queensland border returns to High Court

On Friday, Chief Justice Susan Kiefel told lawyers for the parties it was unlikely the cases would be heard before the end of June after learning the opposing sides were having difficulty agreeing on the terms of the battle.

It comes as Ms Palaszczuk on Monday said the government would revisit the decision to close the borders at the end of June.

Ms Palaszczuk said the state’s borders would remain closed for the month of June, despite planning for a New South Wales travel bubble being explored.

“Our road map clearly says July 10,” she said.

“We will review at the end of the month, but it is our clear intention that July 10 would be the date for consideration.”

Stage three of the state’s coronavirus recovery roadmap has always planned for interstate travel to be permitted from July 10, conditional on Queensland chief health officer Jeannette Young’s advice.

Currently, school students, workers and freight drivers can enter the state without an issue, but Queensland is closed to anyone else.

Mr Palmer is also challenging the West Australian government’s right to close its border.
All three cases will return to the Brisbane courtroom for a directions hearing on Tuesday.

Liberal Senator Amanda Stoker, meanwhile, has caused outrage over her comments on Ms Palaszczuk and the border restrictions, with suggestions that she was comparing it to George Floyd’s death who died at the hands of Minneapolis police.

“And what worries me most is Premier Palaszczuk knows that she is absolutely choking our economy by having these borders shut,” she told Sky News.

“She is the knee on the throat of the businesses of Queensland stopping them breathing. Right?”.

Queensland Labor Senator Murray Watt said the comments were a new low.

“Who uses the words of a dying man to score a political point?” he said.

“Senator Stoker’s comments are gross and insensitive. It’s no wonder this government is leaving so many people behind when its own senators think so little of other human beings.”

Senator Stoker doubled down on her comments in a statement released on Monday afternoon.

“This is nothing but a shallow attempt to use outrage to distract from the mess of corruption allegations that Labor are facing today,” she said, referring to The Age and 60 Minutesexposé of now-sacked Victorian minister Adem Somyurek.

“It’s the Queensland Premier who should apologise to the many business owners who’ve lost their livelihoods, and the thousands of staff who’ve lost their jobs in circumstances where these border closures have gone on way too long.

“It’s choking the Queensland economy, and it has got to stop.”

AAP with Jocelyn Garcia

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