PM slams Premier: ‘Is she for jobs or not?’
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has come out swinging against the Queensland Premier, slamming her again for the ongoing border dispute.
Annastacia Palaszczuk and her deputy Steven Miles have given NSW 48 hours to trace the cause of the three community transmitted coronavirus cases revealed on Wednesday.
If the health department fails to do this, it will reset for another 28 days before the state border is reopened, infuriating the Liberal NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and the Federal Government.
"Is she for jobs or not?" Mr Morrison said on 2GB in Sydney on Thursday morning, questioning the Queensland Premier's main pledge ahead of the October 31 state election.
"The other day she was saying she was all for jobs but being all for jobs means you've got to balance the risks that you face like New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian is.
"They're managing to basically keep cases to an incredibly low level, they're doing a great job with their testing and tracing regime … dealing with outbreaks, getting New South Wales open.
"Queensland can do the same thing.
"I want to see people back in jobs … the number of people who have come back in to jobs in New South Wales since we hit the pit of that COVID-recession is a 70 per cent increase.
"In Queensland, it's 44 per cent."
The Federal Budget unveiled earlier in the week was heavily structured around job creation, but the Prime Minister said Australians can't capitalise on this until borders are open.
"We need Queenslanders back in jobs," he said.
"That's why we've done the hiring credits, that's why we've put in the incentive for investment, that's why we're bring forward tax cuts, and that's why we're bring forward infrastructure projects.
"I want to get Queenslanders back in jobs just like I want to get New South Wales people back in jobs but for that, you've got to be open."
Ms Berejiklian joined the chorus, accusing the Queensland Government of "changing the goalposts" over coronavirus policies.
"I've never heard of this rule where you have to have two days to make sure you link your cases to an existing case," the NSW Premier told ABC Breakfast. "I mean, that's just something they plucked out of, I don't know where.
"Not only have they set a benchmark which I think is unrealistic, because in a pandemic, in a place like NSW, with eight million people, when you are keeping your economy open, of course you're going to have cases from time to time. But it's how you manage that. It's how you get on top of that.
"I'm just really disturbed by what I've heard from the Queensland Government and I hope that they really see beyond the borders of Queensland. We're all Australians. Yes, we're from different states of Australia, but we're also all Australians. And Australians are suffering.
"Let's reduce the suffering and the angst. Let's support businesses, get tourism going. We can do that and we should."
The Prime Minister also said he's keen to head up to the Sunshine State to throw his support behind the Liberal-National Party contender Deb Frecklington.
"I would love to get up to Queensland," he told 4BC.
"In Queensland, in particular, the tourism and hospitality industry and the aviation industry has taken an enormous hit and so that's why I've been keen to see things open up in Queensland."
Ms Palaszczuk's tough border restrictions have frustrated political counterparts across the country in recent months and starved holiday-makers of a beachside escape in the Sunshine State.
But it appears the policies have worked among the Labor leader's constituents, with her management of the coronavirus crisis leading to a surge in popularity from just 29 per cent in February to 57 per cent in the latest YouGov Poll.
According to the exclusive The Courier Mail poll, Labor now leads the Liberal-National Party 52 per cent to 48 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.
Originally published as PM slams Premier: 'Is she for jobs or not?'