Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Reddit + - Shrinking COVID-19 cases mock Qld border closures By Leith van Onselen in Australian Economy, Featured Articleat 1:00 pm on May 29, 2020 | 34 comments New data makes a mockery of the Queensland Government’s border closures. While there have now been 7,150 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Australia, and the nation’s death toll stands at 103, the number of active cases has fallen to just 466, after falling by one-third over the past fortnight. This includes only 378 active cases in New South Wales and 61 in Victoria. Meanwhile, people arriving in Australia from overseas account for 62.2% of the nation’s virus infections: Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Tourism Minister Kate Jones have referred to the “hundreds” of community cases in NSW and Victoria as the key reason why the state’s borders remain closed. But the number of active COVID-19 cases continues to decrease, falling by one-third in the past two weeks… Queensland’s Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young has set the benchmark of two incubation periods, or 28 days, of no new community infections in NSW and Victoria before the borders are opened up. But federal Deputy Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly has conceded this would be near to impossible as the coronavirus is unlikely to be wiped out in Australia in the short term… Assuming this data is correct, it would mean that NSW has around five active cases per 100,000 population, whereas VIC only has around one active case per 100,000 population. Any objective cost-benefit analysis would conclude that the costs of keeping Queensland’s border shut outweighs the benefits, especially given Queensland’s tourism hotspots are experiencing mass unemployment: Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk risks electoral annihilation in October should her draconian border closures cause unnecessary mass unemployment. About Latest Posts Leith van OnselenLeith van Onselen is Chief Economist at the MB Fund and MB Super. Leith has previously worked at the Australian Treasury, Victorian Treasury and Goldman Sachs. 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Banana ManMEMBER May 30, 2020 at 4:23 am Yep, and even though he had serious and varied medical problems his death was listed as covid Jacob May 29, 2020 at 1:29 pm Maybe she is trying to stop foreign “students” from moving to QLD. Who is she stopping? Hopefully the sacked tourism workers are foreigners and Aussies are kept. Ronin8317MEMBER May 29, 2020 at 1:31 pm 10 new cases in Victoria yesterday, and 8 new cases today, and the Victorian Premier told people to continue working from home. Meanwhile, QLD has no new cases despite a testing blitz. Why should QLD open the border? For NSW it’s best to wait for the result from tests done at Waverley before making any decisions. nyleta May 29, 2020 at 2:04 pm At a minimum will be a system to share the Covid App data because as soon as you open the NSW border contact tracing is an order of magnitude harder. I certainly hope those jam packed QANTAS flights aren’t allowed to land in Qld. No doubt Mr Morrison, now that he is no longer scared for his life, will threaten to pull the purse strings if states don’t toe the line. His essential stupidity can’t be held back much longer. SwampyMEMBER May 29, 2020 at 7:52 pm This I think LVO is desperate for some sunshine but Xoxo The strange cat jollyrodger May 29, 2020 at 1:37 pm The border closure is very popular in QLD with about two thirds support. Remember the premiers in Australia tend to do what’s popular or what enriched themselves. While the border closure is popular, the premier probably won’t budge. ThePensum May 29, 2020 at 1:37 pm Petty self-important tyrants. Not to mention they have to copy everyone else in the world regardless of whether it makes sense or not. You could fit Germany France and Spain (population combined ~200 million) in the space of Queensland (population 5 million). Chase May 29, 2020 at 1:53 pm This is her Anna Bligh Flood Crying legacy moment. She will not let her moment go! [email protected] May 29, 2020 at 1:50 pm As a Qlder I’d be happy to wait two weeks from when NSW/VIC relaxed restrictions to see if they get a bad enough second wave (or any second wave at all) before we open up. Is the tourism sector going to be any worse off if we wait a couple of weeks or even a month? Chase May 29, 2020 at 1:54 pm And let’s do it every Flu season too! TaniaMEMBER May 29, 2020 at 2:23 pm You are right. Remember that the whole pandemic would have begun with just one person. Why can’t Queensland open up to other states and territories that have apparently eradicated the virus, though (everyone but New South Wales and Victoria)? The Northern Territory has never had any community transmission and has essentially opened up to everything except large public gatherings. They expect to do that as well on June 5. https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/roadmap-new-normal In any case, people’s lives and health are more important than the tourism industry. DominicMEMBER May 29, 2020 at 2:34 pm You’re missing the point – Melburnians want to book their Noosa breaks and they’re furious at not being able to do so! The bin chicken from NSW is pretty keen to get over the border too for a break in the relative warmth … Denis413MEMBER May 29, 2020 at 2:14 pm You’re missing the point – borders aren’t something that can be turned on and off like a tap. It would look worse if Qld reopens, cases rise, and they have to immediately shut. That’s when you’d lose confidence. While the USA continues to struggle with the virus, there is little risk Qlder’s won’t understand. The footy is back on in any case! graphicMEMBER May 29, 2020 at 2:14 pm This article is just a political attack on a Labor government to influence people living outside Queensland. Qld residents are happy the way things are. Olaf May 29, 2020 at 2:24 pm Of course they are. As long as the ice shipments continue to get to regional Queensland with the BludgeKeeper payments, Queenslanders will stay fat and happy. CharlieM May 29, 2020 at 2:56 pm The whole state are living off the federal and state govt teet right now, how long do you think that can last? When it opens I won’t spend my money there. graphicMEMBER May 29, 2020 at 4:39 pm The federal government is living off the resources revenue from Qld and WA. It’s our dirt; hands off, Scomo. L May 29, 2020 at 3:53 pm I agree. Morrison set his attack dogs on Dan Andrews, and Anna P is now the target. Hanson is also a joke – the border will probably be open before she can raise the funds for a court challenge. Chinese Burn May 29, 2020 at 2:29 pm Wow, these snarky southerners are really desperate to get back to their Gold and Sunny coast holiday houses. Not sure why they aren’t baying so loudly for SA, WA and NT to re-open. Let the southerners freeze. ThePensum May 29, 2020 at 2:34 pm WA should reopen too. McGowan is on a power trip, even more than Palaszczuk. CharlieM May 29, 2020 at 2:54 pm Didn’t realise what a bunch of pu$$ies you Qlders are. What’s the endgame for you, pin your hopes and dreams for a miracle cure vaccine that may take many years to be released? The state will go broke without tourists and I can tell you I will not take a holiday there even after the borders open and my friends feel the same way. You do realise Ballina, Coffs, Lakes are just a short drive up the coast and they are warm too? Enjoy going broke. Chase May 29, 2020 at 3:15 pm Lady Flo would have kept the orders ope ad welcomed everyone with pumpkin scones. Agree, this is insane and reckless. As a Queenslander, if 2/3s support this, it supports the argument that most Queenslanders are dumb (but so is the rest of the country). ThePensum May 29, 2020 at 3:22 pm Re 2/3s, I’d say it’s more likely the wider population has drunk the kool-aid from the politicians, bought into the fear, and agreed with the messages: “we know what’s best for you; we are looking after you; we are all in this together.” Yeah right. Chinese Burn May 29, 2020 at 3:58 pm Don’t be silly. Everyone’s going to go broke. Will be good to see the back of these souther [email protected] for awhile longer, though ! Noosa and Sunshine Beach are amazing again, like going back 35 years in time. BullyMEMBER May 29, 2020 at 5:51 pm If you and your mates wont be holidaying here regardless then arguing the borders be re-opened is a moot point isn’t it? Just keep em shut permanently and well have our little utopia up here. doctorX May 29, 2020 at 2:36 pm draconian border closures cause unnecessary mass unemployment. That’s the key point using the same metric almost all measures in Australia during covid19 epidemic were unnecessary and were causing unnecessary mass unemployment so all sitting governments should be annihilated on next elections AlexD May 29, 2020 at 3:51 pm I think it is pretty safe to say some powerful mining interests are quite happy to see the amount of non-essential interstate travel minimised. It’s good for their business. graphicMEMBER May 29, 2020 at 4:46 pm “Any objective cost-benefit analysis” What Leith fails to understand is that Queenslanders are not interested in a financial cost-benefit analysis. They are making a social cost-benefit analysis. The benefit of a gradual, safe return to normal far outweighs the cost of going back to worrying if it’s safe to push a shopping trolley round the supermarket. Morti Mulgrew May 29, 2020 at 5:56 pm As Jobseeker and Covid payments were designed to help people in Qld n the other states navigate this worrying time…why rush to reopen when immediate financial costs are covered for the most in need…Plus The beach is great with less peops 😎 SwampyMEMBER May 29, 2020 at 7:53 pm Some epic mud slinging here CarlosMEMBER May 29, 2020 at 8:57 pm Fun isn’t it. Great to be a qld’er locked behind the iron curtain, on the nice, warm, sunny side ! kiwikarynMEMBER May 29, 2020 at 7:55 pm They can reopen to New Zealand. We have one active case left in the entire country. ONE! And yet we are still under Level 2 restrictions. __ADAM__ May 29, 2020 at 9:27 pm Corona is just a cover. We’ve wanted to do this all along. You foreigners suck.