Dutton slams Premier’s ‘lack of logic’, backs Hanson
PETER Dutton has backed a legal challenge over Queensland's border closures, saying the Premier's 'lack of logic' is killing the economy.
The home affairs minister has repeatedly attacked Annastacia Palaszczuk for refusing to ease coronavirus restrictions and allow visitors from interstate.
"I just don't understand where she's coming from," he said on the Today Show.
"So tourism operators in Cairns, for example, are planning to open from July 10 and then out of nowhere comes this September date and I think it caught the Chief Medical Officer in Queensland by surprise as well.
"I think she's painted herself into a corner with no logic to the position.
"Just come out and explain where the September date comes from and we can have a reasonable discussion."
He said it was in Queensland's best interests to reopen "given we are a mining state, we are tourism state and we want to get people back to work".
Mr Dutton backed the right of One Nation Leader Pauline Hanson to launch a constitutional challenge to the closures but did not offer a legal opinion on her chance of success.
Ms Hanson this morning told the Today Show that three legal firms had approached her to be part of the High Court challenge.
She said she had also been approached by 45 people who wanted to be plaintiffs in the action.
"The states cannot close the borders to trade or commerce or the freedom of peoples movement across the borders, (Palaszczuk's) done exactly that," Ms Hanson said.
"The argument here is she's got to justify that closing, so the less acute that public health situation is in that state, then it becomes harder to justify the closure of the borders … it's unconstitutional closing the borders".
Meanwhile, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian doubled down on her calls for the border to reopen saying it was 'ridiculous' and she didn't appreciate Ms Palaszczuk's barb that she would 'not be lectured' by the state with the highest cases.
"We should be able to have a conversation," she said on Triple M today.
"I just think it's a bit ridiculous not having people travel a few kilometres over the border to see a loved one or do some shopping or in the future be able to move around and support the tourism industry.
"I'm just saying to my colleagues in other states, please consider this, because it is good for Australia not just for NSW.
"If we are really serious about keeping businesses going - because that's my biggest worry at the moment … I don't want to see more people lose jobs."
Finance Minister Mathias Cormann told Sky News premiers should not "make political decisions" on border closures and ensure they were "genuinely based on the health and well being of people".
"Of course we want to see those state border closures removed as soon as possible in particular given the advice from our Chief Medical Officer and our deputy chief medical officer that there is no medical case for these state border closures to be maintained," he said. "They do come at a cost, they come at an economic case, at a jobs cost and if there is no health justification for them then of course they should be lifted."
Originally published as Dutton slams Premier's 'lack of logic', backs Hanson