Time running out on border decision

THE heat is on for Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk with less than a week left before she makes her final decision on whether to reopen the state's borders next month.

Queensland now has only two active cases of COVID-19, compared to 88 in NSW and 131 in Victoria - and the latter growing figure is cause for serious concern in Cairns.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO Mark Olsen has urged Ms Palaszczuk to stick to her plan to reopen interstate travel on July 10 but establish strict barriers to known outbreak hot spots.

Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO Mark Olsen. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS
Tourism Tropical North Queensland CEO Mark Olsen. Picture: PETER CARRUTHERS

"When we came into COVID-19, one of the key discussions was about locking down hot spots," he said.

"I think that approach could be considered for Queensland - to treat the hot spots rather than treating all of Victoria.

"It would make a big difference to us."

Western Australia has only four active cases, and no other states or territories have any.

Melbourne visitors make up 15 per cent of winter domestic tourists in Cairns.

The temperate Far North weather is a natural magnet to frostbitten southerners, as Queensland's Brisbane-based tourism minister can attest.

Kate Jones told the Cairns Post she was forced to tell her children a porky yesterday before her visit.

Tourism Minister Kate Jones.
Tourism Minister Kate Jones.

"I don't like to admit that I told a fib but I wasn't exactly honest about where I was going this morning," she said.

"If my kids found out I was going to Cairns without them, they would have been pretty upset."

Port Douglas was the family's last holiday destination before COVID-19 hit and it was a journey the children hoped to re-enact soon.

Mr Olsen was certain southerners from across the border were just as eager to keep up with the Joneses.

"The most important thing is to make sure we don't have a COVID outbreak here in Cairns," he said.

"But there are a lot of people in inner-city Melbourne who are not, at this stage, at risk of COVID-19.

"I'm still really confident the Queensland Government will stick to the time frame."

Ms Palaszczuk's decision will be made on Tuesday after a National Cabinet meeting.

"There is significant concern about community transmission. People do not want a second wave here in Queensland," the Premier said.

Originally published as Cairns tourism: Time running out on border decision