Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at a press conference on Thursday. Pic Annette Dew
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk at a press conference on Thursday. Pic Annette Dew

Calls for CQ to be shutdown from SEQ

WITH Queensland's border closed to non-essential travel, calls are being made for Central Queensland to shutdown to travellers from the southeast corner to prevent a rise in COVID-19 cases.

With the number of COVID-19 cases in Central Queensland still in single digits, a group of MPs and mayors is calling for tougher measures to stop people from entering the region.

Livingstone and Banana Shire councils, and Keppel MP Brittany Lauga, were spearheading calls for a CQ shutdown to prevent a rise in cases of the deadly virus.

As of yesterday afternoon Central Queensland had five confirmed cases, while Queensland-wide cases climbed to 443.

Member for Gladstone Glenn Butcher said he believed the state would eventually close roads to individual electorates.

"We're doing very well in Gladstone and in Central Queensland … so we must be doing something right," he said.

"I believe locking down the state's borders is a great start because we'll see a huge slowing down of people coming into Central Queensland."

He said closing Central Queensland to southeast travellers would be hard logistically.

"If you're trying to isolate individual towns it's a huge job … the circumstances are changing every day though, so tomorrow we could say we're going to be shutting off Gladstone to travellers."

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has said on multiple occasions that people should not travel out of their regions.

"People should stay in their own states and in their own suburbs," she said.

"People in the southeast should not travel to other parts of the state. Do not go on holidays. Do not travel unless absolutely necessary."

However, the contingent of Central Queensland representatives want to see restrictions like those rolled out on state borders.

Livingstone mayor Bill Ludwig said it was a commonsense approach to tackling the COVID-19 spread.

"For Central Queensland, when you look objectively at the situation, our greatest risk is not just people from NSW entering our region but also the very real risk of undiagnosed people coming to our region from the already infected areas of Queensland's southeast corner," he said.

Yesterday Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk warned specific communities in Queensland could face further lockdowns and restrictions if the situation escalated.

"What you will see from Queensland in the coming weeks and months is that you may see communities or areas that will have more lockdown conditions in their regions," the premier said.

"We are not at that stage yet I'm very comfortable where we are.

"A lot of contact tracing is happening, a lot of our numbers are from people who have come from overseas and we are definitely not at that stage yet."

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