Queensland’s premier has denied there will be any special quarantine treatment for American superstar Tom Hanks as she again copped criticism from her NSW counterpart for keeping state borders shut.
Annastacia Palaszczuk took on opposition MPs in parliament on Wednesday as she was grilled about the consistency and compassion of border rules designed to contain COVID-19 in southern states.
Liberal National Party MP Laura Gerber asked if US actor Hanks was in mandatory quarantine after flying into Gold Coast on Tuesday night.
The premier confirmed Hanks was subject to health measures agreed under the film industry’s COVID-safe plan.
“Under that plan they have to stay in the place for two weeks just like everybody else and they will have random checks, as my understanding, by the police,” she told parliament.
Opposition Leader Deb Freckington claims Mr Hanks and other members of the film production company have been allowed to pick their own accommodation and are not in one of the government-mandated quarantine hotels.
Hanks and wife Rita Wilson tested positive for coronavirus in March and underwent 14 days of self-isolation on the Gold Coast during the filming of Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley biopic.
Ms Palaszczuk was also criticised by NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian, who claimed with Victoria currently “out of action” under stage four restrictions there was extra pressure on her state to “subsidise” others.
“I’m still not understanding why states aren’t allowing NSW residents to interact with them, given the number of cases,” she said.
The Sunshine State currently has 29 active cases while NSW has 88.
Ms Palaszczuk defended Queensland’s hard border lockdown, saying she was taking the medical advice of the state’s chief health officer, Doctor Jeanette Young.
“When it comes to individual cases, they need to refer the individuals to the exemptions unit. I don’t make these decisions, they are made by clinicians,” she said in parliament.
But she also condemned attacks on Dr Young, singling out a cartoon which depicted the health chief as a dominatrix.
“It is despicable and the cartoons that have been circulated by the LNP is a disgrace. It is a complete and utter disgrace,” she told parliament on Wednesday.
Queensland recorded eight new infections linked to clusters in the state’s southwest on Wednesday, three connected to an outbreak at Ipswich Hospital.
A Year 11 student at St Edmund’s College in Ipswich, west of Brisbane, and one of his parents are among the new cases.
They along with a third person all have infections linked to Ipswich Hospital, where an outbreak has sent more than 200 medical and admin staff into quarantine.
The five other cases were among one family and traced to Queensland’s Corrective Services training facility in Waco.
There are now 93 cases linked to an outbreak triggered when a pair of women flouted strict border measures on return from a trip to Melbourne in June.