More than a dozen show workers who had been in Victoria were ordered out of Queensland after arriving in the state’s north with the wrong border pass.
Health Minister Steven Miles said they were 14 workers who arrived in Mackay to operate amusement rides for the Showfest event but a police inspection deemed their border passes were ineligible.
He said they had incorrectly arrived with freight permits and had since been tested for coronavirus with negative results then asked to leave the state.
“In an emerging matter, police have identified a crew of service support staff who travelled from Victoria in order to assist with a show,” Mr Miles said.
“They had travelled through with trucks carrying large rides. They had applied for freight permits but that was not an appropriate permit for that type of travel.
“They quarantined while they were tested and now they have been asked to return outside of Queensland.”
He said police will investigate the crew and determine if any fines are appropriate while the show will proceed but the rides will not be operated by the crew who came from Victoria.
The ‘deportation’ of the workers comes as Queensland recorded its 28th day straight without any community transmission of coronavirus while fully reopening to NSW has been placed in jeopardy because of an emerging cluster in Sydney.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she was on “high alert”, but wasn’t ruling anything reopening entirely to NSW.
“Decisions (on the border) are made at the end of the month,” she told reporters in Townsville.
“If the NSW Premier is on high alert, I’m on high alert. We hope NSW can get on top of their cases very quickly.”
Mr Miles gave NSW contact tracers 48 hours to find the source of the latest outbreak in NSW otherwise the rule of no community transmission of 28 days in NSW before the borders full reopen would reset.
However, should SA or WA register an unknown community transmission case their borders would remain open as it related reopening borders, not closing them, he told journalists on the Gold Coast.
NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian called the 28-day rule unrealistic.
Even Prime Minister Scott Morrison weighed into the bunfight between the premiers, asking if Ms Palaszczuk was serious about creating jobs for Queenslanders.
“Is she for jobs or not?” Mr Morrison said on 2GB in Sydney on Thursday morning, questioning the Queensland Premier’s main pledge ahead of the October 31 state election.
“The other day she was saying she was all for jobs but being all for jobs means you’ve got to balance the risks that you face like New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian is.“