Premier made border call after seeing poll data
THE Palaszczuk Government received polling advice showing a significant rise in Queenslanders' support for open borders a day before Friday's decision to open to more of NSW.
Leaked polling by Newgate Research, dated and received by the government on Thursday, reveals how the views of Queenslanders have been tracked through the pandemic.
"Support for state borders opening with a month has increased significantly this week among those from QLD (51% up from 42% last week) and South Australia (51% up from 38% last week)," it reads.
A tracking graphic reveals how Queensland's support for open borders has gone from a low of 15 per cent in "wave 15" of polling, to 51 per cent this past week, referred to as "wave 34".
Measuring people's preference for borders to be opened by Christmas, the polling records a significant increase in support from Queenslanders, having risen from 55 per cent last week to 65 per cent this week.
But it shows support for the international borders opening for people arriving from overseas remained low, at just 22 per cent.
The research was provided by Newgate, led by partner John Lee, who was hired by the government to provide services to the COVID-19 response and recovery taskforce and paid $190,476.
Asked why the government was tracking public sentiment around border closures if it was solely relying on health advice to determine border restrictions, Ms Palaszczuk did not respond to the question.
Instead she said she had made today's decision to open to NSW but remain closed to 32 local government areas in Greater Sydney and all of Victoria based solely on Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young's advice.
"The Chief Health Officer came in and she presented me with what she wanted to do in relation to the borders," she told the Queensland Press Club.
"I said to her, 'Is this your expert medical advice? Is this what you want to do?'
"She said yes and I said I accept your advice."
"… Now that's the health advice based on community transmission.
"I have to accept the Chief Health Officer's advice when I make these decisions.
"They are in the best interests of the people of this state and I've had to stand strong on this issue over many, many months and many, many weeks when other people kept calling for the borders to be open.
"And if that had happened back in July, I still firmly believe the consequences for Queensland families would have been diabolical."
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington accused Ms Palaszczuk of using taxpayer money for political ends.
"The Premier didn't even attempt to answer your question," she said.
Originally published as Leaked: Premier made border call after seeing poll data