Alan Joyce has warned newly re-elected Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk that “sometimes the popular decision isn’t the right one” in his continued campaign for the state’s border to reopen.
While the Sunshine State will reopen to NSW from tomorrow, Ms Palaszczuk told reporters on Friday that greater Sydney and Victoria won’t get a look in until at least the end of November.
Speaking to 2GB today, the Qantas CEO described Ms Palaszczuk’s hard border stance as “extremely frustrating”, adding it was causing social and economic damage.
“What gets me is this is obviously popular. She’s won the election and congratulations to the Premier,” Mr Joyce said.
“But sometimes the popular decision is not the right decision and there’s a lot of factors going into this that clearly are not going into it.
“We have a very different position across the country.”
Mr Joyce said a petition launched by Qantas to “safely open borders” has now been signed by 65,000 people, who have shared “heartbreaking stories of people disconnected”.
An exasperated Mr Joyce slammed Queensland’s decision to stay closed to Sydney last Friday, after Ms Palaszczuk made the announcement.
“Frankly, this is ridiculous,” he said in a statement.
“Sydney is the biggest city in Australia and it probably has one of the best track records globally of managing a virus that is clearly going to be with us for a very long time.
“Keeping the doors bolted to places that you can’t reasonably call hot spots makes no sense from a health perspective and it’s doing a lot of social and economic damage as well.”
Mr Joyce warned Queensland’s tough stance on borders may simply drive Sydney holiday-makers to other places in Australia.
“Compare this to the far more rational approach of Tasmania, Northern Territory and South Australia,” he said.
“Queensland may find that by the time it does open up to Sydney, people have made other plans.”