Australia

‘I’m not going to cop this negativity’

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she will not “cop” any negativity about the Gold Coast film industry, which is creating local jobs, as the state recorded two new cases of COVID-19 overnight.

One case is a returned overseas traveller in hotel quarantine, while the other is a known contact from the Corrective Services cluster who is also in quarantine.

Ms Palaszczuk defended the local film industry ramping up, saying while other parts of the world were experiencing additional waves of coronavirus, Queensland was in a stronger health and economic position.

“We’re able to support the industry and get people back into work. There are a whole lot of jobs that rely on that industry,” she told reporters on Sunday.

She said that included food deliveries, carpenters, set designers, make-up artists and other jobs.

Ms Palaszczuk noted when Melbourne was having its second wave, Prime Minister Scott Morrison was on the Gold Coast “talking about how good the film industry is”.

“I’m not going to cop this negativity on one hand about the industry, which is supporting local Gold Coast jobs,” she said.

Ms Palaszczuk also confirmed Hollywood actor Tom Hanks was quarantining in a hotel, not a house, and said other people had been flown into NSW from Los Angeles but no one was talking about that.

Queensland has 19 active cases, and the total number of infections stands at 1152.

So far, six people have died from the virus in Queensland, the last being an 83-year-old male cruise ship passenger on April 18.

On Friday, the Queensland government announced it would accept travellers from Canberra from September 25 while the state will increase its weekly intake of returning Australians by 500 in October under a deal struck at a National Cabinet meeting.

Ms Palaszczuk floated the possibility of returning Australians serving their mandatory quarantine in regional centres.

“The Prime Minister has agreed to extra Australian Defence Force personnel to help and I thank him for that - this is the way we should be working in co-operation,” she said on Friday.

“We’re looking at some hotels in Cairns, we know the Cairns economy has been doing it quite tough and of course we’ll look at our Brisbane-based hotels as well,” she said.

Authorities have also discussed using Gladstone as a quarantine hub.

On Sunday, Ms Palaszczuk said there was no risk from the ACT.

“This is about keeping the health of Queenslanders safe. That’s my priority, that’s the government’s priority, that’s the chief health officer’s priority,” she said.

“If we are safe, this means that our economy can continue to function.

“We can now focus on our economic response because we have focused on the health response.”

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