Former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie has taken a swipe at his own party
Former Queensland Premier Peter Beattie has taken a swipe at his own party's coronavirus policy, warning the state will 'go broke' if border shutdowns continue.
The brutal criticism comes just days before Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk' is set to go the polls at this Saturday's state election.
Ms Palaszczuk has been under increasing pressure for keeping the Sunshine State's borders locked down to most New South Wales residents, despite a small number of COVID-19 cases.
Mr Beattie said it 'pained' him to say as a lifelong Labor member who served as Premier from 1998 to 2007, but he's urging the party to rethink their approach.
'This can't be on a state-by-state basis, we are a country after all and frankly you're just killing the economy, killing jobs and the economic devastation will be with us for years,' he told the The Daily Telegraph.
'Elections come and go and governments come and go but the pain of this will remain unless we get it right.'
Under the strict border policy, Interstate travellers from a COVID-19 hotspot are not permitted to enter Queensland and will be turned around at the border.
Returning Queensland residents are required to undergo hotel quarantine for 14 days.
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Ms Palaszczuk (pictured) has been under increasing pressure for keeping the Sunshine State's borders locked down to New South Wales residents, despite a small number of coronavirus cases
Vehicles wait at the border to enter Queensland on October 1, 2020 in Coolangatta
Queensland declared Victoria a hotspot on July 3 and New South Wales a hotspot on August 8, however some areas of northern New South Wales are free to travel back and forth without quarantining.
Mr Beattie said the cautious policy which was widely supported by Queenslanders was appropriate in the early stages, but has now 'gone 'too far'.
He says the Palaszczuk government should open its borders to the rest of the country and ramp up contact tracing efforts to stamp out local outbreaks quickly, as New South Wales have done.
'Whoever wins the Queensland election, whether it's Annastacia or Deb Frecklington, whoever wins, they're going to be faced with an economic tsunami, not a good one,' Mr Beattie told ABC 24.
'So they've got to work out how to go, so here what I'm saying is, okay what was done in the past, let's give everyone a big tick for that.
'Let's move forward and the way to move forward is to open up the borders, we have to do this as a country, not have state borders.'
Although Ms Palaszczuk has a firm lead according to pre-election polling, a few headline-grabbing incidents have hindered her popularity in recent months.
Mr Beattie said the cautious policy which was widely supported by Queenslanders was appropriate in the early stages, but has now 'gone 'too far' (police are pictured at a border checkpoint in Coolangatta on October 1, 2020)
Mr Beattie said whoever wins the Queensland election, will be faced with an 'economic tsunami' (A police officer is pictured speaking to a driver at a border checkpoint in Coolangatta)
A number of ordinary Queensland residents were refused quarantine exemptions on compassionate grounds, while the rich and famous had theirs rubber stamped.
One example is Gary Ralph, a 71-year-old man who underwent 'life-extending' brain cancer surgery in Sydney before trying to return to his home state of Queensland.
He applied to spend hotel quarantine at his home in Logan to recover from the serious surgery, but was refused, causing untold distress for him and his wife.
It was only when Prime Minister Scott Morrison pressured the state government that the decision reversed by the health officer.
In September, Sarah Caisip was denied an exemption to attend her father's funeral, and NSW grandmother Elena Turner's appeal to go to her son's memorial service was also rejected.
This followed another high-profile case in August when a Sunshine Coast woman was made to undergo hotel quarantine after having surgery to remove two brain tumors in Sydney.
Meanwhile, incoming Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka whose husband is receiving cancer treatment, was picked up in a limousine from the Brisbane Airport instead of being bused to a quarantine hotel.
Sacked Brisbane Broncos coach Anthony Seibold was granted approval to isolate at his home on the grounds of 'personal reasons'.
Singer Dannii Minogue was also allowed to avoid hotel quarantine, citing 'crippling claustrophobia'.
Some 400 AFL players and staff have been granted permission to skip hotel quarantine in the build up to the Grand Final.
The exemption was granted on the grounds the sport will generate millions of dollars for the state.
Hollywood movie star Tom Hanks, Australian director Baz Luhrmann and the entire production crew on an upcoming Elvis biopic which is currently being shot in Queensland, were told the same thing.
The Queensland government will review their border policy on November 1, one day after the election.
incoming Virgin Australia CEO Jayne Hrdlicka (pictured with Qantas CEO Alan Joyce in 2013) was picked up in a limousine from the Brisbane Airport instead of being bused to a quarantine hotel
HOW YOUNG NURSE WAS BANNED FROM DAD'S FUNERAL OVER QUEENSLAND BORDER CLOSURE
Sarah Caisip (above) was allowed to see her father's body, alone, while dressed in full personal protective equipment
Queensland Health officials sparked a furore last week when Canberra nurse Sarah Caisip was told she couldn't attend her father's funeral in Brisbane.
Ms Caisip went public from hotel quarantine and her plight moved Prime Minister Scott Morrison to implore Ms Palaszczuk to make an exception.
Ms Palaszczuk told state Parliament she 'would not be bullied' by Mr Morrison.
She said the authority for the decision rested with the chief health officer, Dr Jeannette Young.
As controversy raged, Ms Caisip was granted something of a reprieve and allowed to see her father's body, alone, following the funeral.
But she was required to dress in full personal protective equipment - including a face shield - and was unable to hug her nearby family members.
The incident became symbolic of the political row over border closures.