NSW Health Minister blasts Queensland premier; Crews fight Sydney warehouse fire; Health alert over White House event where virus spread; Concerns over new virus clusters in Sydney and Victoria; Albanese delivers budget reply; Trump refuses virtual debate

NSW Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the state’s contact tracing teams were still working to lock down the source of the latest infections.

But he lashed out at Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk again, slamming her 48-hour deadline which now has just hours to go.

“This is a silly, it’s a cruel position that the premier in Queensland is adopting,” Mr Hazzard told Today.

“It’s not evidenced based. 

“It’s just simply, I think, off the back of her election.

“She wants to look tough for Queensland residents, but I’ll just remind Queenslanders that their families are split because the decision the premier is making.

“If she keeps this up and we don’t have a vaccine, we don’t have a treatment this could go on for years.

“This is a silly game she is playing. She’s playing with people’s lives.

“Every day I have had to deal with families who ring my office, ring me, speak to me about the difficulty of getting a capacity to have their families come together in Queensland. “

He acknowledged Queensland had to “be cautious” but said any decisions should be free of politics.

“This whole zero approach is not realistic in a pandemic. We’re doing better than any other country in the world. NSW is driving the economy for the country at the moment by opening up the economy. 

“What I’m saying to Premier Palaszczuk is, please, please, please, think about this. Try and take away the imperative of the election and just look at what we need in the long-term and make it work for all of us.”

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