Pauline Hanson has told Queensland’s Labor government to reopen the state’s borders by Thursday, or face legal action in the High Court.
The One Nation senator made the threat on Wednesday after accusing Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk of “destroying people’s lives” and livelihoods, and branding the border closures unconstitutional.
The Queensland government is under pressure on several political fronts to reverse the closures put in place during the coronavirus crisis to stem the spread of the deadly infection.
The closures have been criticised by the tourism industry, which is bearing the brunt of job and financial losses, LNP MPs and the NSW Premier, who all believe they have gone on for too long.
The move comes after businessman and former politician Clive Palmer lodged documents in the High Court on Monday to challenge Western Australia’s border restrictions on constitutional grounds.
Senator Hanson’s party wrote to Ms Palaszczuk on Tuesday telling her she had until Thursday to respond, and asking to see the documented advice on the closures from the state’s chief medical officer.
“Because the Border Ban is invalid, we request that you undertake to revoke the Border Ban by 4pm on 28 May 2020,” the letter says.
Senator Hanson told Nine’s Today program on Wednesday that if the request was ignored, a challenge to the constitutionality of the closures would be filed in the High Court by the end of the week.
A Go Fund Me appeal has been set up “to support the plaintiffs with their legal costs”.
“I couldn’t let this rest. Annastacia Palaszczuk is actually destroying people’s lives, their livelihoods and businesses and they can’t go on,” Senator Hanson said.
The state government has previously dismissed the legal threat, saying it has to balance the timing of the reopening of the borders with medical advice.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the states that have closed their borders – Queensland, South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania – are sovereign states and could make those decisions.
“But they’ve got to be accountable for it, though. There is no medical advice that we received nationally,” he told the Ten Network’s Studio Ten program.
Of the states that are keeping their borders shut, only Queensland has a Labor government.