Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has been slammed for allowing hundreds of AFL officials into the state for a grand final announcement - while desperate families who need urgent healthcare are blocked at the border.
The Gabba in Brisbane was awarded AFL's showpiece event over Perth's Optus Stadium and the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday, in a coup for the state Labor government.
AFL CEO Gil McLachlan confirmed the 2020 Grand Final will be held at the Gabba on October 24, saying the state's presentation was 'world class'. Ms Palaszczuk crowed: 'This is a win for Queensland'.
But the huge influx of AFL officials gave rise to claims of double standards, given the pain the state's draconian border restrictions are inflicting upon average people.
Campbell Newman, the state's former premier, tweeted: 'So if you are AFL royalty you can get into Queensland, with your family, but if you live in northern NSW with your seriously ill child you can't!
'Nothing demonstrates more starkly the politically cynical and elitist reality of Annastacia (Palaszczuk) and Dr Young's restrictions.'
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AFL CEO Gil McLachlan, above, with wife Laura. Mr McLachlan flew into Queensland to announce the Sunshine State will host the AFL Grand Final this October
At the same AFL bigwigs flew in, Kimberley Brown (pictured), from Ballina, in northern New South Wales, was unable to obtain a travel exemption for urgent surgery in Queensland - and lost a twin when NSW Health authorities told her to fly to Sydney
The Gabba in Brisbane (pictured) was awarded AFL's showpiece event over Perth's Optus Stadium and the Adelaide Oval in a coup for the state government
The criticism comes after a couple in Ballina, in northern NSW, expecting twins were told it would take too long to get an exemption to enter Queensland for emergency surgery - with one of the babies dying before birth.
Kimberley Brown was unable to obtain a travel exemption for urgent surgery in Queensland so instead was forced to fly to Sydney with a 16 hour wait.
Her unborn twins had developed twin transfusion syndrome - a disorder that leads to malnourishment and organ failure in one of the babies.
Ms Brown lived just two hours from Queensland's Mater Hospital but instead had to wait 16 hours for an emergency flight and travel 750km to Sydney's Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.
An ultrasound later showed Ms Brown had lost one of the babies.
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Deputy NSW Premier John Barilaro said it's hypocritical for Queensland to close borders over concerns about COVID-19 in NSW, and yet let in hundreds of AFL officials, players and their families from the virus hotspot of Victoria.
Just two new cases were recorded in Queensland in the 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday, with the number of active cases in an existing cluster remaining at 28.
NSW reported 17 new cases on Wednesday and Victoria, in Stage Four lockdown, 90.
Mr Barilaro told the Today Show on Wednseday: '400 AFL officials from coronavirus central will go across the border into Queensland yet a young family can't get emergency healthcare across the border.
'I think Annastacia Palaszczuk continues to show politics trumps good policy and I think she is undoing all her good work.'
Mr Barilaro said the border closure is hurting NSW residents who need healthcare in Queensland.
Former Queensland premier Campbell Newman tweeted: 'So if you are AFL royalty you can get into Queensland, with your family, but if you live in northern NSW with your seriously ill child you can't'
Passengers are seen after arriving on a charter-flight containing partners, wives and family members of AFL players at the Gold Coast Airport in July
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) has come under pressure to end her state's draconian border restrictions
Just two new cases were recorded in Queensland in the 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday with the number of active cases in an existing cluster remaining at 2
'How can you justify officials from Melbourne for an AFL Grand Final announcement out of the one area that we know that coronavirus has community spread like we have never seen before,' Mr Barilaro said.
'Yet that young couple we spoke about last week, other examples of that happen each and every day.'
Victoria: Completely open, but other states are banning residents from going there
NSW: Border with Victoria is closed but others are open without restriction
Queensland: Open to everywhere but Victoria, NSW, and the ACT
Northern Territory: Open to everywhere but Victoria and Sydney, which must do hotel quarantine
South Australia: Closed to Victoria, NSW arrivals must self-isolate, rest are open
Tasmania: Closed to Victoria, everywhere else must do hotel quarantine
Western Australia: Closed to everywhere without an exemption
'So I don't get it. I don't understand why the premier of Queensland can't see it. Show some heart.'
'Show some ability to understand the impact this is having and understand that that Queensland border is a seamless border.'
Mr Barilaro said it was becoming a 'bit of a joke' for the communities living on the border.
'This is not about