Qld virus response won over AFL: premier

Annastacia Palaszczuk has rejected a question about 'packing the Gabba' during the pandemic.
Annastacia Palaszczuk has rejected a question about 'packing the Gabba' during the pandemic.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says being awarded hosting rights for the AFL grand final is a win for her state's response to the pandemic.

The Gabba in Brisbane has edged Perth's Optus Stadium and the Adelaide Oval to be named as the venue for the AFL's showpiece event on October 24.

The premier says the hosting rights are a further endorsement of her strong response to COVID-19, including keeping the borders shut, amid sustained criticism from her political rivals.

"This is a historic day - it's a historic day for the AFL, it's a historic day for Queensland," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"I do want to pay a special shoutout to all Queenslanders, who have done a great job especially as we've battled COVID as well.

"If it wasn't for that strong health response and the fact that every Queenslander has been part of that this would not have happened, so this is a win for Queensland as well."

A crowd of 30,000 is expected to attend the grand final, with the premier saying she had no concerns about spreading the virus as the AFL has a long-standing COVID safe plan in place.

The premier earlier rejected suggestions that she wanted to "pack the Gabba" while there was a "significant spread" of the virus in southeast Queensland.

"But there isn't (a significant spread), there isn't. It's contained," Ms Palaszczuk said.

NSW Deputy Premier John Barilaro said it was hypocritical for Queensland to close borders over concerns about COVID-19 in NSW, but let in hundreds of AFL officials from the declared virus hotspot of Victoria.

He claims the border closure is hurting NSW residents who need healthcare in Queensland.

"This is not about just Queensland versus NSW. It is not State of Origin, it is about people," he said.

Ms Palaszczuk says NSW residents needing medical exemptions for specialist treatment in Queensland will have a streamlined application process by the end of this week. Under the current rules all interstate emergency patients are allowed to enter the state.

The Queensland government will review the border closure at the end of this month.

Just two new COVID-19 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.

The current outbreak in the state's southeast is centred on the Corrective Services Academy at Wacol, southwest of Brisbane.

One was a student at the Staines Memorial College at Redbank Plains, which has been closed since Sunday so all 600 students can be tested.

The other case was a nurse who was a close contact of a known case.

More than 18,000 tests have been conducted in 24 hours to 9am on Wednesday, more than double the 7480 in the previous 24 hours.

Australian Associated Press