Queensland Human Rights Commission flooded with inquiries due to Covid border confusion

Photograph: Jono Searle/AAP

Commissioner says lack of detail has ‘created a vacuum where misinformation is able to be spread’

  • Get our free news app; get our morning email briefing

The Queensland human rights commissioner, Scott McDougall, says the commission has received a spike in inquiries due to confusion about the state’s Covid border rules.

McDougall said that in the past few weeks, since the Queensland government announced its plans to reopen the state border, more than a third of inquiries had been about Covid issues as a lack of detail had “created a vacuum where misinformation is able to be spread”.

“We’re very much aware of the confusion and the lack of clarity for people trying to make sense of our border reopening plans,” McDougall told Guardian Australia.

“Since they were announced a couple of weeks ago Covid issues have been the subject of over a third of all our inquiries – at times nudging 40% – and almost all those are in relation to the restrictions after borders reopen.

Related: Queensland maintains travellers to state must get $150 Covid test

“Last financial year Covid issues accounted for about 16% of our inquiries, so it’s a big shift.”

The state government’s border plan “to unite families” is not a public health direction. Queensland Health said last week it was “a guide”. The situation has created uncertainty for people making plans to enter Queensland and for businesses attempting to navigate rules that ban unvaccinated people from various premises.

“Without a published health direction to accompany the government’s announcement, responding to the obvious demand for information has been really challenging for us,” McDougall said.

“Because we don’t have the detail about how the requirements will be applied, whether there will be exceptions and how people might seek them out, and what obligations will fall on business.

“I do really sympathise with business owners trying to navigate this in preparation for the borders reopening. It’s incredibly challenging for them to know what their responsibilities are to their staff and to their customers and for them to make the necessary preparations – or even know if they need to – without the detail being available.”

“The lack of detail about how the restrictions might apply doesn’t just confuse people, it also creates a vacuum where misinformation is able to be spread – not always by people with good motives – and has a greater chance of taking hold, which I believe is what we are seeing in parts of Queensland and interstate”

The Queensland human rights commission has been calling for the government to publish reasons for health directions, including evidence to support them.

“It would greatly increase trust in government if this were available,” McDougall said.

“Embedding these sorts of things in primary legislation would also help. That is what the Victorian government is attempting to do at the moment, and obviously there is a strong backlash to that from some parts of the community, but what that would do would actually be to increase transparency and accountability, and create an obligation for much more rigorous human rights scrutiny than currently exists.

Related: Australia’s border to remain open to South Africa despite emergence of new Covid variant

“A more robust human rights analysis of some of these measures would also go a long way to finding more appropriate and responsive ways of applying restrictions.

“When it comes to things like this they need to be balanced and proportionate, but they also can’t be applied as a blanket rule, one size fits all.”

On Friday, the Queensland health minister, Yvette D’ath, admitted there had been some confusion about whether people attempting to enter Queensland would need to pay $150 for a suitable test after the state reached 80% double-vaccination.

D’ath said the borders were going to be open “very very soon” and that fully vaccinated people who had returned a negative PCR Covid test would be allowed to enter.

“We can’t just open [up the] floodgates to say everyone can come in,” she said.

“At the 80% mark, 20% of our population is unvaccinated, and that doesn’t include our children.”

News Related

OTHER NEWS

Federal court blocks Alabama's new congressional map

A federal court blocked Alabama’s newly drawn congressional map on Monday, ruling that it likely violates Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act because it only includes one district where ... Read more »

Wall Street experts zero in on just how the Fed might drain liquidity

Wall Street analysts have been busy war-gaming just how quickly the Federal Reserve might start shrinking its balance sheet. Now attention is also turning to exactly which parts of the ... Read more »

Goldman, Citigroup strategists say it's now time to buy equity rout

After a sell-off that put global stocks on course for their worst month since the start of the pandemic, strategists from Goldman Sachs Group to Citigroup say it’s now time ... Read more »

Nearly 30% Of People Are Most Excited For This Comedy Movie In 2022

Universal Pictures/YouTube The decade of the 2020s has been rough so far, to say the least, and the entertainment world hasn’t snuck by unscathed. As a result of the COVID-19 ... Read more »

Extra Push: Capex outlay in FY23 pegged at Rs 10.5 lakh crore

© Provided by The Financial Express The Centre via Budget may invest 18% more in FY23 than in FY22 at around Rs 6.53 lakh crore to retain its budgetary capex ... Read more »

'Inflation no reason for ECB to change track'

The European Central Bank has no need to fundamentally change its assessment of the inflation outlook or accelerate policy tightening, according to Governing Council member Gediminas Simkus. Euro-area monetary policy ... Read more »

Billionaire investor Bill Ackman reveals a $1.1 billion Netflix stake — and says his hedge fund bought about 3.1 million shares since Friday

© Reuters/ Allen Fredrickson Bill Ackman. Reuters/ Allen Fredrickson Bill Ackman’s Pershing Square invested in Netflix, buying about 3.1 million shares since Friday. The billionaire’s hedge fund now commands a ... Read more »

Strengthen regulation of GM food; ‘Ban GM food'-demand unreasonable

© Provided by The Financial Express The provision in the draft regulation that holds that FSSAI approval of a specific GM-origin food/ingredient holding unique identification from the Biosafety Clearing House ... Read more »

Farm Factor: Fasal Bima cover sees a big drop

By Sandip Das The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY), the crop insurance scheme jointly sponsored by the Centre and states, is facing the twin problems of many state governments ... Read more »

Adele sparks fears her Las Vegas residency will never happen after stage set is removed and major artist fills her slot

ADELE fans are growing increasingly worried the singer will never perform her Las Vegas residency after tearfully cancelling her first gig with just hours to spare. The Brit superstar's Weekends ... Read more »

US Fed is far behind the curve on controlling inflation

© Provided by The Financial Express Only twice before in modern history, in early 1975 and again in mid-1980, did the Fed allow the real funds rate to plunge to ... Read more »

Paris Hilton is radiant in a hot pink dress as she steps out in NYC... after sister Nicky announces she is expecting her THIRD child

Paris Hilton cut a radiant figure in an elegant dress when she was spotted stepping out in New York City this Wednesday. In her typical show-stopping style, the 40-year-old heiress ... Read more »

Rhian Sugden cuts an elegant figure in an emerald velvet dress as she enjoys a night out with The Apprentice star Amy Anzel in Manchester

She’s no stranger to flaunting her figure in an array of sizzling lingerie on social media.  But Rhian Sugden covered her famous curves on Wednesday as she enjoyed a night ... Read more »

The Emotional On-Set Moment That Bonded The Spider-Man: No Way Home Cast

Marvel Entertainment/YouTube Many fans still don’t seem to be over “Spider-Man: No Way Home” following its release. It is, after all, the only film so far to feature all three actors who have ... Read more »

Hollywood star Russell Crowe admits he was EMBARRASSED watching the All Blacks attempt to do the Haka as a child because it was a 'bunch of white blokes' doing it wrong

Hollywood star recalls 'uncomfortable white blokes' doing the Haka as a childRussell Crowe's comments were played over vision of 1973 All Blacks teamHe was interviewed as part of Araatika! Rise Up documentary by NITVThe doco charts ex-NRL star Dean Widders' efforts to start an Indigenous dance  Read more »

Shoppers race to buy 'game-changing' $3 storage containers after mum shows off her perfectly organised and 'satisfying' fridge

Mum shares the Kmart buy she uses to keep her fridge clutter-free & organisedShe uses a variety of Narrow Clear Drawers from Kmart that range from $3 to $13The woman uses them to stores fruit, vegetables, cheese, dips, drinks and more'Loving these clear containers from Kmart, my fridge looks amazing,' she said  Read more »

EXCLUSIVE 'Some of the items are very distinctive': Joey Essex is robbed of designer bags worth more than £10,000 after his £3 million Essex home was ransacked by thieves

The former TOWIE star, 31, was left 'horrified and shaken,' after discovering his £3 million Essex home had been ransacked by thievesAmong other items, thieves have stolen Joey's black Fendi rucksack worth about £4,500, and a mustard Louis Vuitton weekend bag worth £2,500Joey contacted police and it is understood they are investigating the break-in Read more »

Non-Australians are horrified to learn the history of Australia Day after Chris Hemsworth revealed why he refuses to celebrate the date his country was 'invaded' by the British

The Australia Day debate opened to an international audience on Wednesday when Hollywood superstar Chris Hemsworth shared his reasons for not celebrating his country’s national holiday. The 38-year-old actor, best ... Read more »

Is Katie Price's OnlyFans REALLY worth it? Star's £11-per-month account is flooded with conservative lingerie snaps no racier than her free Instagram posts - after insisting her content won't 'be all s****y'

The former glamour model unveiled her OnlyFans at a press conference on Wednesday, insisting her content won't be 'all s****y' and she wants to 'own her body;Images shared to her grid show the star clad in tame lingerie and loungewear, eerily similar to snaps already free to view on her InstagramKatie is charging users £11 ($14.99) a month to subscribe to her OnlyFans, a middling figure when compared to other British stars on the platform  Read more »

Parti lain ‘intai' P Pinang kerana DAP hilang sokongan, kata penganalisis

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today UEC yang tidak diiktiraf dan rasa kurang senang terhadap Dr Mahathir Mohamad adalah dua sebab mengapa pengundi Cina di Pulau Pinang mungkin menolak DAP, ... Read more »

Australia news live update: nation records at least 59 Covid deaths; national cabinet to discuss if ‘fully vaccinated' means three doses

LIVE – Updated at 01:18 Follow all the day’s news live.   01:18 Today we have recorded 11,600 new COVID-19 cases. Sadly, we have reported 15 deaths in the past ... Read more »

Waxwork model of the Queen is left BALD under her hat

It doesn’t show the Queen at her elegant best – to put it baldly. German wax museum Panoptikum yesterday revealed that – because of the cost of hair – its ... Read more »

Christian Pulisic the latest player to admit to Chelsea troubles

Christian Pulisic has become the latest player to open up on his struggles at Chelsea after a tough season. The £58m winger has struggled to nail down a regular starting ... Read more »

Man pictured wearing 'Camp Auschwitz' sweatshirt during Capitol riot pleads guilty to one misdemeanor charge

© ITN/Department of Justice Man pictured wearing ‘Camp Auschwitz’ sweatshirt during Capitol riot pleads guilty to one misdemeanor charge A man photographed wearing an antisemitic sweatshirt during the Capitol riot ... Read more »

Kerala minister hoists national flag upside down, triggers row

© Provided by The Indian Express Kerala Minister Ahamed Devarkovil triggered a row on Wednesday after he hoisted the national flag upside down in Kasaragod on the occasion of Republic ... Read more »

Biden order makes sexual harassment in US military a crime

© Nicholas Kamm An executive order signed by US President Joe Biden that makes sexual harassment a crime in the military includes provisions on domestic violence and the wrongful broadcast ... Read more »

13 science-backed tips to stay focused and avoid distractions

© BartekSzewczyk/Getty Images 13 science-backed tips to stay focused and avoid distractions To improve focus and productivity, build healthy habits like getting enough sleep and exercise. Multitasking and social media ... Read more »

PM Narendra Modi to host first India-Central Asia Summit today

© Provided by Zee News New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to host the first India-Central Asia Summit on Thursday (January 27, 2022) in a virtual format. During ... Read more »

Delhi L-G to chair DDMA meet as active Covid caseload dips. What's on agenda?

© Provided by Hindustan Times A deserted view of Lajpat Nagar market as New Delhi observes weekend curfew. (ANI) The Delhi Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) will meet today to discuss ... Read more »

Hey, Samsung, the Galaxy S22 better have these upgrades

Samsung’s Galaxy S21 blew us away, with its performance and specs placing it firmly among 2021’s best phones. Now, a year later, the new Galaxy S22 lineup is likely on the horizon with an ... Read more »

Judge orders Oath Keepers leader to remain in jail pending trial

Stewart Rhodes, the Oath Keepers leader accused of seditious conspiracy to overthrow the Biden presidency, will remain in jail as he awaits trial, a judge ruled on Wednesday. © Susan ... Read more »

Samsung Unpacked 2022: Here's What We're Dying to See

Samsung is readying its first major event of the year, Samsung Unpacked 2022, which begins Wednesday, February 9. Following the same format as its last few events, it’s going to ... Read more »

As Holly Willoughby is snapped doing it, Britain's bendiest viscountess reveals: Why it's so good for you to exercise upside down

Viscountess Julie Montagu shares why she spends most of her time upside downThe US writer says it can provide a dose of rich, oxygenated blood to the headShe says it is the equivalent of putting your feet up after a long day of work Read more »

Video: Hollywood star Russell Crowe admits he was EMBARRASSED watching the All Blacks attempt to do the Haka as a child because it was a 'bunch of white blokes' doing it wrong

Read more »

Get woke, go broke! From M&M sweets to Nike trainers, firms are turning famous brands into insufferably preachy social justice warriors. But their obsession with polishing their halos will come at a price, warns DOMINIC SANDBROOK

Even by the standards of corporate behemoths, Unilever is a colossal operation. Tracing its history back to the Victorian soap-making Lever brothers, it owns not just Lynx deodorant, Dove soap, ... Read more »

Another Navy officer pleads guilty in wide-spanning scandal

SAN DIEGO (AP) — A U.S. Navy commander admitted in federal court to sending a Malaysian defense contractor classified ship schedules for the Navy’s 7th Fleet in exchange for extravagant ... Read more »

New couple alert? Brad Pitt, 58, is linked to Swedish singer Lykke Li, 35, who 'lives near the A-Lister' amid reports they're 'secretly dating'

Brad Pitt has been linked to Swedish singer Lykke Like. Rumors began to swirl on Wednesday that Brad, 58, and Lykke, 35, have been ‘secretly dating’ despite the pair not ... Read more »

This latest trend will give you the hump! Fashion show models take to the catwalk in hunched-back outfits

With style that looked more at home in a horror film than a fashion show, models took to the catwalk yesterday in hunched-back outfits.  These outlandish designs were the latest ... Read more »

As the iconic oven turns 100... The truth about Agas: They look better than they cook

Ex-editorial for Good Housekeeping Lindsay Nicholson gives take on the AgaBoth Great British Bake Off Judges Mary Berry and Paul Hollywood have themBut the UK-based writer says the 'ornament' is not worth the four-figure sum Read more »

Ban on trans conversion therapy should be delayed to make sure parents and teachers can check if child wants to change gender, equalities chiefs say

A watchdog said the ban on trans conversion therapy should be delayed The Equality and Human Rights Commission said the proposed rules are wrongThey claim the proposals would have a 'chilling effect' on therapists in the areaIt said the ban on gay conversion therapy should be brought in immediately Read more »
On free-english-test.com you will find lots of free English exam practice materials to help you improve your English skills: grammar, listening, reading, writing, ielts, toeic