Queenslanders are being left behind on the road to COVID freedom

Queensland is on a collision course with the rest of the nation over border openings in a high-stakes political move that risks flipping the popularity of Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk.

© Provided by Crikey Annastacia Palaszczuk Queensland COVID-19

The Queensland government is not confiding in voters, but the intemperate language adopted by Palaszczuk and senior ministers this week hints at Christmas being a closed shop north of the border. That means, ironically, that the state that has best managed to keep COVID-19 at bay may be the state offering its voters fewer freedoms, less travel and a more subdued Christmas than its interstate counterparts — and that’s a difficult message to sell. 

“Where are you going to go?’’ Palaszczuk demanded when questioned last week by journalists about opening up. “Are you going to go to India?” Perhaps for the tens of thousands of Queenslanders born in India or the 100,000-plus Queenslanders who have an Indian-born parent, the answer might be yes.

But why choose India? Why not the United States? Or the United Kingdom? That immoderate political performance aside, the Queensland government looks as though it’s trapped itself in a corner, where the only strategy is a no-COVID strategy. And few believe that is sustainable.

© Provided by Crikey

Queensland: beautiful one day, closed the next. What the bloody hell is going on?

Queensland has been the envy of the nation as Victoria and New South Wales have battled high COVID tallies and too many deaths. Palaszczuk deserves credit for that. But a single policy lever rarely works when driving a complicated beast. And this next stage — where people deserve to come home or see family interstate — is proving a tad trickier.

This will be a challenge for the government. Queensland’s vaccine levels are significantly lower than NSW and Victoria. For example, 63% of Queenslanders have had their first dose and 44% are fully vaccinated. Compare that with NSW, where 85% have had one dose, and more than 60% are fully vaccinated.

Palaszczuk has to wear that. She appeared reluctant to be vaccinated early, and opted for Pfizer. Her chief health officer — and soon to be state governor — Dr Jeannette Young has also been criticised for providing comfort, early on, to those not rushing for a jab.

But that’s not the only reason why Queensland now finds itself in a bind. Palaszczuk’s mantra has been that she will keep voters safe. She said it, on loop, in the lead-up to the election, and probably every day since. So when the virus inevitably moves north, won’t she be held accountable for those who fall ill?

That’s the risk, and her tactic from day one was to make it as hard as possible for the virus to get here. The cost of that, though, is wearing thin: families torn apart; parents unable to see children; doctors unable to operate on interstate patients; university students forced to study in their rooms; too many families without an income. Many have been highly supportive of the government until now want to be compensated for locking down every time a single case is found. They believe it’s time they were allowed to hug family, visit friends, look forward to overseas holidays and ensure they catch up on health checks.

More than 3000 Queensland families are stranded in other states — but a roll call of footballers has been given red carpet entry into the state. And when genuine and heartbreaking problems are raised — as the state’s human rights commissioner did recently — about who can cross the border and who can’t they are immediately criticised. It’s sounding as though the premier, like a string of Queensland leaders before her, is starting to believe her way is the only way and that no one else deserves a say. 

So what’s her next move?

Many voters think — rightly — that it is incredibly unfair that Queensland, where there have been limited cases, will remain locked up when Dan Andrews in Victoria and Gladys Berejiklian in NSW are allowing their voters new freedoms. Palaszczuk has brought that on herself. Policy needs to be more than a mantra of “I’ll keep you safe’’. It needs to be multi-focused, and flexible, and include the next step. 

If the Queensland government has one, it’s not revealing it. And criticising residents who might want to travel to India — or anywhere — should not win any votes.

Internet Explorer Channel Network
News Related

OTHER NEWS

‘Nobody can rule out' reintroduction of pandemic restrictions, says Varadkar

© Niall Carson Tanaiste Leo Varadkar (Niall Carson/PA) Tanaiste Leo Varadkar has said “nobody can rule out” the reintroduction of pandemic restrictions. Speaking on the fringes of an EU summit ... Read more »

Wisconsin's Senate approves a bill allowing 14 year olds to work as late as 11 p.m., and supporters say it could help plug the labor shortage

© AP Photo/Mary Altaffer But business across Wisconsin say they’re struggling to find enough workers. AP Photo/Mary Altaffer A proposed bill would allow 14 and 15 year olds in Wisconsin ... Read more »

In ancient Fez, crisis-hit artisans pin hopes on domestic tourism

© Reuters/SHEREEN TALAAT Men work at the Chouara Tannery in the ancient city of Fez By Ahmed Eljechtimi FEZ, Morocco (Reuters) – In a square in central Fez, the steady ... Read more »

Victoria Beckham launches first end-to-end traceable collection

© Courtesy of Victoria Beckham The designer has teamed up with The Woolmark Company on the sustainable project Victoria Beckham has teamed up with The Woolmark Company on the brand’s ... Read more »

And Just Like That set pictures suggest Carrie has a new love interest

Break out the Cosmopolitans and slip on your Manolos – Sex and the City is bringing back our favourite sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw for HBO’s revival series And Just Like ... Read more »

Benjamin Moore's 2022 Colour of the Year is here...

October Mist, a gentle shade of sage, is Benjamin Moore’s Colour of the Year for 2022. © Benjamin Moore October Mist, a gentle shade of sage green, is Benjamin Moore’s ... Read more »

Norhizam enggan ulas keputusan Majlis Presiden PH

© Provided by Sinar Harian MELAKA – Bekas Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (ADUN) Pengkalan Batu, Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee enggan mengulas mengenai keputusan yang dibuat Majlis Presiden Pakatan Harapan (PH). ... Read more »

Former Justice Minister Monica Mæland becomes a partner in one of Norway's largest law firms

Monica Mæland will work as a lawyer again. She is becoming a partner in Schjødt, one of Norway’s largest law firms. “Others are better than me at sitting in the ... Read more »

Imee suggests suspension of VAT, excise tax in oil products for PUVs

oil price hike rollback thumb Senator Imee Marcos on Thursday suggested to the Department of Energy (DOE) the suspension of value added tax (VAT) and excise tax on oil products ... Read more »

Dutch forensic lab says it has decoded Tesla's driving data

© Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch FILE PHOTO: Tesla Model X electric cars recharge their batteries in Berlin By Nick Carey LONDON (Reuters) – The Dutch government’s forensic lab said on Thursday it ... Read more »

Sweden extends pause of Moderna COVID vaccine for younger age groups

FILE PHOTO: Vial labelled “Moderna coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine” placed on displayed EU flag is seen in this illustration picture STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – Sweden has extended the pause of Moderna ... Read more »

Used car prices continue to grow and show no signs of slowing

With the new car market struggling to keep pace with orders because of the semiconductor crisis, the used car market continues to see rapid growth that shows no signs of ... Read more »

New Zealand trade deal ‘to undercut British farmers with lower animal welfare standards'

The government’s new trade deal will allow New Zealand farmers to undercut British farmers by shipping in meat produced to lower welfare standards, Labour has said. © Getty Images International ... Read more »

Paul Pogba details Manchester United dressing room reaction to Solskjaer demand

Paul Pogba suggested Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s words after losing to Leicester had a big impact on the Manchester United players, helping them to beat Atalanta. United produced a stirring comeback ... Read more »

Paulo Fonseca advanced Newcastle talks as Ousmane Dembele seeks Toon transfer, Lukaku injury, Haaland to Chelsea

NEWCASTLE are in advanced talks with Paulo Fonseca after the club's Saudi owners sacked Steve Bruce after his first match in charge. Upset Bruce told Toon fans: “I think this ... Read more »

Raheem Sterling linked with Liverpool as Man City star aims 'sly dig' at Manchester United

Welcome to the latest edition of the City Is Ours daily digest, your once-a-day dose of Manchester City news. Raheem Sterling has been linked with a sensational return to his ... Read more »

‘Self-obsessed and not very bright': what Middlesbrough's mayor thinks of his councillors

A local council is beset by self-obsessed, selfish and not-very-bright councillors, says the town’s own mayor. © Provided by The Guardian Photograph: Ian Forsyth/Getty Images Andy Preston, the mayor of ... Read more »

Tories won't start wearing masks in Commons because they ‘know each other', Jacob Rees-Mogg says

© UK PARLIAMENT/AFP via Getty Imag BRITAIN-POLITICS Tory MPs will continue to refuse to masks in the Commons chamber because they “know each other” a defiant Jacob Rees-Mogg says. Sajid ... Read more »

Rishi Sunak's £43.5bn pre-Budget boost

© PA Wire Government borrowing Rishi Sunak got a pre-Budget boost on Thursday as figures showed borrowing is a “whopping” £43.5 billion lower so far this year than expected. Public sector ... Read more »

CDC issues warning on onion-linked salmonella outbreak in 37 states

The CDC directed businesses to stop selling fresh whole red, white, or yellow onions that were imported from Chihuahua and distributed by ProSource Inc. Thomas Trutschel/Photothek via Getty Images The ... Read more »

The Biggest Unanswered Questions In You Season 3

Netflix Contains spoilers for “You” Season 3 The obsessive and murderous Joe (Penn Badgley) in Netflix’s “You” is not unlike the titular character of “Dexter,” in that he’s a serial ... Read more »

What Le Creuset Black Friday deals to expect

© Le Creuset Black Friday is the perfect opportunity to buy top-quality Le Creuset kitchen products without the hefty price tag. Here’s what you can expect this November. Le Creuset ... Read more »

What is Covid Plan C - and what could trigger new lockdown measures?

The Government is resisting calls to trigger Covid contingency plans despite warnings that the number of cases could rise to 100,000 a day. Doctors accused ministers of being “wilfully negligent” ... Read more »

Doctors remove 13.85 kg tumour from 25-year-old patient's chest

© Provided by The Statesman Doctors remove 13.85 kg tumour from 25-year-old patient’s chest The doctors of the capital removed the largest chest tumour weighing 13.85 kgs claiming it to ... Read more »

London borough with highest-risk mortgages in all of Britain revealed

Home buyers in Wandsworth take out more mortgages classified as “highrisk” than anywhere else in the country, figures reveal on Thursday. © PA PA-61549958.jpg The south-west London neighbourhood, seen as ... Read more »

Some Monasteries Across The Country That You Must Check Out

India is a very diverse land that is a beautiful reflection of the amalgamation of many different coming together to form an enchanting mosaic. And a part of this beautiful ... Read more »

Nearly 7,000 cameras to be installed to make Bengaluru safer for women, children

Nearly 7,000 cameras to be installed to make Bengaluru safer for women, children Over 7,000 cameras at 3,000 locations will be installed in the next two years in Bengaluru under ... Read more »

IIT Gandhinagar to organize JEE Open House for IIT JEE qualified students

Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar will organize JEE Open House for students who have qualified IIT JEE examination. The JEE Open House will be held on October 23, 6 pm ... Read more »

Ariana Grande Reveals She Was ‘Terrified' To Be The Star She ‘Wanted To Be' After Nickelodeon

© Provided by Lehren Ariana Grande Says She Was Scared To Be The Star She Wanted To Be It’s hard for the fans to imagine Ariana Grande without her thigh-high ... Read more »

At least 13 people, including 10 trekkers, dead due to snowfall in Uttarakhand

© Provided by Hindustan Times Rescue workers taking an injured trekker rescued from Lamkhaga Pass to hospital on Thursday (HT Photo) At least 13 people, including 10 trekkers, have died at ... Read more »

Actor Ananya Panday Summoned by NCB Day After Aryan Khan's 'Drugs Chat' Given to Court

© Provided by News18 Actor Ananya Panday Summoned by NCB Day After Aryan Khan’s ‘Drugs Chat’ Given to Court It is clear by now that the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) ... Read more »

6 Ways To Reuse Kitchen Waste Efficiently

Vegetables peels and fruit leftovers from the kitchen are usually tossed in the dustbin which gets dumped away. These biodegradable wastes are something which can prove very beneficial if they ... Read more »

Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island make union push

Workers are demanding Amazon to stop their union-busting practices and allow workers to use their rights to organize. Brendan McDermid/REUTERS More than 2,000 Amazon warehouse workers in Staten Island announced ... Read more »

Metroid Dread receives update fixing progression bug

© Provided by GamePur Nintendo have released an update that promised to fix the bug that was causing Metroid Dread to crash.  The bug was found by multiple players last ... Read more »

David Amess murder: Man charged

A man has been charged with the murder of MP David Amess, who was stabbed to death in his constituency east of London last week, prosecutors in the United Kingdom ... Read more »

Apple's iPod is improbably still around: Here's a look at its past 20 years

For a long time, the iPod and Apple were synonymous — entities that were constantly morphing and shaping, rather than reacting to, the whims of its users. Yet while Apple’s ... Read more »

Sharp rise of Covid outbreaks in schools as one cluster linked to 19 cases – and Dr Holohan warns of ‘concerning' use of antigen tests

New data has shown the number of Covid outbreaks in schools shot up last week. There were 15 new outbreaks in the week up to Saturday, October 16, according to ... Read more »

Former Greek PM Papandreou seeks political comeback

Former Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou says he will seek the leadership of the once-powerful Socialist party founded by his father, the late politician Andreas Papandreou, in an effort to ... Read more »

Bosnia's political crisis: What you should know, in 600 words

© Provided by Al Jazeera Serb member of Bosnia’s presidency Milorad Dodik said Republika Srpska entity leadership will take measures to unravel key state institutions [File: Darko Vojinovic/AP Photo] Bosnia ... Read more »

Dubai Fitness Challenge: Six nutrition tips to transform your health

© Provided by Khaleej Times Dubai Fitness Challenge: Six nutrition tips to transform your health This year’s Dubai Fitness Challenge, which starts on October 29, is a great opportunity to ... 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