Dutton in swipe at Anna over GF
DEFENCE Minister Peter Dutton has lashed Annastacia Palaszczuk (pictured) for treating Queenslanders “like mugs” as she reiterates holding off on locking down the state has “nothing to do” with the NRL grand final.
Queensland is battling four separate Covid-19 clusters, resulting in six positive cases on Thursday with dozens of exposure sites now listed.
But, unlike previously, Ms Palaszczuk and her chief health officer Jeannette Young have yet to order a lockdown, instead relying on vaccinations, tightening density restrictions and enforcing mask mandates.
When asked on Thursday whether the delay in enforcing a lockdown was due to the grand final, which will be held at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, Ms Palaszczuk said the assertion was “not correct”.
“The health of Queenslanders comes first and as soon as Dr Young says we need to move into a lockdown we will,” she said.
“Our vaccination rates are up. People are checking in, but as soon as we see further seeding, which is not from people who are in isolation, then they will be the trigger points Dr Young will look at (for a lockdown).
“We’ve got to put these restrictions in place to avoid a lockdown at this stage.”
While she said locking down was based on the health advice, Queenslanders, including Mr Dutton are cynical.
“Everyone wishes the Premier well in her decision-making but there have been a lot of decisions at odds with common sense,” Mr Dutton told the Today show on Friday.
“When you’re turning people away from funerals and not allowing kids to repatriate with their parents across the border, and we have businesses going broke, people starved from seeing families and loved ones, and then we see the Premier holding on because of the NRL grand final on Sunday, I think that rubs people the wrong way.
“All of us are NRL fans and we want to see it go ahead, but the health of people in Queensland is paramount, and I don’t think the Premier should be treating us like mugs.”
As a result of new restrictions brought in on Thursday afternoon, the capacity at Suncorp Stadium – where the Panthers will take on the Rabbitohs on Sunday night – has been reduced to 75 per cent, meaning 13,000 tickets will need to be forfeited.
Those attending the event will need to wear a mask at all times, including while seated, unless they are eating or drinking.
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