Townsville Bulletin

Dutton swipes at Anna over GF

- ELLEN RANSLEY

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.

“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.”

The capacity at Suncorp Stadium has been reduced to 75 per cent, meaning 13,000 tickets will need to be forfeited.

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