Queensland’s Deputy Premier has accused the Prime Minister of leading what he claims is a ‘planned and orchestrated attack’ on Annastacia Palaszczuk, over the state’s refusal to allow a Canberra woman to attend her father’s funeral in Queensland.
The statement followed the Premier’s announcement that Queensland had recorded three new coronavirus cases.
Annastacia Palaszczuk said they were all contacts of previously confirmed infections and were in quarantine.
The state now has 31 active cases of COVID-19.
Yesterday, Ms Palaszczuk announced two new cases in home quarantine.
She became emotional as she defended her tough border stance after coming under increased pressure following the Chief Health Officer’s decision to prevent people from attending funerals of loved ones.
Earlier this week, Prime Minister Scott Morrison and several senior ministers condemned the Premier, with Federal Finance Minister Mathias Cormann labelling her “nasty” and “cold-hearted”.
Steven Miles said the criticisms were politically motivated.
“It’s difficult when you have the Prime Minister, Peter Dutton, Mathias Cormann, just about every bloke in the Federal Government come out and attack you and that takes a toll,” Mr Miles said.
“But I know our Premier has stood strong on the LNP’s attacks on our border restrictions and will continue to do so.
“Those three blokes, none of them are known for their compassion, they just piled on. People can judge them for that.
“Has he [Scott Morrison] ever cried about the hundreds of people who died in aged care under his watch, has he ever cried about the Ruby Princess which saw people spread right throughout this country with COVID-19, does he cry right now the tens of thousands of Australians stranded overseas unable to return home?
“They are all things he is responsible for but he has never once taken any responsibility, never once expressed any regret, so I would urge you to consider the movies on the Prime Minister in this extraordinary attack on the Premier.”
He said Mr Morrison was rolling out senior LNP figures in a bid to get Deb Frecklington elected as Queensland Premier in the upcoming state election.
“These [border] restrictions apply in Tasmania, South Australia, WA, the Northern Territory but did you see once Scott Morrison talk about any of those states that don’t have elections coming up? No you didn’t,” Mr Miles said.
Transport Minister Mark Bailey said the state would continue to act on the advice of Jeannette Young and he believed “most Queenslanders” would understand why.
“There has been tremendous pressure on the Premier, Chief Health Officer and Health Minister since January every day, but the results have been extraordinary in Queensland compared to any other state and any other country,” he said.
“The most compassionate thing is to save lives and stop funerals. We don’t as politicians make the decisions, we let the health experts, the doctors, make the decisions and some of them are unpopular but they save lives.
“Queensland is one of the best jurisdictions in the world in terms of responding to the COVID crisis.
From day one when we declared a health emergency, the first state in Australia to do so in January, we acted on health advice from the very beginning and that’s why there has been so few deaths in Queensland.”
He said that model needed to be continued.
“We don’t need politicians making decisions about the COVID crisis, we need doctors making those decisions,” Mr Bailey said.
“Of course everybody feels incredible compassion for those who can’t go to funerals, but we don’t want more funerals. It’s very hard for everybody but we have to keep our eye on preventing infections and deaths.”