As Qld enjoys ‘double donut day’, Dick mocks ‘crazies’ across border

Treasurer Cameron Dick has lashed out at the “crazies” on the other side of politics, especially in NSW, who he says are undermining the national economy and community sentiment.

Aug 31, 2021, updated Aug 31, 2021
Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick has slammed the NSW Government over its handling of the latest COVID-19 outbreak. (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)

Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick has slammed the NSW Government over its handling of the latest COVID-19 outbreak. (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)

Queensland Parliament today resumed after an 11-week break to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk confirming another “double donut day” with no new cases in the community or hotel quarantine.

However, the political mood inside the Legislative Assembly was tense, and at one point the precinct was locked down after police warned that protesters might try to get in to the building.

In Question Time, ongoing border restrictions, and a ‘pause’ on hotel quarantine, led to Opposition questions and interjections about the apparent policy inconsistencies that allowed footballers and cricketers into Queensland but not returning Queenslanders.

Palaszczuk said more hotels were being brought online, in addition to the stand-alone facilities yet to be constructed, and the State Government would trial home quarantine for returning boarding students.

“We want people to come home when it’s safe to do so,” Palaszczuk said.

Chief Health Officer Jeannette Young and police advised the government to halt hotel quarantine check-ins due to the large number of travellers and difficulty training more staff. Palaszczuk has said the footballers and their families were being accommodated in quarantine elsewhere.

After Liberal National Party frontbenchers questioned why people with serious illnesses could not be given exemptions allowing them to travel to Queensland, Palaszczuk insisted they could, and then noted the Opposition treasury spokesman, David Janetzki, had previously backed the National Rugby League moving to Queensland.

“Nice own goal there – you got into touch on that one,” Palaszczuk said, before responding to another Opposition MP’s interjection with “I’m not the one wearing a flowery mask”.

Speaker Curtis Pitt asked Palaszczuk to withdraw the comment, having previously asked Treasurer Cameron Dick to withdraw a word he believed was insensitive to those battling mental health problems.

Dick had criticised the New South Wales government for its mismanagement of the outbreak, and said conservatives had proved slow to act and quick to demand restrictions be lifted – no matter the cost.

According to Dick, the Berejiklian government had only managed to undermine the national economy and community sentiment, supported by the Morrison government.

“These LNP Governments are chock full of crazies,” Dick said.

NSW has today reported 1164 new locally-acquired cases of COVID-19 and three deaths, including a woman in her 50s, as the entire state remains locked down.

The three deaths recorded in the 24 hours to 8pm on Monday include the woman in her 50s from southwest Sydney, a man in his 80s from Sydney and a man in his 90s from southwest Sydney.

It takes the toll for the current outbreak to 96, and to 152 for the entire pandemic. There are 871 patients in hospital NSW, with 143 in intensive care and 58 ventilated.

While the NSW lockdown continues, almost indefinitely, the ACT lockdown has been extended two weeks after 13 more cases were reported. Victoria, which is also in lockdown, reported 76 new locally-acquired cases.

The Queensland Parliament has today debated the government’s move to extend various public health emergency measures, and also introduce new fee arrangements for hotel quarantine.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has largely avoided being drawn into Queensland’s quarantine policy inconsistencies, telling 4BC the answer to any criticism was more home quarantine.

Morrison and Palaszczuk are monitoring a South Australian trial of home quarantine, which comes after Queensland allowed a record number of close contacts in the Indooroopilly cluster to quarantine at home.

In parliament, Palaszczuk and her Cabinet colleagues repeatedly referred to the NSW outbreak, and ramifications of surging case numbers, to promote Queensland’s performance. The protests outside involved people opposed to Queensland’s pandemic restrictions, and Labor’s bid to introduce Voluntary Assisted Dying laws.

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