Suite dreams: Police say no luxury treatment for quarantining Premier

Queensland police have denied rumours that Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is doing her 14-day hotel quarantine in a three-room suite.


Jul 26, 2021, updated Jul 26, 2021
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is spending her quarantine in a "modest" hotel room, say police. Photo: ABC

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk is spending her quarantine in a "modest" hotel room, say police. Photo: ABC

Palaszczuk started her 14-day hotel quarantine on Sunday after returning from a controversial week-long trip to Tokyo.

The premier helped secure the 2032 Olympics for Brisbane, but was also criticised because she had successfully lobbied the federal government to halve arrivals caps in the lead up to her trip.

Palaszczuk then backflipped on her promise not to attend Friday night’s opening ceremony after being awkwardly ordered to so by Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates.

She has honoured her promise to do hotel quarantine, but there had been rumours she was staying in a three-room luxury suite.

Deputy Police Commissioner Steve Gollschewski denied that was the case, saying the premier was in a “modest” room, selected in consultation with the police protecting her.

“Unfortunately, we do have to provide dignitary protection to our premier because of the threats that she sometimes faces,” he told reporters.

“So it has been set up, it is what I would call a modest room, certainly not a the three-bedroom suite which would be a complete inaccuracy.

“So of course, it’s been set up so she can do a job, including being able to connect to the national cabinet.”

Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said the opposition had been spreading rumours that Palaszczuk was staying in a large luxury suite.

She denied that the premier had a bigger room than what would be allocated to regular returned travellers.

“She’s one person staying in one of the many rooms that have been set aside for hotel quarantine,” D’Ath said.

“So this room has been used by many other people who have been in hotel quarantine.”

The health minister also brushed off questions about whether Palaszczuk had asked Coates to help her get to the Tokyo opening ceremony.

The AOC president was labelled as “misogynistic” after ordering the premier to attend during a live press conference on Wednesday night.

Queensland government figures and Coates himself have since sought to play down the interaction.

“It’s not what I’ve heard, look, the premier has spoken about this, John Coates has spoken about this,” D’Ath said.

“They’ve all given new explanation in relation to that press conference. I really don’t think there’s anything else to add.”

She said Palaszczuk was “bright and cheery” chairing the COVID-19 update meeting on Monday morning.

The minister said she was sure the premier would keep herself busy during her next 13 days of hotel quarantine.

“Hopefully she’s going to take a moment to get to watch some of the Olympics because I think it’s going to be thrilling today,” D’Ath said.

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