‘The cheap casualty’: David Littleproud slams Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Christmas closed border plan
Federal ministers are calling on the Queensland and Western Australian premiers to recommit to the national plan to reunite Australia by Christmas.
Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said Annastacia Palalszczuk was acting as if she “knew better” than the Doherty Institute, who’s modelling forms the basis of the national plan for reopening.
David Littleproud said Annastacia Palaszczuk’s “reneging” on the national plan was not only casting doubt on holiday plans, but was also continuing to cost the state’s tourism industry “billions”.
“When you look at the Gold Coast, a billion dollars will be lost in just this quarter,” Mr Littleproud told Today on Monday.
“They are the cheap casualty, according to the Palaszczuk government, of this Covid disaster.
“We need confidence and certainty, but we need leadership …
“We’re saying when you’re coming into the room (at national cabinet) and say you’re going to sign up to the plan, the Prime Minister needs to look to his left and right and know you’re there. Instead, Premier Palaszczuk has gone off in all sorts of directions.”
Mr Joyce told Sunrise it seemed that Ms Palaszczuk had decided she “knows better than the Doherty Institute”.
“I didn’t know she was an immunologist... I didn’t know her epidemiology was so up to speed,” Mr Joyce said.
“She’s prepared to put her views ahead of the Doherty Institute and sending business broke.
“Queensland is not locking people out anymore they’re locking their own people in. They’re locking in the opportunities, so businesses do not have the capacity to stand up at Christmas and ... recoup the losses.”
Mr Littleproud and Mr Joyce’s comments come off the back of Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles indicating that Queensland’s borders could remain closed for Christmas.
Currently, Queenslanders are enjoying some of the most relaxed Covid-19 restrictions in the country, and the state government does not want to “let Covid in for Christmas”.
“Scott Morrison gave Delta to Sydney and now they are trying to re-gift it to us, well we don’t want that, we want to stay open like we are now and we’ll continue to make our decisions on that basis,” Mr Miles said on Friday.
At the weekend, Mr Morrison said premiers couldn’t “stay in second gear” in the national plan to live with the virus.
“There comes a time when you (have) just got to move on and get on with it,” Mr Morrison told Weekend Sunrise.
In response, Mr Miles told reporters on Sunday that the Prime Minister should focus on the Covid-19 outbreaks in NSW and Victoria, and fixing diplomatic issues with France and China, instead of criticising Queensland’s borders.
Queensland recorded no new locally acquired cases on Sunday, and 60 per cent of eligible Queenslanders have had one dose of vaccine.
Just over 45 per cent are fully vaccinated.
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