Subjects: National Cabinet
Palaszczuk now stands in defiance of the national cabinet agreement to reopen once vaccine targets are met, calling into question whether that target needs to be higher and include children.
Amanda Stoker is a federal senator for Queensland, whose own media adviser is stuck in Canberra unable to get home.
Amanda, you have a unique perspective being a federal Liberal political, from Queensland, which has a state Labor government. What are the people around you saying about borders right now?
They’re telling me that they are frustrated with their inability to run their businesses, where they have an interstate flavour, they are heartbroken that they can’t see their grandkids and cousins and being a part of the big moments that make life meaningful. And they are telling me that they’re really dismayed at the way that this handling is turning Australian against Australian, and dividing us in a way that really doesn’t align with this message that we’re all in this together.
But Queenslanders returned Annastacia Palaszczuk to power quite resoundingly at the last election, has that sentiment changed, do you feel, as these kind of lockdowns and restrictions continue?
I think sentiment has changed somewhat and will continue to change. And that’s because Australians are good, patient people, and they appreciate being subject to restrictions that are about helping a neighbour through a difficult time in a crisis. But we’re now a long way into it and we still don’t really have, from our state government, a proper commitment to the national plan, to get us all safe but able to live with this virus. And we don’t have an alternate vision other than snap lockdowns for the foreseeable future, and borders that remain closed in a way that restricts people’s access to healthcare, keeps families apart, and stops people from being able to get to work.