Smugness is a flaw that Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s authorities can not afford because the virus continues its insidious unfold.
In crude parlance, Queensland has been caught with its pants down with its once-over-lightly COVID response. Broadly applauded nationwide for stopping the pandemic spreading north, it has proven to have only one coverage trick: shut the borders.
That may have been extremely profitable final yr — taking part in a states’ recreation and shutting out Victorians and people from New South Wales who may inadvertently carry the virus into Queensland.
And it definitely was uncompromising. These with sick kin have been forbidden entry, in addition to kids eager to attend their mother and father’ funerals, and fogeys whose kids have been caught in boarding colleges.
Queensland’s success — and management — appeared in stark distinction to Gladys Berejiklian and her Ruby Princess cruise ship fiasco and Daniel Andrews and his resort quarantine stuff-up.
However now, as southerners (besides these from larger Sydney) reap the benefits of Queensland’s open borders and sunny summer time skies, the image unfolding of Queensland’s pandemic coverage is something however glowing. Take these examples:
- Visiting Victorians have been instructed this week by Queensland’s chief well being officer Dr Jeannette Younger to get examined, and a whole lot adopted that recommendation. However testing stations weren’t knowledgeable, leading to six-hour queues and other people being turned away. Some stated they received’t hassle returning to be examined. The state’s response? Victorians picked the mistaken clinics and will discover one which’s much less busy. How may they try this? Go to the federal government web site. However some stated the web site was sending them to be examined 100 kilometres away, or demanding a physician’s referral
- Maybe feeling smug that circumstances have been so low, Queensland testing stations have closed over current weeks and end result instances ballooned to 36 hours. Some folks waited 72 hours. The recommendation given by clinics varies extensively. One clinic suggested a pair they might have 100 folks at their residence whereas somebody was in the identical residence ready for the results of a take a look at. Even when that is throughout the legislation, it’s preposterous. The checklist of coverage hypocrisies runs to pages, however was highlighted this week when empty church buildings have been proven towards chaotic buying scenes
- Contract tracing in Queensland was put to the take a look at as soon as, and failed. Partially that was as a result of diners and cafe-goers weren’t registering. The response by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was to launch a scathing assault on patrons. However why didn’t she surprise why her coverage was not being policed? The federal government has now moved to demand digital registration, however this week in south-east Queensland I visited a restaurant, a beautician and a physician’s surgical procedure, none of which required me to log my attendance.
These failures are a spectacular illustration of how Queensland’s response has been extra about speaking the speak then strolling the stroll.
The communication is correct: “Complacency is the enemy, vigilance is our pal,’’ Performing Premier Cameron Dick stated on Monday. However that solely works if the federal government is dedicated to a coverage that goes past shutting the gates to the state. And in the meanwhile it’s not even doing that.
And on each take a look at to this point, it’s been discovered to be wanting.
The previous few days has offered perception into how Queensland may cope if it confronted the challenges seen in NSW and Victoria over current weeks and months.
Our smugness has received us few associates. It’s onerous to think about Berejiklian going out of her method to lengthen the hand of assist when Palaszczuk has ignored all political pleas for empathy.
Queensland’s response was “tinder ready for a bushfire’’, one GP instructed me yesterday. Her level was that we aren’t ready, saying just isn’t doing, and we’re in actual strife if a COVID pocket erupts right here prefer it has in southern states.
It’s bushfire season in Queensland too. We’re not speaking bushfires this yr; it’s floods and COVID. And within the absence of any actual coverage depth, the perfect plan appears to be hope.