I had no intention of writing about Queensland again but, since my last column, there have been events for which a sequel beckoned; a recent poll which showed that 84 percent of Queenslanders backed Premier Palaszczuk’s border closure.
It’s a case of turkeys voting for Christmas.
Everywhere you turn, the livelihoods of Queenslanders are being smashed.
The most disturbing development is that Queensland school students, as well as those who board at a Queensland school but reside in New South Wales, are being used as sacrificial lambs by the Labor government. Like patsies, the Labor government blindly follow the advice given by the unelected Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young.
As Margaret Thatcher once quipped, advisers advise and ministers decide.
There are Queensland students in their final year of schooling who are confused, frustrated and, it could be said, emotionally unstable.
First, they were reduced to remote learning for almost the entire year; then school sport was postponed or, most likely, cancelled; and now I hear that parents will not be able to attend their child’s school formal; and, to top it off, ‘schoolies’ and other end of year 12 celebrations have been cancelled.
I know we live in the age of cancel culture, but this is beyond the pale.
The Queensland Labor government is being shredded like a desiccated coconut as it cancels and rejects anything it can get its hands on, all in the name of a so-called health ‘pandemic’.
At the time of writing, Queensland has had 1,128 cases of coronavirus with 1,086 of them having recovered and the others in hospital but none, zero, in intensive care.
Of those 1,128 cases, there have been six deaths.
Tragic as those deaths are, it is estimated that over 3,000 deaths a year in Queensland are related to cigarette smoking.
Does the government ban cigarettes?
So far, this year, there have been 166 fatalities as a result of road crashes within Queensland which is, by the way, 25 fatalities greater than the same period for last year.
Does the government ban cars?
If this is called a pandemic, the word has lost its meaning.
The ramping up of border closure rhetoric by Ms Palaszczuk is done with the upcoming State election in mind.
Do we live in an age where fearmongering by our political leaders is used as a tactic to win votes, even though young Queenslanders are emotionally distraught, small business and tourism operators are on their knees and farmers are still having to resort to the begging bowl.
Surely 84 per cent of Queenslanders do not support this government-inflicted abuse.
It was only recently that we saw the Tourism North Queensland Chief Executive, Mark Olsen, say his organisation was predicting a $2.2 billion loss in the 2020 calendar year for far-north Queensland. This includes glowing tourism destinations like Cairns, which would normally generate around $3.5 billion in tourism dollars.
Mr Olsen said this forecast loss will result in 11,750 job losses in Cairns alone. He also made the point that 10,000 Cairns businesses were relying on the Federal government’s $1,500 per fortnight JobKeeper payments.
The predicted $2.2 billion loss falls squarely on the Labor government’s border closure decision. It is that simple.
The holiness behind border closures is not supported by scientific evidence. In fact, a research paper published in The Lancet medical journal which measured government actions alongside COVID-19 mortality rates said, “In our analysis, full lockdowns and wide-spread COVID-19 testing were not associated with reductions in the number of critical cases or overall mortality.”
And then there is Oxford University’s Sunetra Gupta, a professor of theoretical epidemiology. Professor Gupta argued, “There is no way lockdown can eliminate the virus….” She urged Australia to abandon its “self-congratulatory” lockdown tactics.
I have a hunch that one of the world’s top disease experts from Oxford University might know a little more than Queensland’s Chief Health Officer.
Yet we allow one medical person to have a monopoly on the whole coronavirus response while the government and, it seems, 84 per cent of Queenslanders, blindly follow. Peoples’ freedoms being taken away by Russian-like feudal tsars in broad daylight. No questions asked. No hint of protest.
It is frightening stuff.
And where are the LNP, the so-called guardians of freedom and protectors of enterprise? I will tell you where. They are on a unity ticket with the Labor government on borders.
You cannot make this stuff up.
The LNP’s initial instincts to oppose these border closures were correct. They should have stuck with that. But as is the case with weathervane oppositions, the LNP are now in bed with the Premier and Dr Young. How else can you explain their silence?
I know of one business owner who employed 60 people pre-coronavirus, not to mention the supply chain which benefited from his operations.
He asked to meet with his local LNP member to discuss the future of the town and how the LNP planned to get businesses like his out of this rut.
He was told the member could, maybe, see him in two weeks’ time for half an hour.
And they wonder why people hate politicians.
One thing is for certain. The Federal government is propping up a State government’s dereliction of duty by extending the $1,500 per fortnight JobKeeper payment.
If that were taken away, Queensland would be forced to open its borders, stop the alarmism and get on with it.
At the very start of all this, the public was told that we needed to “flatten the curve”, not flatten people and the economy.
With only 23 people in ICU, I would say that has been achieved.
But now, wanting to relinquish their power, the “flatten the curve” phrase has been replaced by “zero community transmission”, which is a fancy way of saying we will not allow you to get on with your lives until no one has coronavirus. This is a bureaucrat’s dream.
We must learn to live with the virus; protect those who are vulnerable and in a certain age category, make cautious arrangements for them and, if others in the general public wish to wear a face mask when out and about, then so be it.
One thing is for certain.
The road we are on is far more emotionally harmful and soul-destroying than what we have tried to avoid.
Metaphorically, we have steered to avoid a kangaroo but a gigantic tree has claimed us.
The tree is named Palaszczuk.
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