LNP call to ease NQ’s COVID-19 bans
Opposition leader Deb Frecklington has written to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to advocate for reopening Townsville.
The Premier announced last week restrictions would ease across Queensland, with them lifting faster in the "outback".
Despite constant calls from North Queensland doctors, business leaders and politicians, the State Government did not include Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville or Cairns regions the "outback" classification.
In her letter, Ms Frecklington wrote there was "no reason" the area between Wide Bay and Cairns, and the Darling Downs, could not join the lighter restrictions.
From Saturday, 20 people will be able to go a restaurant in places like Mount Isa and Hughenden, but only 10 in Townsville.
This is despite having no active cases, and no new cases for more than 30 days.
"Ahead of restrictions easing this weekend across Queensland, I would urge the Palaszczuk Government to prioritise regional economic recovery," Ms Frecklington wrote.
"Geographically, most of our state has no active cases and there is an opportunity for regional economies to be fast-tracked out of lockdown. However, it's up to the Palaszczuk Government to decide where and how quickly restrictions are eased.
"If you look at the Queensland Health regional breakdown yesterday, there were only 18 active cases across the state, with 12 in Brisbane, 3 on the Gold Coast, 2 in Cairns and 1 on the Sunshine Coast. That means there were no active cases between the Sunshine Coast and Cairns, a distance of over 1500 kilometres."
Ms Frecklington said with social distancing and other "mitigation measures", there was no reason restrictions could not ease.
"These regions are not covered in the Outback concessions and they are crying out for economic leadership," she said.
On Q&A pm Monday night Ms Palaszczuk said just because there was no known cases in North Queensland didn't mean it was safe.
"We have 2,000 people still in quarantine throughout Queensland. Which means they have the potential to have the virus and spread it," she said.
"We need to be very vigilant and make sure we are getting to clamp down on it as much as possible."
The Townsville Bulletin understands that on Friday, there were about 50 people in quarantine in Townsville.
Originally published as LNP call to ease NQ's COVID-19 bans