Capricornia MP Michelle Landry, with Federal Parliamentary colleagues, have called on Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to consider shutting down North Queensland’s borders to non-essential personnel and industries to assist in minimizing chance of further Coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in North and Central Queensland.
The letter sent today called for urgent consideration for shutting North Queensland’s borders except for personnel associated with essential services and essential industries, after considerable concerns from the general community and senior medical professionals were expressed.
The letter was signed by Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry, Member for Dawson George Christensen, Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson, and Senator for Queensland Matt Canavan.
Michelle Landry said her office had received a vast number of emails and calls from concerned people regarding suitable medical resources in Central and North Queensland, compared to resources available in the state’s Southeast corner.
“People in Capricornia have expressed to me that if COVID-19 continues to spread, they are afraid for the welfare of Queenslanders in remote communities and their access to medical resources,” Ms Landry said.
“I believe if we shut the borders down to non-essential personnel and non-essential industries, we will have a better chance at halting the spread of COVID-19.
“Regional Queensland has been lucky so far in terms of the number of coronavirus cases and I want to keep it that way.
Senator for Queensland, Matt Canavan said he supports the Queensland Government’s decision to close the border to New South Wales but considerations need to be made for communities within Queensland.
‘I support the Queensland Government closing the border with New South Wales but given the relative few cases in North Queensland, the same logic dictates that we should stop the spread going to North Queensland too,” Mr Canavan said.
“Western Australia is already moving to restrict travel between regions and Queensland should do the same.
“Like regional Western Australia, regional Queensland has important agricultural and mining industries that are important to keep protected from the virus so that our economy can keep some steam. We also both have large indigenous communities that deserve protection from COVID-19.”
Ms Landry said that North Queensland could be defined as it is under the Commonwealth Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility Act which includes all local government areas that intersect with the Tropic of Capricorn and the Gladstone Regional Council area.