The Queensland government has lashed out at its NSW and federal counterparts, saying they are “chock full of crazies” trying to force open the country regardless of the health consequences.
Treasurer Cameron Dick launched a blistering attack on the NSW government, blaming it for failing to go hard and go early to stamp out its COVID-19 outbreak.
He says the NSW government and Prime Minister Scott Morrison were trying to force the country open, regardless of whether individual states have reached 80 per cent vaccination coverage.
“The LNP governments are chock full of crazies,” the treasurer told parliament on Tuesday.
“They don’t believe in border controls, some of them don’t believe in COVID.
“When these crazies complain about businesses or borders, they are using code. What they are really complaining about is they don’t want us to fight the virus.
“They want us to run up the white flag and open the borders to an uncontrolled outbreak in NSW, just because they say they have hit their vaccination target.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison earlier called on Queensland to bring in home quarantine to deal with its shortage of hotel quarantine rooms.
Mr Morrison said the state must move to home quarantine, which is being trialled in South Australia, to solve capacity issues in hotel quarantine.
“I share people’s frustration about that (exemptions for sports stars) no doubt about that,” he told 4BC Radio.
“But, what’s the answer, I’ll tell you what the answer is – we need to move to home quarantine. Home quarantine means there’d be [quarantine] places for all Australians, for all Queenslanders.”
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk ruled out a trial of home quarantine arrangements until the government has seen the results of the SA trial.
She again vowed to press on with a state government plan for a 1000-bed quarantine facility outside Toowoomba, saying it will be open well before the federal government’s 800-bed centre in Brisbane.
“We are stretched to the limit,” Ms Palaszczuk told parliament.
“We must have alternatives to our hotel quarantine system that better protect Queensland.”
Ms Palaszczuk also faces criticism for exemptions granted to NRL players and their families to fly into Queensland from Sydney on Monday.
Liberal National Party MP Jarrod Bleijie attacked the government for pausing domestic hotel quarantine for two weeks and stranding Queenslanders interstate.
“We know people have been attending funerals in NSW, who cannot get home, that are happy to do quarantine, the two-week quarantine, happy, [but] they cannot get to their own home,” he told parliament.
“What a disgrace. We’re in a society now where the Queensland government does not allow its own citizens back in their own home state.”
Ms Palaszczuk has distanced herself from the NRL exemptions, saying decisions were made by the chief health officer.
The state government says it will trial home quarantine for children who attend boarding schools interstate.
From next week, they will be allowed to return and quarantine at their Queensland homes with their families, in time for the September school holidays.
Queensland has 23 active cases of COVID-19. There were 11,257 tests in the previous 24-hour reporting period and 15,621 vaccines administered by Queensland Health.
The premier says 51.3 per cent of eligible Queenslanders have now had one dose of a vaccine, and 31.76 per cent have had two doses.