News State QLD News Palaszczuk defends plans for trip to Tokyo Olympics

Palaszczuk defends plans for trip to Tokyo Olympics

annastacia palaszczuk tokyo
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will push ahead with a trip to the Tokyo Olympics, despite mounting opposition.
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Only another Queensland lockdown will stop the state’s Premier from travelling to Japan to pitch for the Olympics as tens of thousands sign a petition demanding her trip be refused.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates had made it “very clear” it would be a “disaster if the head of Queensland did not go”.

“If we’re in a situation where we’re in a lockdown I won’t be able to attend, but the delegation is the federal Sports Minister, the Premier and the Lord Mayor,” she said on Tuesday.

Ms Palaszczuk said the trip to Toyko would be exclusively to make the pitch for Queensland to host the 2032 Games before she returned for 14 days in hotel quarantine.

One of the strongest pillars of the state’s bid is the “enormous co-operation” between three levels of government, she said.

It comes as a petition calling for Ms Palaszczuk to be denied the right to leave Australia attracts more than to 29,000 signatures.

The petition said the Queensland Premier had “successfully advocated for a brutal and heartless halving of Australian quarantine spaces”.

“Annastacia Palaszczuk should not be allowed to steal a precious hotel quarantine space for a more deserving stranded Australia trying to return home,” it said.

National cabinet agreed last week to cut overseas arrivals Australia-wide in response to growing concern over hotels’ ability to contain the Delta variant of COVID-19.

Federal Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said the Commonwealth would support Brisbane’s 2032 Olympic Games bid, including “facilitating exemptions for travel on official Olympic business”.

The Minister has no role in considering exemption requests, which is a decision made by the Australian Border Force commissioner or his delegate.

Ms Palaszczuk said she understood the views in the petition, but called the 2032 Olympics “the biggest opportunity that Queensland’s ever seen”.

The state will learn if its Olympic bid has been successful in just over two weeks.

“This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have the 2032 Olympics here in Queensland, we’re never going to get that opportunity again, and I’d hate to see it fall at the final hurdle,” Ms Palaszczuk said.