First pic: It’s a home affair for Dutton



TOWNSVILLE-based senator Susan McDonald has become the second Federal Government politician to test positive to coronavirus.

"On Friday evening I began feeling unwell with a sore throat and a mild temperature, so I went to the Townsville Base Hospital Emergency Department to be tested for coronavirus before returning home, where I have been in self-isolation since that time,'' she said yesterday.

"Unfortunately, the test has (Monday) come back positive and I have now been admitted to hospital, where I will remain under the direction of Queensland Health."

Meanwhile Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has been released from hospital and is self-isolating in his Moreton Bay home after contracting coronavirus.

The Courier-Mail can reveal the first pictures of Mr Dutton, who took the photo of himself and beloved family pooch Ralph yesterday after he was released from hospital on Sunday afternoon.

Mr Dutton is dialling into crucial Government meetings using a secure phone and has shaken off the virus's symptoms.

He has yet to receive medical advice about when he can return to Parliament.


Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton at home with dog Ralph yesterday
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton at home with dog Ralph yesterday


Queensland Parliament will sit this week, but MPs have been encouraged to host remote meetings to limit the number of people accessing the George St precinct.

All public tours will be cancelled, the public gallery will only be open to schools and members' visitors and all international delegations and visits are being cancelled.

Flu shots have also been brought forward to the first week of April for anyone working at Parliament.

Committee hearings scheduled for yesterday morning were postponed because several members were sick, including LNP Member for Ninderry Dan Purdie, who went into self-isolation on Friday after being in contact with a confirmed case.



Meanwhile, Speaker Curtis Pitt has advised ministers and the opposition to limit the numbers of staff they bring to parliament.

Functions that had been set to go ahead were last night cancelled by Mr Pitt.

"These measures are consistent to the approach being taken by other state and territory legislatures and the Australian Parliament," Mr Pitt said in a letter to MPs.

MPs with underlying health conditions have been asked to come forward to discuss arrangements, with pairing to be used.

It comes as Prime Minister Scott Morrison last night relocated from Sydney to Canberra to direct the Federal Government's response to the growing coronavirus crisis. .

Mr Morrison also moved his base from Kirribilli in Sydney to the Lodge in Canberra to lead the bushfire response in January, after he was criticised for going on holiday.

Additional reporting Domanii Cameron & Jessica Marszalek