‘I don’t see any businesses laughing, Premier’
SENIOR Opposition MPs are calling out Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk for laughing at a question about removing controversial border blocks and a go-slow on easing restrictions.
The border closure is costing 1000 jobs and a $147 million hit to the economic every week but when asked this weekend about a specifically when she would set a border reopening date, she laughed and shot back: "Well, when is the end of the month?"
When a reporter noted it was June 30, she laughed again and said: "Correct, yes, it will be the end of the month."
She laughed at the next question before saying "I will say something about because it is a serious matter".
But unimpressed LNP MP Jarrod Bleijie posted online: "Annastacia Palaszczuk laughing and making jokes about the Queensland border remaining closed. I don't see any businesses laughing Premier. Out of her depth and not fit for the high office she holds."
The Bulletin asked about Mr Bleijie's criticism of her not appearing to take it seriously, and her office repeated her mantra about reviewing the border at the end of the month.
A spokesman for Ms Palaszczuk said: "Tuesday is the end of the month. A decision will be made then. The Premier has been clear she is conscious of the impact on Queensland businesses.
"That's why she wants to avoid a second wave and why we have a plan for Queensland's recovery that the LNP don't support."
At the same press conference, Ms Palaszczuk did give hope she may open the border in some way quicker than the July 10 reopening date scheduled in her government's recovery road map, saying: "We are looking to open the state up faster and we will make an announcement on Tuesday."
The comments come after Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday said national medical advice was the one patron per four square metre rule could be cut to two sq m. Ms Palaszczuk was the only state leader not to clarify when or front media later that day, instead waiting until Saturday to discuss it.
On Saturday she said her chief health officer Dr Jeannette Young was considering the Prime Minister's advice.
It prompted Member for Surfers Paradise John-Paul Langbroek to say: "What we are getting from Scott Morrison and the national cabinet is positivity and hope yet from Annastacia Palaszczuk it is radio silence," he said. "It really isn't good enough for Queenslanders in business who are desperate to get back to some sort of normal, to hear nothing.
"One of Annastacia Palaszczuk's worst aspects is she just cannot make a decision.
"What are we waiting for?"
Shadow Tourism Minister David Crisafulli said: "Businesses and staff in tourism, hospitality and retail are yearning for her to show leadership. My biggest fear is her lack of ticker will ensure the only decision she is capable of making will be not to make one."
But Mayor Tom Tate was upbeat at Ms Palaszczuk alluding to bringing things forward: "This is the good news we needed and creates some certainty for businesses on their road to recovery. Coasters have endured a lot and we look forward to welcoming our NSW friends back to stay in our hotels and enjoy our bars and restaurants."
Originally published as 'I don't see any businesses laughing, Premier'