Australian Politician Baffled That People May Want To Travel

Australian Politician Baffled That People May Want To Travel

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It’s fascinating to see how politicians in different parts of the world are approaching the reopening of borders and lifting of travel restrictions. That brings us to Australia…

Queensland premier wonders why people would travel

Australia has taken one of the most conservative approaches of any country when it comes to managing the coronavirus pandemic, keeping borders closed and heavily restricting travel, even within the country. There’s a lot of debate at this point about where the country should go from here:

  • The country has seen its biggest spike in coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic, with a rolling seven day average of over 1,600 daily cases
  • The country is (finally) making good progress with vaccination
  • Each state in Australia has its own rules, and there are border restrictions between states, given that coronavirus is under control in some states, but not others
  • Some leaders are calling for Australia to be largely reopened once the country reaches an 80% vaccination rate, while others are calling for the country to reopen… well, who knows when
  • Most recently there had been talk of Australians being allowed to leave the country by Christmas, based on vaccination progress

Annastacia Palaszczuk, who is the premier of Queensland, was asked by a reporter whether she supports the federal government’s assurances that Australians should be able to travel by Christmas. Her answer is quite something:

“Where are you going to go? Are you going to go to India? In Tokyo, you have to sit in perspex screens with masks on and if you remove your mask, you can’t talk while you’re eating. Yes, in Europe, some people are travelling. I think the federal government needs to identify very clearly what are the countries that Australians can travel to, okay?”

Now, in fairness, she would know what it’s like in Japan, because she (controversially) traveled to Japan during the Olympics. You can watch the video of her entire answer below for the full effect.

The issues with Palaszczuk’s perspective

I don’t have much skin in the game (I don’t have family in Australia, and wasn’t planning on traveling there anytime soon regardless), and for that matter I don’t have a terribly strong take on Australia’s stance. I think every country should be able to respond to the pandemic as it pleases, within reason.

That being said, I do feel the need to comment on a few of the things that Palaszczuk states, given that (understandably) Australians may not have much context for what life is like in the rest of the world right now.

First of all, it sure is interesting to me how Palaszczuk singles out India, and it’s hard to view that as not being slightly, well… you know. I’d think that some of the ~620K Australians who have Indian heritage may actually want to go to India and see family.

And that also brings me to my next point, which is that travel isn’t just about tourism. There are people in long distance relationships that have been kept apart for 18 months, babies have been born, others are ill and haven’t been able to see loved ones and friends, etc.

Lastly, Palaszczuk seems to make the point that people may not want to travel, citing that in Tokyo you can’t talk while you’re eating, and plexiglass shields are used. I think it’s important to note that in many parts of the world (including the United States and United Kingdom, two of Australia’s biggest tourist markets), life is largely back to (a new) normal for the vaccinated.

Palaszczuk seems to suggest that India and Japan sound unappealing, and infers there’s nowhere else to go, though something tells me that many Australians might be interested in traveling to places like London, Los Angeles, and New York, among others, all of which are open.

Bottom line

I’m curious to see how the border restrictions plays out in Australia after the country hits the 80% vaccination threshold. Some politicians are in favor of reopening borders immediately, while others aren’t. This is also complicated further by individual states being able to close domestic borders, meaning that we might not see a unified policy.

Queensland’s premier seems surprised to hear that people may want to travel at all, suggesting that India and Japan aren’t fun to visit. This seems out of touch on many levels — there are places in the world that it’s fun to travel to right now, but more importantly, travel goes beyond tourism. There are families, partners, and close friends, that have been kept apart for 18+ months now.

To be clear, I’d respect the premier’s perspective if she said “we’re doing quite well in Queensland and we want to see how things evolve before deciding on the timeline for reopening borders.” But basically saying “crikey, why would anyone want to travel?” is a different story.

What do you make of the comments of Queensland’s premier?

Conversations (167)
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  1. Derek Armitage Guest

    Those who would give up freedom in the name of security deserve NEITHER.

  2. platy Guest

    @ Ben Schlappig

    Please note that they has been a significant development in Australian politics.

    The Premier of NSW has just resigned - she is also leaving the NSW parliament triggering a by-election.

    As I predicted in my posts on this very thread - she has not survived until the federal election due in a few months, being an evident liability to the incumbent federal government (same political parties) while answering allegations of corruption.

    To...

    @ Ben Schlappig

    Please note that they has been a significant development in Australian politics.

    The Premier of NSW has just resigned - she is also leaving the NSW parliament triggering a by-election.

    As I predicted in my posts on this very thread - she has not survived until the federal election due in a few months, being an evident liability to the incumbent federal government (same political parties) while answering allegations of corruption.

    To note that she had also over the last few days started to back peddle on the commitment to relax border controls at 70% vaccination rates in conflict with the Prime Minster (of her own political party).

    It comes on a day on which the Prime Minister tried to force the debate on international borders by leaking to the press his desire to open borders early.

    So..if it's your intention to cover Australian politics on your blog - you might like to provide some perspective and counterpoint to your coverage of the Queensland Premier.

    In the meantime, supporters of her political party and the PM will be in for a very rude awakening.

    That includes many posters below.

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-10-01/icac-investigating-gladys-berejiklian-daryl-maguire/100506956

    1. Mh Gold

      The typical 'look over there' comment. This has nothing to do with the topic of this post.

  3. Bobby Guest

    Hi Ben - great article as usual.
    Every time I hear about Australia maxing out the restrictions on their own citizens to travel abroad (much less to visit their next door neighbors) I celebrate. Ever been to Bali pre-pandemic? Completely overrun by these crazy, uncouth, disrespectful people. The world is much better off if all Australians stay in Australia. If they are doing it on their own, all the better. Its comical watching videos...

    Hi Ben - great article as usual.
    Every time I hear about Australia maxing out the restrictions on their own citizens to travel abroad (much less to visit their next door neighbors) I celebrate. Ever been to Bali pre-pandemic? Completely overrun by these crazy, uncouth, disrespectful people. The world is much better off if all Australians stay in Australia. If they are doing it on their own, all the better. Its comical watching videos of their leaders warning them not to go outside and watch the sunset and hearing they can't drink beer outside. All while the surveys show 90+% of the populations supports this nonsense. These people need to keep their anti-science crazy lockdown practices going - just don't expect any of us outside of Australia to do so. We are too busy laughing.

    1. platy Guest

      @ Bobby

      Here's the science:

      https://www.doherty.edu.au/uploads/content_doc/DohertyModelling_NationalPlan_and_Addendum_20210810.pdf

      It models how vaccination rates balance against the armoury of PHSM (public, health and social measures) and TTIQ (test, trace, isolate and quarantine) measures to manage case loads, hospitalisation, ICU admissions and deaths.

      Strangely enough the majority of those "uncouth and disrespectful" folk in Australia are sufficiently community minded to care about others in their community and don't want them to get sick and die.

      Be warned -...

      @ Bobby

      Here's the science:

      https://www.doherty.edu.au/uploads/content_doc/DohertyModelling_NationalPlan_and_Addendum_20210810.pdf

      It models how vaccination rates balance against the armoury of PHSM (public, health and social measures) and TTIQ (test, trace, isolate and quarantine) measures to manage case loads, hospitalisation, ICU admissions and deaths.

      Strangely enough the majority of those "uncouth and disrespectful" folk in Australia are sufficiently community minded to care about others in their community and don't want them to get sick and die.

      Be warned - the borders are about to open up - they'll be floods of those errant crazies making up for lost party time heading out to Kuta and Honolulu.

      Most have been practising for most of the pandemic without any local restrictions, too busy drinking to notice the sunset, enjoying the outdoor bars and beaches of a mostly COVID free existence.

      Maybe don't bother reading the science, mate, your ignorant posts are good for a laugh.

  4. platy Guest

    Ouch - NSW Premier backtracks on relaxing regional travel restrictions upon 70% vaccination target - cue an outcry from the PM and the right wing sycophants - no, I didn't think so...but if the QLD Premier had announced such, they would have gone mental....

    https://www.news.com.au/travel/australian-holidays/detail-everyone-missed-in-gladys-berejiklians-nsw-reopening-plan/news-story/e6dfd6d7d9f40936a88daba267b22e5d

  5. Sam A Guest

    We’re Australians who live in Europe and have family in Brisbane - they have been so utterly brainwashed by the government it’s criminal. When we tell them we’re traveling around pretty normally in Europe and the UK, going to restaurants and events, and everything else and they can’t believe it. They’ve been told that people are dying in the streets and there are funeral fires burning down Oxford Street. The government there is flat out...

    We’re Australians who live in Europe and have family in Brisbane - they have been so utterly brainwashed by the government it’s criminal. When we tell them we’re traveling around pretty normally in Europe and the UK, going to restaurants and events, and everything else and they can’t believe it. They’ve been told that people are dying in the streets and there are funeral fires burning down Oxford Street. The government there is flat out lying about the rest of the world so they don’t look bad after a pathetic vaccine rollout - much like rubbish she says in this clip “some people in Europe traveling”? Try millions upon millions and we aren’t sitting behind glass unable to take our masks off either… everything is pretty normal. She is just trying to cling onto control for a few months longer so is spreading more fear and misinformation… sickening political power games at its worst.

    1. Mattew225 New Member

      Nobody is telling anyone outright lies like that. The stats are what is shared.

    2. platy Guest

      @ Sam A

      Anyone in Australia can access information via reputable media sources, and access overseas media such as The Times (UK), etc., and see for themselves what's going on.

      The situation in other countries is reported here - Norway opening up, Singapore imposing restrictions, surges in cases and deaths in Florida and Texas, the UK opening up, but now facing fuel shortages, the upside and downside of Sweden's strategy, the high vaccination rates in...

      @ Sam A

      Anyone in Australia can access information via reputable media sources, and access overseas media such as The Times (UK), etc., and see for themselves what's going on.

      The situation in other countries is reported here - Norway opening up, Singapore imposing restrictions, surges in cases and deaths in Florida and Texas, the UK opening up, but now facing fuel shortages, the upside and downside of Sweden's strategy, the high vaccination rates in Cambodia, etc., etc.

      Anyone here can access the respective government websites to check on entry restrictions: for example, the use of home quarantine for international arrivals in Japan, the ongoing saga of restrictions on Americans entering Europe and Europeans entering the USA, etc.

      Anyone here can also access the statistics on COVID freely online (John Hopkins, Worldometer, etc) and see the current and historical records on COVID cases and deaths by country.

      I don't think anybody here thinks there are funeral fires in Oxford Street - that appears to be your deluded projection - we have heard about the 135,000 UK dead, the ongoing 35,000 daily cases and 100 plus daily deaths and the need to call out the military to manage the chaos of fuel shortages, etc.

      Travel restrictions of some sort another remain in most countries on the planet. COVID cases and deaths continue likewise to demand difference containment measures in differing countries.

      To claim otherwise and thereby embrace conspiracy theories about Australian politicians is the provenance of the lunatic fringe. I know this for a fact because an alien from a flying saucer told me and my mobile phone sticks to my arm where I had my Pfizer shots.

    3. Sam A Guest

      Yikes! Did Ana tell you the fuel truck shortages were caused by COVID as well? You got us… it was supposed to be a secret… yes, taking off your mask for even one second will cause you to search out and drink the petrol right out of any nearby cars! Lucky you’ve got Ana to keep you safe!

      With you guys in Brisbane going back into another lockdown with a mask mandate you won’t have...

      Yikes! Did Ana tell you the fuel truck shortages were caused by COVID as well? You got us… it was supposed to be a secret… yes, taking off your mask for even one second will cause you to search out and drink the petrol right out of any nearby cars! Lucky you’ve got Ana to keep you safe!

      With you guys in Brisbane going back into another lockdown with a mask mandate you won’t have to worry about that either.

      Enjoy that Queensland freedom! Watch the NRL grand final that’ll take your mind off everything else. Why would you want to travel anywhere anyway? Envy of the world!

    4. platy Guest

      @ Sam A

      But my friends in the UK had obviously been utterly brainwashed by PM Boris (born in New York) Johnson that it is criminal. They needed to embrace COVID to attain herd immunity. The dead would have died anyway because they were old and sick. It was just the flu.

      But then the bumbling Boris got sick and almost died. The Tory twits nearly lost their hindsight hero. No matter, mini Winston...

      @ Sam A

      But my friends in the UK had obviously been utterly brainwashed by PM Boris (born in New York) Johnson that it is criminal. They needed to embrace COVID to attain herd immunity. The dead would have died anyway because they were old and sick. It was just the flu.

      But then the bumbling Boris got sick and almost died. The Tory twits nearly lost their hindsight hero. No matter, mini Winston sent his best buddy Dominic out on his trusty Boris Bicycle with its fetching blue Barclays Bank sponsorship poster to round the commoners into lockdown servitude.

      Special laws were passed to give the UK government extraordinary powers. But it was all too late. The hospitals filled up. The NHS struggled after years of underfunding by a conga line of right wing self entitled rich MPs from the exclusively uber-rich private schools such as Eton and back door acceptance into Oxford University by studying subjects of very low academic entry requirements (such as Geography).

      Brits died in the tens of thousands. Boris had failed to control the pandemic - the thing had been real after all. The commoners were banished to their bedsits and granted their social bubbles and told not to worry about the deprivations of shortages of Nandos chicken and McDonalds milkshakes.

      The failures of government were made acutely obvious by those countries, which had taken decisive action and suffered mortality rates 50 times less than the Uk and its ally in incompetent governance during the pandemic, the USA.

      You couldn't argue with the data (135,00 dead in the UK, nearly 700,000 in the USA), but you could mount a classic right wing propaganda campaign pointing out all of the awful consequences of successful governance achieved elsewhere. Most folk don't look at the stats - they listen to the spin.

      Australians had obviously been denied the freedom to catch COVID if they wanted to, to pass it onto others and watch them die as a consequence of their selfish freedoms, the liberty to spread the virus to innocents folk in other countries through their right to self entitled elite travel. With the trusty assistance of the Murdoch media machine, overseas leaders could easily be trashed through campaigns of personal assassination. Right wing commentators cranked into action from Texas to the Home Counties of England. In extremis, even Piers Morgan was offered up to the Australian Sky News to bludgeon the viewers of the acquiescent population and rewrite the narrative, a notable sacrifice for Brits obsessed with the unseemly behaviour of an errant Megan Markle.

      And of course they bought the BS in their millions. UK good, Australia bad. America a land of freedom, health and prosperity and Australia a prison.

      But something didn't add up back in Australia. A reality that couldn't be denied. Where we live in Queensland, there have been a total of just three days of lockdown in the last 15 months. OK, there was a ten day period after that when we had to wear masks outdoors. That can't be right - surely. The economy didn't sink into the abyss. Suicide rates didn't go up. Toilet paper returned to the shelves. The state leaders from both sides of politics adopted broadly similar strategies. Life went on for most without the lockdowns and deaths suffered in other countries.

      Yes there have been stumbles - a stuttering vaccine roll out - mistimed opening of travel bubbles - protocols busted in arrivals and quarantine - a government, which should have done more to help citizens return home.

      But some folk overseas just can't accept that COVID was substantially manageable after all - they refuse to accept the failings of their respective governments.

      The very leaders who kept Australians safe have been systematically re-elected in state elections reflecting the respect and gratitude of the people - they will now decide when and how to relax restrictions as vaccination rates rally. So far it seems that high vaccination rates will be achievable, greatly bolstering the options to manage the end game. Clearly, vaccine hesitancy will be far less than a country like the USA, where vaccinations and mask wearing became a politicised issue.

      Clearly, the country won't be opened up with the careless abandon of the bumbling butt head Boris. The local leaders are making some attempt to listen to the science.

      In the meantime here is a gentle reminder of the UK's own lockdown journey:

      https://www.instituteforgovernment.org.uk/sites/default/files/timeline-lockdown-web.pdf

      PS. Apparently they are desperate for HGV drivers for the fuel tankers in the UK - something about Brexit and COVID.

  6. Victoria Walker Guest

    As an Australian overseas trying to get home to see family and friends believe me when I say that most Aussies overseas feel like a separate race now. There is clear xenophobia in Australia towards the « overseas Australians « . We aren’t even considered to have any rights as Australian citizens. It is rather awful to feel alienated by your own countrymen. The whole situation has been handled haphazardly at best. Obviously it is good to...

    As an Australian overseas trying to get home to see family and friends believe me when I say that most Aussies overseas feel like a separate race now. There is clear xenophobia in Australia towards the « overseas Australians « . We aren’t even considered to have any rights as Australian citizens. It is rather awful to feel alienated by your own countrymen. The whole situation has been handled haphazardly at best. Obviously it is good to keep the Australian population safe but a better solution could have been found to accommodate those wish to enter Australia and those poor people wanting to leave to see family overseas. This is a unique era and people are very emotional about their individual situations. The Qld Premier has shown a blatant lack of care and compassion with her comments. As a country of immigrants you would think that Australia would be well placed to understand the need to travel. Apparently memories of parents and grandparents coming to Australia to settle has been long forgotten.

    1. platy Guest

      @ Victoria Walker

      To be fair on the QLD Premier and government, they have pushed to set up arrivals centres at the Wellcamp Airport and Pinkenba - it has been reported that PM Morrison has stood against the Wellcamp initiative - they have also batted back on forth on the Pikenba project.

      Blaming QLD for PM Morrison's failings is a misdirection of your understandable frustrations.

      Nor was it the state governments' responsibility to procure vaccines...

      @ Victoria Walker

      To be fair on the QLD Premier and government, they have pushed to set up arrivals centres at the Wellcamp Airport and Pinkenba - it has been reported that PM Morrison has stood against the Wellcamp initiative - they have also batted back on forth on the Pikenba project.

      Blaming QLD for PM Morrison's failings is a misdirection of your understandable frustrations.

      Nor was it the state governments' responsibility to procure vaccines with the appropriate diversity and timeliness. If PM Morrison and his federal government clowns has managed the vaccine procurement and roll out with any modicum of competence, the country could have started to open up weeks if not months ago.

      QLD will open up when it is safe to do so.

    2. Sam A Guest

      Is that you Ana? Come on it’s getting too easy to spot! You’re supporting every insane, heartless, egotistical policy that government makes…. that would be right on for Ana to be writing these herself… although I would have expected more spelling mistakes?

      The world will never be “safe”, it never has been and it never will be. COVID is here for ever, hiding in a locked room closing your eyes wishing it would go away...

      Is that you Ana? Come on it’s getting too easy to spot! You’re supporting every insane, heartless, egotistical policy that government makes…. that would be right on for Ana to be writing these herself… although I would have expected more spelling mistakes?

      The world will never be “safe”, it never has been and it never will be. COVID is here for ever, hiding in a locked room closing your eyes wishing it would go away while families and business are being destroyed around you is the height of selfishness… in a few months she’ll be walking out the demands for more money, more taxes, and discrediting all those pesky mental health issues.

      No matter how you slice and dice it Ana and Mark have played a huge part in fuelling the fear mongering isolationist policies for their own selfish re-election purposes that have separated hundreds of thousands of Australian families for nearly 2 years. Your feigned sympathy is right on for Ana, she doesn’t care either for anyone but herself and her political pension.

    3. Francis Guest

      Sam, Platy must be either a Labour apparatchik or a QLD public servant , perhaps part of the Premiers media team.

      Who else has as much time to burn as they obviously do in posting these lengthy, partisan opinions ?

    4. platy Guest

      @ Francis

      Maybe try reading the report commissioned by the federal government:

      https://www.doherty.edu.au/uploads/content_doc/DohertyModelling_NationalPlan_and_Addendum_20210810.pdf

      After that, if you have anything intelligent to add, please do post your insights.

      Spoiler alert - it'll likely make no sense unless you have some science / maths - making a critical assessment is likely beyond the comprehension and competency of most. Unfortunately without the background context it will be hard to make an informed assessment of the complex various...

      @ Francis

      Maybe try reading the report commissioned by the federal government:

      https://www.doherty.edu.au/uploads/content_doc/DohertyModelling_NationalPlan_and_Addendum_20210810.pdf

      After that, if you have anything intelligent to add, please do post your insights.

      Spoiler alert - it'll likely make no sense unless you have some science / maths - making a critical assessment is likely beyond the comprehension and competency of most. Unfortunately without the background context it will be hard to make an informed assessment of the complex various health policy decisions faced by various governments.

    5. platy Guest

      @ Sam A

      And Steven Marshall (SA) has done what to manage COVID...?

      And Peter Gutwein (TAS) has done what to manage COVID...?

      Spoiler alert - the same as the other states, regardless of political persuasion.

      Read the science models, Sam:

      https://www.doherty.edu.au/uploads/content_doc/DohertyModelling_NationalPlan_and_Addendum_20210810.pdf

      Read the alternate points of view, Sam:

      https://theconversation.com/opening-with-70-of-adults-vaccinated-the-doherty-report-predicts-1-5k-deaths-in-6-months-we-need-a-revised-plan-166659

      The politicians didn't fabricate the science, Sam, nor the predictions of the models.

      Nor did they fabricate the data on cases and deaths in other...

      @ Sam A

      And Steven Marshall (SA) has done what to manage COVID...?

      And Peter Gutwein (TAS) has done what to manage COVID...?

      Spoiler alert - the same as the other states, regardless of political persuasion.

      Read the science models, Sam:

      https://www.doherty.edu.au/uploads/content_doc/DohertyModelling_NationalPlan_and_Addendum_20210810.pdf

      Read the alternate points of view, Sam:

      https://theconversation.com/opening-with-70-of-adults-vaccinated-the-doherty-report-predicts-1-5k-deaths-in-6-months-we-need-a-revised-plan-166659

      The politicians didn't fabricate the science, Sam, nor the predictions of the models.

      Nor did they fabricate the data on cases and deaths in other countries, Sam.

      Nor did they invent the data on suicide rates (spoiler alert - which don't indicate an increase), Sam.

      The Australian politicians aren't responsible for policy in other countries, Sam - Singapore reimposing restrictions despite high vaccination rates, for example.

      Where's it working in your world view, Sam: the USA with over 700,00 dead, vaccination rates slowed, over 100,000 additional cases daily?

      What's you alternate plan, Sam - ignore COVID entirely, push for a vaccination target or give up and pretend COVID doesn't exist?

      Just which country are you expecting to travel to and from, Sam - have you checked their relevant entry requirements?

      The next time those aliens come on their space ship to visit - be sure to ask for a test flight.

  7. Christine Bundy Guest

    Today's press.......locked out of his home state.....https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-09-27/qld-coronavirus-covid-stranded-queensland-border/100483510

    1. platy Guest

      @ Christine Bundy

      Residents and intended residents of QLD are not "locked out" of their home state as you dramatically claim. But they do have to make the relevant declarations and quarantine if they have been in a "hot spot". The factual information is readily available on the QLD government website.

  8. john austen Guest

    Mr Schlappig: thanks. I think the point you make may be a little stretched from what you present. Nonetheless, in the context of the totality of what has been going on in Australia, you are largely right. Australia has a long history of parochialism verging on xenophobia. Re Covid, there is evidence of party political and parochial divisions that have been stoked by local and State politicians. This emerged from hysterical reporting, perhaps initiated by...

    Mr Schlappig: thanks. I think the point you make may be a little stretched from what you present. Nonetheless, in the context of the totality of what has been going on in Australia, you are largely right. Australia has a long history of parochialism verging on xenophobia. Re Covid, there is evidence of party political and parochial divisions that have been stoked by local and State politicians. This emerged from hysterical reporting, perhaps initiated by the self-interest of health officials who hold emergency powers and 'health experts', which became campaigns for 'elimination' and against a particular brand of vaccine. The result is the national objective of Feb/Mar 2020 - of buying time - morphed in the minds of some and some State Governments to zero cases forever. Experience prior and in other field suggests that is a fools paradise. I think what you are seeing is the inevitable, and now more painful, political transition out of that paradise, which involves a reduction in power and possibility of accountability of those who wielded it. The case of Queensland is interesting as the relevant powers lie with the Chief Health Officer not the Premier - meaning at least in principle, and probably at law, the Premiers comments are at best irrelevant. Your post implies civilisation has purposes other than 'winning the war on covid' and tourism, meaning zero cases is not an achievement. You are right, and the rebalancing in most Australian States - including Victoria which had a similar approach to Queensland - is now underway. Best wishes

    1. platy Guest

      @ John Austen

      For perspective, please also consider that:

      - divisions have been ably stoked by the federal PM and others in the national government
      - the vaccine roll out has been months late thanks to the incompetency of the federal government: the Delta VOC wave would have been more controllable if they hadn't faltered
      - whatever your perceptions on local health experts they have no control over the fate of "a particular...

      @ John Austen

      For perspective, please also consider that:

      - divisions have been ably stoked by the federal PM and others in the national government
      - the vaccine roll out has been months late thanks to the incompetency of the federal government: the Delta VOC wave would have been more controllable if they hadn't faltered
      - whatever your perceptions on local health experts they have no control over the fate of "a particular brand of vaccine" on other jurisdictions, countries where that vaccine was never used, its use suspended or restricted by limited age cohort, or shunned for national booster shots for 2022: the government continues to report efficacy data omitting the salient differences between the vaccines (although these are available in the Doherty Report) by removing the unfortunate data from their tabulations
      - the dialogue in health policy identified the limitations in a particular vaccine in professional journals as early as April 2021 and rightly predicted there would need to be a rest away from that vaccine to mRNA candidates
      - as COVID is more controlled by vaccines the powers wielded under state health acts will no longer be legally justifiable irregardless of the individuals involved (or your opinions thereof)
      - its is specious for the right (and certain other commentators) to claim a goal of ongoing zero COVID is the motivation of certain political leaders: it is entirely appropriate in the interests of good governance to adopt a cautious approach, update the models (the Doherty Report is out of date), collate the data from other countries: the latter indicate that 80% vaccination of over 16s will be insufficient - that's scientific reality, not politics (hopefully somebody with scientific credentials can explain that to the PM and Premier of NSW)
      - many ignore that SA and TAS have also adopted strict strategy - you won't see anybody right leaning admit such given the political bias in the debate
      - robust suppression of COVID has proved to be effective in most states for most of the duration of the pandemic: this continues to apply to most of the states and territories (both Labor and Liberal-National)
      - for many months of the pandemic most of Australia enjoyed freedoms to the envy of other countries, or mortality rates 50 times less than others that put freedoms over health policy
      - IMO your "rebalancing" is timely and necessary - it's a question of the right pathway, being mindful of the lessons learned from other countries who have higher vaccination rates than Australia and have experimented with relaxation for control measures
      - if the federal government was trustworthy it would make public the maths underpinning the Doherty Report models - that it won't is a fundamental dereliction of accountability - the community should have access to this information and it should; be reviewed by the scientific community

      Be safe. Be well. Hopefully see you all in an airport lounge soon...;)

    2. platy Guest

      @ John Austen

      I did make offer a response with some counterpoints - apparently now terminated! Be well.

  9. Christine Bundy Guest

    Every time she opens her mouth I feel ashamed to be Australian...an Australian who normally Lives in Cambodia where I work for an NGO educating kids from poor families. Those families are even poorer since the pandemic. I would like to go back to continue my work...then I might go to India. Her comments throughout the entire pandemic have been embarrassing...this latest stab at India summed up her narrow mindedness...45,000 Ozzies have been stuck overseas...

    Every time she opens her mouth I feel ashamed to be Australian...an Australian who normally Lives in Cambodia where I work for an NGO educating kids from poor families. Those families are even poorer since the pandemic. I would like to go back to continue my work...then I might go to India. Her comments throughout the entire pandemic have been embarrassing...this latest stab at India summed up her narrow mindedness...45,000 Ozzies have been stuck overseas for nearly 2 years because of the caps on international arrivals...some with no money, limited access to accommodation & deteriorating mental health. She has repeatedly mocked the other states in Oz and now she takes aim at India...our Indian family has suffered incredibly during this pandemic so lets just slap them when they're down with a dose of "them & us"...it's her trade mark...them & us. Qld versus everybody else.

    1. platy Guest

      @ Christine Bundy

      Please a little reality based on facts and figures not emotional prejudice. ABS data show that over 500,000 Australians have returned home during the pandemic.

      You are allowed to leave the country for work purposes (it's one of the exemptions).

      There are about 30,000 Australians who at any one time have registered an interest with the government in returning to Australia (a little under one tenth of one percent of the population)....

      @ Christine Bundy

      Please a little reality based on facts and figures not emotional prejudice. ABS data show that over 500,000 Australians have returned home during the pandemic.

      You are allowed to leave the country for work purposes (it's one of the exemptions).

      There are about 30,000 Australians who at any one time have registered an interest with the government in returning to Australia (a little under one tenth of one percent of the population). IMHO the federal government should have made more effort to get these people home.

      I am reading that Cambodia has made an outstanding effort in vaccinating its population second only to Singapore in the SE Asian region.

      The right wing in the Australian federal government and NSW will continue to drive a corrosive narrative against Labor held states - it's your choice to look beyond that or not.

      Just remember that it the federal Liberal-National government is the one who has repeatedly denigrated refugees, slashed overseas aid, dog whistled to the racists, now turns back to its colonial past (UK and USA) rather than embracing SE Asia, removes access to welfare for migrants, diverts funds from public to private health, from state schools to private education, refuses to embrace climate change and promoters big business over the rights of individual citizens. Please maintain some sort of perspective here.

  10. Cyd Guest

    I don’t have any political knowledge nor interest. I’m just the average Australian whose most family members are overseas (1/3 of Australians have foreign background). I haven’t seen any of them for 18 months, most for over 2,5 years. In this time I got married and had a child that no one in my family has met. Yes we were in favour of closed borders “at the start” when we thought it was a short...

    I don’t have any political knowledge nor interest. I’m just the average Australian whose most family members are overseas (1/3 of Australians have foreign background). I haven’t seen any of them for 18 months, most for over 2,5 years. In this time I got married and had a child that no one in my family has met. Yes we were in favour of closed borders “at the start” when we thought it was a short term solution. We now need to get on with our lives, we already missed out on so much, weddings, funerals, births etc, nothing can make up for the lost time, we want to see our families. That’s why her comment is at best insensitive, at worst stupidity.

  11. AG Guest

    My comment is not an explanation at all. It's a blunt point about the difference in what is being achieved by India despite the challenges. Thank you for bringing up the population difference because it just shows how little Australia has achieved.

    If India can vaccinate an entire Australia in three days, what on earth has the Australian government been doing? it is a much richer country too. India is even exporting millions of doses...

    My comment is not an explanation at all. It's a blunt point about the difference in what is being achieved by India despite the challenges. Thank you for bringing up the population difference because it just shows how little Australia has achieved.

    If India can vaccinate an entire Australia in three days, what on earth has the Australian government been doing? it is a much richer country too. India is even exporting millions of doses to other countries. If Australia were able to achieve the vaccination rates that India is, this stupid premiere would not be on the news platform scaring her citizens into staying under cover and stopping people from seeing their families, singling out countries like Japan and India that have achieved much more. While Australia stays shut, Japan actually hosted the Olympics with no real worsening of Covid as a result. India was ravaged by the Delta variant but look how it's progressed, whereas Australia seems to be only interested in scare tactics fuelled by bigoted politicians.

  12. A prisoner Guest

    Australia is an midst of a mental and financial health crisis. Some have been in lockdown for almost 250 days. Children out of school, retail closed and cannot leave home further than 5km! And don’t forget curfew from 9pm!!
    We don’t just want to travel and see family we want to escape!!!! But alas the “democratic” government doesn’t even allow anyone to leave!
    Most of us would welcome covid with open arms at this point!

  13. David Campbell Guest

    Some of the comments state incorrect facts. Australian’s never said they wanted ‘zero’ covid. The goal was to flatten the curve. The Federal Government didn’t make mistake after mistake then the states took over the management of the pandemic. The biggest mistake the Federal Government made was not to manage this pandemic from the outset. They managed SARS and the Swine Flu and there was a National coordinated approach. By handing management to the states...

    Some of the comments state incorrect facts. Australian’s never said they wanted ‘zero’ covid. The goal was to flatten the curve. The Federal Government didn’t make mistake after mistake then the states took over the management of the pandemic. The biggest mistake the Federal Government made was not to manage this pandemic from the outset. They managed SARS and the Swine Flu and there was a National coordinated approach. By handing management to the states we have had five different approaches to the pandemic which has created five ‘Australia’s’ with a disjointed response that has resulted in the current situation which sees some states ready to open mid-October and some like Queensland fearful of opening at all as they know that when they do Delta will run wild just as it has done in NSW and Victoria. Make no mistake, in Australia, this is now a political pandemic and the comments by the Queensland Premier are just that, political. She wants to delay the opening of borders as long as she can because she knows what’s going to happen once they do open. That will put pressure on her Government which is labour as we head towards the Federal election in March/April 2022. We have only two liberal state governments in Australia and the rest want to unseat the liberal federal govt next year by making the liberal states, particularly NSW, appear incompetent by their management of Covid. With NSW set to be the first state to ‘re-open’ the labour states can’t afford to be in the middle of managing the Delta outbreak in the lead up to the Federal election. So the premier’s absurd comments are purely political. In Australia, this pandemic is no longer a medical pandemic but a political one which is why we have the sort of comments being made by the Queensland premier.

    1. A prisoner Guest

      The PM only 3 months ago said zero covid so check your facts

    2. platy Guest

      @ David Campbell

      Incorrect facts anyone?

      There are three, not two, Liberal-National state governments in Australia (NSW, SA, TAS). This is significant because it has become customary to criticise the QLD government for policies adopted by sister states, which happen to be Liberal-National run.

      Your credibility is already shot.

      Now - a state-by-state approach to the COVID epidemic is an inevitable consequence of the respective scopes of government. States have the imprimatur to handle health....

      @ David Campbell

      Incorrect facts anyone?

      There are three, not two, Liberal-National state governments in Australia (NSW, SA, TAS). This is significant because it has become customary to criticise the QLD government for policies adopted by sister states, which happen to be Liberal-National run.

      Your credibility is already shot.

      Now - a state-by-state approach to the COVID epidemic is an inevitable consequence of the respective scopes of government. States have the imprimatur to handle health. They have respective legal instruments for such (various health care acts). Their powers to implement measures to control the epidemic are endowed by these state-based statutes. Their ability to invoke exceptional powers at times of health emergency also reside within these laws.

      That said, PM "clot" Morrison, could have united the country, if he was a leader of substance. But of course, he isn't. He and his government have failed to deliver those areas of responsibility that do lie within their scope. These include procuring diversity and sufficient vaccine supplies in a timely manner (they didn't), rolling out vaccines to priority groups (it never happened), setting up national arrivals / quarantine centres (there's just Howard Springs) and making arrangements to facilitate citizens returning home (a pathetic attempt at best). The PM has utterly failed to stand up and be a leader of strength and conviction - he's too busy lying and hiding. One example, the maths behind the Doherty Report model is not been released for scientific scrutiny - this alone is an appalling lack of transparency - we don't get to check the basis of the very document upon which our future as a nation depends.

      A few more facts.

      The so-called agreement to open at 80% was not cast in stone as the PM would have you believe. It allowed substantial discretion on the part of the premiers. of course you wouldn't think that listening to the bleating cries of the PM.

      In any case, the models of The Doherty Report are already outdated and based on numerous assumptions and datasets of questionable accuracy and relevance.

      Now for some common sense. Vaccination rates will have to be very high for vaccinations to take the burden of controlling COVID, based on he experience of other countries. Certainly higher than the 80% of over 16 year olds mooted in the Doherty Report and oft quoted by our religious nut job of a PM.

      Vaccination rates will also need to be consistent across Australia so as not to disadvantage folk - vaccines have been preferentially directed to NSW by the federal government in their 100,000s - other states are still catching up.

      No premier in their right minds, Labor or Liberal-National, would expose their state to COVID until they have attained adequate vaccination rates and are confident that they can manage the outcomes of their policies.

      Of course there will be politics running up to the federal election. But stroll out "it's not a race" Morrison has a real problem. He can't hide the incompetence of his own making and the dithering of his government or its right wing element in denial of COVID and vaccinations (refer Matt Canavan, George Christensen, Sarah Henderson, etc). Which his why he's already way behind in the polls 54.5% to 45.5%.

      He also has a problem because his attempts to discredit the QLD Labor government can easily backfire onto the Liberal-Nationals in TAS and SA, who will also be c circumspect in opening up their states without high vaccination rates.

      He also has a very special problem with NSW. Gormless fools gold plated Gladys herself. She is yet to face allegations of corruption and may yet be replaced by her own party before the federal election. Consorting with corrupt MPs like Daryl and boning your barrister, who represents you in corruption hearings, is just not a good look.

      Incidentally, you might like to read the Doherty Report for yourself (if you haven't already). If you have any sense of science or maths, you might get a big shock - it just isn't fit for purpose to inform once-in-a-generation policy decisions.

  14. CA Guest

    Someone tell this guy that India has a population roughly 55 times larger than that of Australia - I see your point, but your explanation is invalid

  15. Auspointer Guest

    Ahhh yes our own crazy Anna Palaszczuk. For some context this is the same State Premier that’s determined to get the Adani Carmichael coal mine established in her state which will have an appalling environmental impact not just from the ultimate use of its output but in its impact on the Great Barrier Reef, ironically the prime draw card for tourism to Queensland (whenever that begins again).

    Queensland has a reputation for fostering a disproportionate...

    Ahhh yes our own crazy Anna Palaszczuk. For some context this is the same State Premier that’s determined to get the Adani Carmichael coal mine established in her state which will have an appalling environmental impact not just from the ultimate use of its output but in its impact on the Great Barrier Reef, ironically the prime draw card for tourism to Queensland (whenever that begins again).

    Queensland has a reputation for fostering a disproportionate number redneck, insular and irrational politicians. What you are witnessing in that video is her voicing what a large number of her constituents think, sadly.

    To add to the irony Queensland of course is set to host the Olympics in 2032, so I guess you can assume they will at least have to open their border by then.

    1. Fearful Guest

      The combination of: 1) catastrophisation about COVID causing disproportionate fear in Australia, and 2) pursuing aggressive measures which take little account of the human cost of those measures, has been a winning formula for some politicians in Australia, especially in States with a culture of isolationism and parochialism.

  16. Mattew225 New Member

    Imagine being in Australia - you have close to zero cases and deaths (for the majority of the pandemic - now we are getting around 1.5k daily cases with roughly 10 daily deaths with two delta outbreaks in our two largest cities), and you are constantly bombarded with news of 147,000 daily new cases in the US with 3,000 daily deaths. Or 35,000 daily cases and 800 deaths a day in the UK.

    These...

    Imagine being in Australia - you have close to zero cases and deaths (for the majority of the pandemic - now we are getting around 1.5k daily cases with roughly 10 daily deaths with two delta outbreaks in our two largest cities), and you are constantly bombarded with news of 147,000 daily new cases in the US with 3,000 daily deaths. Or 35,000 daily cases and 800 deaths a day in the UK.

    These numbers are unfathomable to any Australian.

    There was an utter outcry when the boarders weren't shut sooner - as we had a massive advantage of not sharing any land borders so it seemed the most obvious and the easiest thing to do. The populations of WA, QLD, NT, SA, TAS - they LOVE that their premier stands up at almost daily (since the start of the pandemic) pressers and can say they've had zero cases. They live for it, because they can carry on as normal - and have done for the majority of the pandemic.

    There has been bungle after bungle from the federal government so trust was placed in our state governments and premiers. They were the ones 'getting it done', keeping their populations 'safe'. The measures might seen extreme but to the majority of Australians they make sense. The Australian public made it clear from the get go that 'we' wanted zero cases. So thats what the federal and state governments have been aiming for.

    The states are aiming for 70% double dose vaccination (bare minimum), with NSW currently at 59.9% double dose and 85% single. We have a clear roadmap for restriction relief at 70 & 80% (we'll easily hit both by mid October). The chief health officer for NSW now believes we can get to 90%.

    The judgment for the handling of the pandemic will be at the next council/state/federal elections. All of these levels of government will be desperately attempting to show how they did the right thing for their constitutes. Will be an interesting time ;)

  17. Jason Murphy Guest

    I cannot believe such a racist slur and ignorant statement would come from the voice of state premier. Singling out India was a disgrace, and what part of the fact does she not understand that 30% of Australians (1 in 3) (7.6m) were born overseas and will therefore have close family there. She should resign in shame.

  18. Megan Guest

    Life in Australia has been better here than other parts. I’m located in a regional part of Queensland that Covid never reaches and we’ve never worn masks. I look at my family and friends in the USA and worry every day. But, the Qld premiere is a hypocrite. She wouldn’t allow family in NSW to see a dying relative but allowed an airplane full of footie players and their families into QLD. It’s about money...

    Life in Australia has been better here than other parts. I’m located in a regional part of Queensland that Covid never reaches and we’ve never worn masks. I look at my family and friends in the USA and worry every day. But, the Qld premiere is a hypocrite. She wouldn’t allow family in NSW to see a dying relative but allowed an airplane full of footie players and their families into QLD. It’s about money to here and her agenda.
    I have been stuck here for 19 months, without the ability to see or get my 6 year old son in the USA. It has been a nightmare. So exemptions to leave have been approved. We need our borders open to reunite families. It’s not about people galavanting around the globe, it’s about us seeing those we love.
    I’m addition, Australian (especially QLD) relies upon back packers to help pick our fruit crops. The season was good this year and not enough people to pick. Most of our crops are export. We need to open up again. She needs to stop being a corrupt tyrant. She is out of touch and needs a reality check!

  19. J. Valentine Guest

    I am an Australian living in Queensland. I am also one of the 30% of Aussies who was born overseas. My immediate family live overseas.

    The comments made by the Premier are not only insular but utterly abhorrent given the mental health devastation that has been caused by Australia’s totalitarian border measures.

    She’s a disgrace and her opinion has no place in the leadership of a country that was built on the back of successful migration.

  20. James Fitzsimmons Guest

    Really well said! Annastacia has been nothing but trouble this year. There has been so much division between states in Australia fueled by Annastasia and Mark McGowan in WA!

    1. platy Guest

      @ James Fitzsimmons

      Actually the politicisation started with the PM, clot Morrison, in anticipation of the QLD election and in an attempt to support the dithering Deb Frecklington and the fractured LNP mob.

      The PM will denigrate the Labor held states for the very policies adopted by the PM's party allies in the states of Tasmania and South Australia - a dead giveaway that the PM is all spin and hypocrite.

      It's amazing so many...

      @ James Fitzsimmons

      Actually the politicisation started with the PM, clot Morrison, in anticipation of the QLD election and in an attempt to support the dithering Deb Frecklington and the fractured LNP mob.

      The PM will denigrate the Labor held states for the very policies adopted by the PM's party allies in the states of Tasmania and South Australia - a dead giveaway that the PM is all spin and hypocrite.

      It's amazing so many folk can't see through Morrison's embarrassingly childish PR.

    2. john austen Guest

      Platy: That may be how politicisation is currently perceived by some. However, the public record has politicisation started by Victoria, first Premier then Chief Health Officer, 22 March 2020. Curiously, Victorian public health rules, like those in Queensland, are made by the Chief Health Officer supposedly (and by law required to be) independent of the Government. See Loeilo's case in Victoria for an explanation. It does seem at least the explanation, and possibly some rules...

      Platy: That may be how politicisation is currently perceived by some. However, the public record has politicisation started by Victoria, first Premier then Chief Health Officer, 22 March 2020. Curiously, Victorian public health rules, like those in Queensland, are made by the Chief Health Officer supposedly (and by law required to be) independent of the Government. See Loeilo's case in Victoria for an explanation. It does seem at least the explanation, and possibly some rules in Queensland have had a political motive - of appealing to the State electorate by disciminating against and denigrating other Australians. Examples include remarks along the lines of Qld hospitals for Qlders, and border restrictions against ACT residents for more than twice the period said was necessary before the High Court - eased not by what the Qld law requires is as soon as possible, but for the school holidays. Then there are the funeral attendance cases.
      Best wishes

    3. platy Guest

      @ John Austen

      Thanks for your perspective. My impression was that in the early days of responding to the pandemic, including the lock downs from March 2020, that both the Premiers of NSW and VIC had significant roles in championing ambient health policy and thereby the national response.

      I would guess that most folk don't appreciate the relevance of the legal framework in instituting control measures in response to COVID. I researched the QLD...

      @ John Austen

      Thanks for your perspective. My impression was that in the early days of responding to the pandemic, including the lock downs from March 2020, that both the Premiers of NSW and VIC had significant roles in championing ambient health policy and thereby the national response.

      I would guess that most folk don't appreciate the relevance of the legal framework in instituting control measures in response to COVID. I researched the QLD Health Act and powers herein with some interest in the early days of the pandemic.

      The respective roles of CHOs and Premiers do appear to have become blurred.

      From memory, Senator Sarah Henderson reportedly encouraged folk to legally challenge the Vic CHO.

      My (non legal) understanding is that the adoption of various extraordinary health rules are subject to legal challenge as a check and balance on over reach by government, that certain cases have been brought, but those resolved have so far failed - can you update readers herein? At any rate, state premiers and CHOs / CMOs would presumably be very cognisant of reasonable limits to their adopted rules.

      Remarks (about QLD hospitals) contrast with the actual reality (the numbers of NSW patients accommodated in QLD hospitals during the lockdowns).

      I can recall one case of funeral attendance publicised by the PM against the wishes of the family. IMO that was a low political act.

      By largely eliminating COVID the states enabled much of the country to enjoy relative freedoms - of course this comes at a price, which can be unequally borne.

      The transmission rates of the Delta VOC leave little room for error.

      Hopefully we are on the home stretch with the vaccination roll out and can look forward to reduced restrictions.

      IMO the vaccination targets are too low - I anticipate a vexing and extended end game and much political spin as we enter the federal election campaign.

    4. minimouse Guest

      Mark McGowan has, to the largest degree, listened to the majority of people in his state, the state we pay him to run, and done what the majority of us wanted him to do.......keep covid out until we could handle it with the least amount of devastation. If there is "division between the states" it is because people have lost the old fashioned courage to face adversity and smile.......the utterly pathetic whining that has gone...

      Mark McGowan has, to the largest degree, listened to the majority of people in his state, the state we pay him to run, and done what the majority of us wanted him to do.......keep covid out until we could handle it with the least amount of devastation. If there is "division between the states" it is because people have lost the old fashioned courage to face adversity and smile.......the utterly pathetic whining that has gone on through a relatively short period of deprivation has been appalling to watch.

      Logic tells you that you dont let a virus run rampant through a country who's health systems are not equipped to deal with it.

  21. Allison M Jenkins Guest

    As a person living in Queensland, I applaud the premiers hardline with border closure. We have next to no virus in our state & AP has kept Qld running & kept Qlders safe. Unlike many other places we can go about our daily lives unhindered by this virus. Unless you live here & actually know whats going on, maybe shelves the criticism?

    1. Nathalie Guest

      Think of the QLDers with family interstate and overseas and tell them that life has been “unhindered”.

    2. Lanny Guest

      I do live in Queensland but all my family is living overseas. I was able to see them every year which kept me sane! Not being allowed to fly out and see my family has been a nightmare! 30% of Australians have close family overseas. Anastasia has no compassion at all for these people! She only thinks of her position in politics. There is no such thing as 0-covid! We have to learn to live...

      I do live in Queensland but all my family is living overseas. I was able to see them every year which kept me sane! Not being allowed to fly out and see my family has been a nightmare! 30% of Australians have close family overseas. Anastasia has no compassion at all for these people! She only thinks of her position in politics. There is no such thing as 0-covid! We have to learn to live with it. Once 80% has been reached which is going to be tough as not many other big countries have reached it, we should at least be allowed out! I am sick and tired of being in this jail! There are plenty countries we can go to who are save as save can be during a pandemic. Anastasia should concentrate on improving qld health as it stinks, has been crap before the pandemic and she has done nothing to improve it!

  22. David Guest

    Thanks for posting this news item. Annastacia Palaszczuk yet again shows out of touch she is. One third of us Australians were born overseas and consequently the need to travel and be reunited with family we’ve not seen for well over two years is paramount. Queensland are ALWAYS behind the times on social and political issues but Annastacia Palaszczuk will soon realise her errors in judgement (the list is long!) when the rest of the...

    Thanks for posting this news item. Annastacia Palaszczuk yet again shows out of touch she is. One third of us Australians were born overseas and consequently the need to travel and be reunited with family we’ve not seen for well over two years is paramount. Queensland are ALWAYS behind the times on social and political issues but Annastacia Palaszczuk will soon realise her errors in judgement (the list is long!) when the rest of the Eastern States open up and her insular State stays locked away.

  23. AG Guest

    Someone tell her that India vaccinates one Australia every three days.

    1. CA Guest

      Someone tell this guy that India has a population roughly 55 times larger than that of Australia - I see your point, but your explanation is invalid

    2. AG Guest

      My comment is not an explanation at all. It's a blunt point about the difference in what is being achieved by India despite the challenges. Thank you for bringing up the population difference because it just shows how little Australia has achieved.

      If India can vaccinate an entire Australia in three days, what on earth has the Australian government been doing? it is a much richer country too. India is even exporting millions of...

      My comment is not an explanation at all. It's a blunt point about the difference in what is being achieved by India despite the challenges. Thank you for bringing up the population difference because it just shows how little Australia has achieved.

      If India can vaccinate an entire Australia in three days, what on earth has the Australian government been doing? it is a much richer country too. India is even exporting millions of doses to other countries. If Australia were able to achieve the vaccination rates that India is, this stupid premiere would not be on the news platform scaring her citizens into staying under cover and stopping people from seeing their families, singling out countries like Japan and India that have achieved much more. While Australia stays shut, Japan actually hosted the Olympics with no real worsening of Covid as a result. India was ravaged by the Delta variant but look how it's progressed, whereas Australia seems to be only interested in scare tactics fuelled by bigoted politicians.

  24. dfrie Guest

    (From the perspective of just returning to Japan last month). Once your quarantine period is over, it is basically a return to everyday life (without alcohol after 7pm in restaurants). Although there are pexiglass stands in the centre of tables, you may still talk, just very quietly. Now, Tokyo during the Olympics may have been quite different from Osaka today (as it pertains to regulations). But she has no business mentioning Japan, she is not...

    (From the perspective of just returning to Japan last month). Once your quarantine period is over, it is basically a return to everyday life (without alcohol after 7pm in restaurants). Although there are pexiglass stands in the centre of tables, you may still talk, just very quietly. Now, Tokyo during the Olympics may have been quite different from Osaka today (as it pertains to regulations). But she has no business mentioning Japan, she is not a representative nor resident of, and therefore might not fully grasp the local or official standpoint of the regulations and/or situation in place.

    However, I will note, getting an entry visa for Japan is a rather annoying and time consuming process that has taken me two to four weeks depending on which consulate I attended.

  25. SSS Guest

    Side note - so great to see so many fellow Aussies engaging here.
    @Lucky - any idea on what your Australian readership is?

  26. RuFuS Guest

    Conservative... no. Fascist.. yes. An entire country locked down month after month. After month...

    Lock downs are not going to stop it, just delay the inevitable.

    1. platy Guest

      @ RuFus

      What are you talking about? The "entire country" was locked down for just a matter of weeks in the period March to May 2020.

      The restrictions will be gradually lessened as vaccination rates reach the nominated targets.

    2. Mattew225 New Member

      This is a blatant lie.

    3. platy Guest

      @ Mattew225

      What's a lie? Given us the facts, which we can verify.

      Are you sure you aren't conflating lock downs with international border restrictions? A lot of folk get very confused about this stuff.

  27. Alain MIllett Guest

    She is an amazing ambassador for her state. Like many Queenslanders she believes that people don’t need to go anywhere else.
    My husband and I have are building our retirement home in Queensland but as a Melbourne and Sydney boys she is not that popular south of the border.
    Us Aussies have always been long haul travellers after all unless we are First Nations people we all came from somewhere else somewhere in...

    She is an amazing ambassador for her state. Like many Queenslanders she believes that people don’t need to go anywhere else.
    My husband and I have are building our retirement home in Queensland but as a Melbourne and Sydney boys she is not that popular south of the border.
    Us Aussies have always been long haul travellers after all unless we are First Nations people we all came from somewhere else somewhere in our ancestry.
    So many Aussie have family overseas .

    We all want to travel again when it’s safe to do so.

  28. Anthony Guest

    As an Australian it is deeply embarrassing to see that Annastacia Palaszczuk has been given an international audience with her stupid, inane, insular thinking.

    She does not speak for the majority of Australians and most of us consider her a national embarrassment, in a similar category of incompetence and stupidity to Pauline Hanson.

    1. Krista Henderson Guest

      The Queensland premier is a self important piece of work who has been given too much power. Her comments are a disgrace because most people want to be ALLOWED to leave Australia to see family all over the world that they have not seen. She thinks she is god. But she’s an over rated egomaniac who is premier of a sparsely populated state compared to NSW and Victoria with an easier job to control Covid....

      The Queensland premier is a self important piece of work who has been given too much power. Her comments are a disgrace because most people want to be ALLOWED to leave Australia to see family all over the world that they have not seen. She thinks she is god. But she’s an over rated egomaniac who is premier of a sparsely populated state compared to NSW and Victoria with an easier job to control Covid. Time to move on and live with covid and time to stop allowing her to blow her own trumpet. She is vile and no doubt was bullied as a child and therefore has a massive chip on her shoulder

    2. Nathan Guest

      I’m sure that she would thank you for your armchair psychology gaze into her psyche and past, lady. Sounds like you have more issues than Time magazine yourself.

      Nothing worse than unremunerated medical advice.

    3. platy Guest

      @ Krista Henderson

      Er...small problem with your rant.

      It's actually the federal government (that'd be PM Scott Morrison and his Liberal-National clowns) who are responsible for national border controls, and not the state governments. Limits to international arrivals and departures are set and managed by the federal government (in consultation with the state premiers).

      It's also the federal government which manages international travel exemptions.

      Our QLD state premier advocated the adoption of appropriate facilities to...

      @ Krista Henderson

      Er...small problem with your rant.

      It's actually the federal government (that'd be PM Scott Morrison and his Liberal-National clowns) who are responsible for national border controls, and not the state governments. Limits to international arrivals and departures are set and managed by the federal government (in consultation with the state premiers).

      It's also the federal government which manages international travel exemptions.

      Our QLD state premier advocated the adoption of appropriate facilities to promote travel - for example, the 1,000 bed proposed quarantine facility at Toowomba Wellcamp Airport and a 1,000 bed facility in Pinkenba.

      It's the federal government who have failed to set up appropriate national level facilities (akin to the Howard springs facility in the NT).

      PS. It's pretty sad that you have to invent a back story about somebody to try to justify your irrational hatred and misinformed prejudice.

  29. Samo Guest

    I get her point about many countries bring very unattractive for travel right now. I certainly wouldn't go to Asia or other places with massive covid panic. But:

    a) There are people who need to travel to meet their family or business partners and they may opt to do so even if it's cumbersome.
    b) There are countries that are definitely worth travelling to as they don't have restrictions like Australia has at the...

    I get her point about many countries bring very unattractive for travel right now. I certainly wouldn't go to Asia or other places with massive covid panic. But:

    a) There are people who need to travel to meet their family or business partners and they may opt to do so even if it's cumbersome.
    b) There are countries that are definitely worth travelling to as they don't have restrictions like Australia has at the moment. Scandinavia will have pretty much no restrictions in two weeks time, for example (except entry rules but Australians are welcome). Sweden, where I've spent the last year, never really had major restrictions and those last remaining few will be dropped the next week. Denmark has removed all domestic restrictions few weeks ago. Norway will follow the suit on 5th October. I still wouldn't travel here from Australia as most airlines require masks and that's quite a problem on 20+ hours long trip, but once you arrive, it's 100% normal so I can see why some people might want to travel to escape Australian regime.

  30. John T Guest

    The zero covid strategy worked well in Australia until the delta variant arrived. It tore through the community because so few people were vaccinated and many of the public weren't used to social distancing.

    NSW and Vic will never get back to covid zero. I agree politicians like Qld have selfishly used fear as a campaugn strategy in saying "if we open up you will die".

    Plenty of vaccinated European countries are now successfully living...

    The zero covid strategy worked well in Australia until the delta variant arrived. It tore through the community because so few people were vaccinated and many of the public weren't used to social distancing.

    NSW and Vic will never get back to covid zero. I agree politicians like Qld have selfishly used fear as a campaugn strategy in saying "if we open up you will die".

    Plenty of vaccinated European countries are now successfully living with covid and life is returning to near normal without locked down borders.

  31. Neil Mason Guest

    You might be interested in my perspective as a resident of Brisbane, the capital of Queensland. And yes I am a keen traveller. So far in the whole Covid pandemic we have had 6 deaths in Queensland; there have been zero cases of community spread of Covid for some weeks now. In other words, the only threat of Covid to our community is somebody bringing it in from outside. So, apart from travel, we can...

    You might be interested in my perspective as a resident of Brisbane, the capital of Queensland. And yes I am a keen traveller. So far in the whole Covid pandemic we have had 6 deaths in Queensland; there have been zero cases of community spread of Covid for some weeks now. In other words, the only threat of Covid to our community is somebody bringing it in from outside. So, apart from travel, we can live our lives completely normally, 100% attendance at events such as sport, concerts, cinema etc knowing that we won't catch Covid. Why would we want to change that when we don't have to, especially when it is not yet possible for enough of us to be vaccinated? Of course we know that eventually the Delta variant will run rampant in our community. But until it does not travelling is a very small price to pay.

    1. KristA Henderson Guest

      No it won’t ‘run rampant’ and maybe just maybe it’s time for Australia to be one country again. She has put the fear of god into you all and it’s pathetic

    2. Neil Mason Guest

      I'm not sure who "you all" are. Is it the 95% of the Qld population who are living life just as it was before Covid, without risk of Covid?
      And you only have to look at what is going on in New South Wales and Victoria to realise that Covid is indeed running rampant there, with ambulances having to wait 6 hours before they can unload their passengers to a hospital emergency department, and schools having to close.
      Do we want that in Qld? No thanks!!!

    3. platy Guest

      @ KritA Henserson

      What, are you a COVID denier? Anybody can access the data on COVID in hundreds of countries with a few seconds of search on websites such has Worldometer. You can easily find vaccination rates, death rates, cross check against various government efforts to manage the virus.

      You do understand that the Delta VOC has the capacity to infect 5 to 7 people from one infected person. Each one of those infected...

      @ KritA Henserson

      What, are you a COVID denier? Anybody can access the data on COVID in hundreds of countries with a few seconds of search on websites such has Worldometer. You can easily find vaccination rates, death rates, cross check against various government efforts to manage the virus.

      You do understand that the Delta VOC has the capacity to infect 5 to 7 people from one infected person. Each one of those infected can in turn infect another 5 to 7 people and so on. The virus spreads rapidly without any vaccination and other measures. This is the science - not the mutterings of some politician.

      The central failure is that of the national leader, PM clot Morrison, in being too weak and incompetent to bring the nation together.

    4. John Phelan Guest

      Well, here's *my* perspective as a resident of Brisbane. Annastacia is peddling fear because her daily polling tells her that it is working for her. She is appealing to the insular, non-travelling, non-economically-literate lowest common denominator crowd. It's raw politics, nothing more. She cares not for the hundreds (maybe thousands) of businesses that have gone bust over the past 18 months; nor for the tens of thousands of people who have lost their jobs (in...

      Well, here's *my* perspective as a resident of Brisbane. Annastacia is peddling fear because her daily polling tells her that it is working for her. She is appealing to the insular, non-travelling, non-economically-literate lowest common denominator crowd. It's raw politics, nothing more. She cares not for the hundreds (maybe thousands) of businesses that have gone bust over the past 18 months; nor for the tens of thousands of people who have lost their jobs (in the tourism and hospitality sectors particularly).

      She has actively prevented people from other parts of Australia from visiting their dying family members in hospital in QLD, and has refused to allow relatives from other states to attend funerals of the deceased. Famously, she refused to allow a 4-year-old boy from QLD, who was visiting his grandparents' rural property in NSW, to return home to his parents. She refused permission for a mother and her seriously-ill baby to enter QLD for emergency medical treatment - despite the fact that the nearest major hospital was just over the border in QLD, only a couple of hours away. Instead, she suggested the family should undertake a 10 hour drive to Sydney! And many more examples of her inhumane treatment.

      On a few occasions, she has reversed her stance for particular exceptions - but only after the media became aware of each story and plastered it over the front pages of newspapers, TV and online. When it started to get negative reaction in her opinion polling, she backed down to make the issue go away. She is driven by pure politics and a complete disregard for the welfare of anyone else but herself.

      She publicly agreed with the federal government and the other states that borders could open and restrictions be eased when 80% adult vaccination was reached. Now she's saying she may change her mind - as if it's her right to play god and rule as she wishes. She and her Chief Health Officer publicly rubbished the AstraZenica vaccine (the one that has formed the backbone of Australia's vaccination efforts to date) and told people it could kill them!!!! When journalists question her, if they ask something she dislikes or doesn't want to answer, she simply says that she won't answer that question "because it's rude!"

    5. Neil Mason Guest

      I think you will find that when 80% of the adult population in Qld is vaccinated then there will be an opening up.
      I agree with you that there has been a lack of humanity in some of the decision-making.

    6. platy Guest

      @ John Phelan

      It's amazing that folk are still peddling the same stupid right wing nonsense. Like many, you are easily brainwashed, apparently, like so many politically and / or religiously stymied to critical analysis based on data and common sense.

      Just one example - the infamous mother and baby story - a beat up by clot Morrison - as subsequently exposed by the Australian Financial Review. It turned out that the NSW medics...

      @ John Phelan

      It's amazing that folk are still peddling the same stupid right wing nonsense. Like many, you are easily brainwashed, apparently, like so many politically and / or religiously stymied to critical analysis based on data and common sense.

      Just one example - the infamous mother and baby story - a beat up by clot Morrison - as subsequently exposed by the Australian Financial Review. It turned out that the NSW medics at no time requested assistance from their Queensland counterparts.

      No, it's not "raw politics" for a premier of a state to undertake their responsibilities to manage health care during pandemic. It's their job.

      The same applies to the Liberal-National premiers of Tasmania and South Australia. But since you are clearly politically partisan, you ignore such inconvenient realities - why aren't you ranting against those premiers?

      Now the supposed agreement on opening up. Have you actually read the document? If you had you'd see that isn't what the right wing propaganda machine has been portraying it to be. Once again, you are so easily sucked in by narrative rather than truth. The agreement allows fluidity. You wouldn't think so if you take the drivel that dribbles from stroll out Morrison's blabbering lips.

      In the meantime, we can look to the lessons of other countries with higher vaccination rates. They show that COVID19 will still run rampant despite relatively high vaccination rates. To pretend otherwise is, again, just plain daft. Singapore is reintroducing restrictions, for example. Denmark might give some indication of the vaccination rates we'll need to achieve - over 90% of the TOTAL population, not 80% of the over 16 year olds (which is the measure being peddled by the federal government in Australia - in other words too little).

      Now you do realise that the Doherty Report states that the 80% vaccination rate (of over 16 year olds) will be insufficient in itself to contain a virulent variant like the Delta VOC? That you'll still need other measures?

      Do you understand that the Doherty Report will need substantial revision to accommodate accruing data? The higher rates of transmission of the Delta VOC by children, for example.

      Are you scientifically literate enough to appreciate the limitations of the report's modelling (based on what's been made public - the actual mathematical model is shrouded in secret so cannot be scrutinised by other scientists - again, the federal government playing silly games to save itself with an upcoming election having totally messed up vaccine procurement and initial roll out priority groups). The input assumptions and datasets for the models how a huge variation - the worst case and best case scenarios would be substantially different.

      If you gave I some thought, you'd work out that no state premier will open borders or reduce restrictions until they are confident over the outcomes of their policy decisions. Of course clot Morrison wants the borders open save his electoral hide, now trailing 54.5% to 45.5% in the latest opinion polls.

      In any case, why would you risk opening up a state with near zero COVID cases if your state's vaccination rates are lagging behind another state that was struggling with the epidemic?

      Now a reality check on Astra Zeneca (AZ). Yes, AZ does lead to rare mortality. As a consequence, it was never approved for use in the USA, it was suspended in some other countries like Canada and its use restricted by age cohort in others, typically to the over 60s. More significant is that the data show that it is less effective at preventing transmission of COVID19 - the table is in The Doherty Report. Try reading it - it's publicly available. Of course when your Liberal-National mates reproduce the table of vaccine effectiveness comparing Pfizer with AZ, they conveniently omit that line of data on relatively efficacy at limiting transmission. I called out our local (LNP) MP, Warren Enstch for this and was blocked from his Facebook page. Surprise, surprise, the federal government doesn't want the data publicly aired on the limitations of AZ.

      The federal government over invested in AZ. We know that. They planned to phase out the vaccine from October 2021. The UK, itself highly reliant on AZ for the first phase of vaccination, has turned away from AZ for boosters for 2022 and ordered alternatives.

      Now the federal government health department website for a long time quoted mortality rates from AZ (at 5 per million doses) which were clearly bogus, given the data from other countries. Now we find that the data show up to a 5 to 6 times higher rate of mortality depending upon age cohort.

      There are also data on relative efficacy of AZ on other variants. For the Beta the AZ vaccine was found to be almost ineffective at limiting transmission of that variant in published medical literature. In other words, the future will be with the mRNA based vaccines, not AZ.

      Concerns were called out about the use of vaccines in the under 16 year olds, This makes eminent sense once it became clear that Delta VOC transmission was high expected in children and they would be obvious candidates for vaccination. Pfizer subsequently presented its product for use in the the 12 to 16 year cohort.

      Now it's the job of the federal government to run the national economy. They collect most of the national revenues. They understood their responsibility to support businesses during the lock downs with JobKeeper. But now they are ducking and weaving. So - your whining about business going broke should be directed at clot Morrison and joke Frydenburger. But no, you once again buy into the dumb Tory twit narrative without pause for any critical analysis.

      Incidentally, those who whinge and whine generally have an invested interest. Reference the appalling behaviour of religious groups who want to be excluded from complying with health orders under self entitled notions of religious freedom - yeah the freedom for folk to get sick and die - that's the sort of misplaced attitude that had propelled the USA to nearly 700,000 dead.

      Fighting COVID shows the strength of science. It reveals the stupidity of religiously inclined leaders such as former PM mad monk Abbott, who slashed funding to the CSIRO and latterly gave speech claiming we should just let our older folks die from COVID. Reference clot Morrison who reportedly believes in hands on faith healing - it's no wonder the man is so woefully incompetent when faced with an epidemic.

      It's going to be an interesting few months as our woeful incompetent federal government tries to extricate itself from the reality of the worst failures in governance in a generation.

    7. Ole Guest

      @Platy, you either need a reality check or change the source for your information on AZ vaccine. India’s vaccination is almost entirely based on AZ vaccine and the results (efficacy and mortality) are for everyone to see. Now please don’t come back and say the numbers are fudged cuz they don’t align with your view. While you are at it, check this https://youtu.be/K3odScka55A video explaining what Vaccine efficacy means. Might help you

    8. platy Guest

      @ Ole

      For clarity the debate herein is about the vaccine strategy in Australia and whether certain positions and speeches made by the Premier of Queensland.

      The data I have quoted are derived from the published peer-reviewed scientific / medical literature. They are based on UK data and some Scottish data where AZ has been the prominent vaccine used in the face of the Alpha and Delta VOCs. There is also a paper on...

      @ Ole

      For clarity the debate herein is about the vaccine strategy in Australia and whether certain positions and speeches made by the Premier of Queensland.

      The data I have quoted are derived from the published peer-reviewed scientific / medical literature. They are based on UK data and some Scottish data where AZ has been the prominent vaccine used in the face of the Alpha and Delta VOCs. There is also a paper on efficacy for the Beta VOC from South Africa.

      These data are reproduced in The Doherty Report, the government commissioned document informing the Australian government on strategy to "open up" the country with respect to vaccination rates and other control measures. The data appear in the tables summarising the assumptions and datasets used to generate models of transmission rates, symptomatic infection rates, hospitalisation rates, ICU rates and mortality rates.

      Australia punted on Astra Zeneca since its could be produced locally and distributed without cold storage issues. It also backed a local vaccine, which stumbled (side effects included production of markers for HIV). It then ordered Pfizer and latterly Moderna.

      The relative analysis of vaccine efficacy is part of The Doherty Report and compares AZ with Pfizer, these being the two vaccines adopted in Australia.

      The focus on their relative merits has driven vaccine hesitancy in those who would prefer Pfizer over AZ.

      These data are available for anyone to check - The Doherty Report is available online - it includes a reference list to the scientific / medical literature of relevance. Again this literature can easily be accessed with a few seconds of online search effort.

      Similarly, anyone can check that AZ has variously not been approved in some countries, suspended in others and limited to age cohorts in others.

      In Australia AZ was restricted for use for the over 50s, and then subsequently the over 60s.

      The key point is that the data quoted in scientific medical literature and used in The Doherty Report indicate that AZ is less able to limit transmission of the virus than Pfizer. Also, it's quoted efficacy for Delta is less than that for Pfizer.

      Pfizer requires a 3-week separation of first doses whereas AZ requires 12 weeks. That alone encourages adoption of Pfizer to accelerate vaccination rates.

      Some truncate the 12 weeks between AZ doses to fewer weeks. But this MAY affect efficacy. In The Doherty Report the dataset used to model this effect estimates a 15% reduction for an 8 week regimen and a 25% for a 4 week regimen (from memory).

      Rightly or wrongly, these are the data points used to brief the Australian Governments.

      The debate in Australia has centred on the relative merits of AZ versus Pfizer, both in terms of side effects and efficacy. The debate has also moved to vaccination of the under 16s since Delta VOC spread through this cohort.

      AZ continues only to be used for the 60s.

      Of course the real world experience of vaccine effectiveness is relevant - AZ has been extensively adopted in the UK and in India (manufactured as Covishield). Of course AZ has been highly effective at limiting disease outcomes of COVID.

      The UK has 82.3% of its over 16 year olds vaccinated (mostly with AZ). It's reporting around 35,000 cases and over 100 deaths per day.

      But the UK has ordered Pfizer for the booster shots for 2022. You can verify this for yourself with a brief online search.

      And Australia has ordered Pfizer / Moderna for booster shots for 2022. You can verify this for yourself with a brief online search.

      There is ongoing debate on possible reduction of efficacy of Pfizer with time, hence some countries moving to booster shots.

      FWIW I have multiple research degrees in the biosciences and have worked on viral vaccine development (albeit a long time ago).

    9. Lanny Guest

      Not for those who are desperate to visit family. Travel is not only to go sightseeing! An awful lot of people in Australia want to visit family, grandchildren they haven't been able to hold and cuddle, their children they haven't seen for 2 years and more, etc. Not all of us living in Queensland find going to restaurants and movies the main items of happiness!

  32. Blaz Guest

    Everybody is different. My wife can't bear thinking about travelling overseas at the moment because of the "perceived" risks despite being fully vaccinated, whereas I can't bloody wait. If you are very risk averse or you have ongoing immune issues the thought of travelling outside of your "safe" zone is horrendous. I am not risk averse by nature, so I couldn't care less, but we are a couple so the lowest common denominator wins out....

    Everybody is different. My wife can't bear thinking about travelling overseas at the moment because of the "perceived" risks despite being fully vaccinated, whereas I can't bloody wait. If you are very risk averse or you have ongoing immune issues the thought of travelling outside of your "safe" zone is horrendous. I am not risk averse by nature, so I couldn't care less, but we are a couple so the lowest common denominator wins out. Otherwise, I would travel alone, and that ain't much fun.

  33. platy Guest

    @ Ben Schlappig

    IMHO OMAT is an excellent website and it would be such a shame it fell into the easy click bait trap.

    By your own admission, you know very little about Australia. Presumably, that extends to its politics, the diverse experiences of state COVID responses (and in many ways their similarities), knowledge of the 100,000s of folk who have arrived / departed the country during COVID, the reality of daily life without restrictions...

    @ Ben Schlappig

    IMHO OMAT is an excellent website and it would be such a shame it fell into the easy click bait trap.

    By your own admission, you know very little about Australia. Presumably, that extends to its politics, the diverse experiences of state COVID responses (and in many ways their similarities), knowledge of the 100,000s of folk who have arrived / departed the country during COVID, the reality of daily life without restrictions for most of the country for most of the pandemic.

    The QLD premier is comparing the free lifestyle of Queenslanders with other contexts, which involve either / or / both high risk of sickness and death, and the deployment of various COVID containment measures.

    Here in QLD we are COVID-free (or virtually so). Our local accommodation in FNQ is full (according to friends manage holidays apartment blocks).

    National vaccination rates are (finally) creeping up and are on target shortly to surpass those of the USA.

    Debate is now centred on the appropriate way to manage borders, both state and national. But there are issues:

    - incidence of COVID is near zero in most states, but continuing to challenge NSW and VIC
    - vaccination rates are not consistent (e.g. NSW is way above other states, partly since the recent wave of infections originated in that state and vaccine supplies were favourably directed to the state by the federal government, which is of the same political party)
    - the modelling used to inform governments (the so-called Doherty Report) itself clearly states that vaccinations alone (whether 70% or 80% target) will not be sufficient to manage COVID - other measures will still be needed
    - we don't know yet what level of vaccination can be achieved due to underlying vaccine hesitancy - current polls and first dose rates of vaccination in NSW indicate we might be able to attain 90% rather than 80% (note that vaccination rates are quoted locally as percentage of over 16 years old)
    - the adoption of mandatory vaccination policies are in their infancy

    Premiers of states, such as QLD, with virtually no COVID and lower vaccination rates would be adopting a far riskier pathway than, say, NSW, for example, if they were to base their decisions on the national average for vaccination rates and COBID infections.

    IMO, the bottom line, is that by taking random stuff out of context you simply risk stirring stuff up, rather than advancing genuine interest, knowledge or debate. Surely, there's already enough BS on other frequent traveller blogs.

    It's going to get interesting as the federal government has to face an election in a few months' time - they will be pumping out their propaganda, whilst trying (finally) to get some runs on the board - relaxing border restrictions and hitting vaccination targets.

    1. Mike C Gold

      I agree with everything you said, and as a Canberran I am in a completely different situation than you in Queensland. One thing I would add is that the way Palaszczuk spoke, asking why anyone would want to go to India was tone deaf. It was contemptuous of Indian Australians (I hope not intentionally), who have very good reasons to want to go to India, and really to anyone who has relatives or things they...

      I agree with everything you said, and as a Canberran I am in a completely different situation than you in Queensland. One thing I would add is that the way Palaszczuk spoke, asking why anyone would want to go to India was tone deaf. It was contemptuous of Indian Australians (I hope not intentionally), who have very good reasons to want to go to India, and really to anyone who has relatives or things they need to do outside the country or even outside the state.

      I read the criticism of her, and to a lesser extent the premier of WA (who didn't resort to 'it's better here so why would you want to leave'), was not that they are keeping their borders closed but that they are raising unrealistic expectations on their ability to keep the virus out. This is feeding complacency and a lack of urgency in raising vaccination rates, to their peril when inevitably they have an outbreak.

      The ACT also had a zero covid approach until it didn't, but closing our border is impractical, although there are restrictions. Chief Minister Andrew Barr has been very cautious on easing restrictions, setting higher bars (excuse the pun) for doing so, and being very clear and measured in his public comments. He, like the NSW and Victorian premiers, is preparing the public for a time when the level of disease is such that any new cases that cross our borders will have no material effect on the overall level. Queensland and WA are not acknowledging the near inevitability of that happening.

    2. John Phelan Guest

      Annastacia is contemptuous of anyone who doesn't agree with her - including reporters who ask her questions she doesn't like. She simply tells them they are rude and moves on to the next question!

    3. platy Guest

      @ John Phelan

      Seriously, mate, grow up! The NSW Premier tried to duck out of daily press conferences entirely.

      The PM and various state premiers are faced with making decisions with the potential impact health care and the economy for a generation.

      It's in all of our interests that they get it right.

      Please be a grown up and go and read the Doherty Report (it's freely available) and decide for yourself whether it...

      @ John Phelan

      Seriously, mate, grow up! The NSW Premier tried to duck out of daily press conferences entirely.

      The PM and various state premiers are faced with making decisions with the potential impact health care and the economy for a generation.

      It's in all of our interests that they get it right.

      Please be a grown up and go and read the Doherty Report (it's freely available) and decide for yourself whether it is fit for purpose for the decisions ahead. IMHO and as a former research scientist, I wouldn't want to punt on its modelling. I'd be cross checking against the lessons of other countries and their respective vaccination rates - I certainly wouldn't be committing until I had the latest and instructive data - spoiler alert - the way ahead is not as simple as the idiotic PM Morrison spouts.

      Most of the news articles I read get basic stuff wrong - such as confusing Australian defined vaccination rates with those of other countries. Most of the current crop of journos are woefully uninformed on basic science. The biased bunnies from the Murdoch trash media are especially ignorant. If I was premier I'd have no patience for them either.

    4. platy Guest

      @ Mike C

      It's great to hear a perspective from the ACT - I was wondering how you were all doing.

      My personal perception is that the bottom line is that a vaccination rate, which would enable significant lessening of restrictions, is clearly going to be much higher than the oft cited 80% (of over 16 year olds).

      The Doherty Report itself acknowledges such.

      Consider that 80% of the over 16 year olds maps to...

      @ Mike C

      It's great to hear a perspective from the ACT - I was wondering how you were all doing.

      My personal perception is that the bottom line is that a vaccination rate, which would enable significant lessening of restrictions, is clearly going to be much higher than the oft cited 80% (of over 16 year olds).

      The Doherty Report itself acknowledges such.

      Consider that 80% of the over 16 year olds maps to less than 70% of the actual population (allowing for 12-16 year olds to be vaccinated).

      Lessons from other countries suggest that we should be aiming for 90% vaccination for the entire population.

      To note that many folk, including many (so-called) journalists confuse the quoted Australian vaccination rates (for the over 16 year olds) with those for other countries (quoted for the total population). Our own local (LNP) MP gets confused over this basic stuff.

      The benchmark is thus represented by a country such as Denmark at or near 90% of population vaccinated (promising results).

      The lessor target is represented by a country such as Singapore (reimposing restrictions).

      In my view, perpetrating a narrative that we can open up at 80% (of over 16 year olds) - the provenance of the PM and NSW Premier - is the real problem. That is the unrealistic viewpoint and one which the federal government is pinning its election hopes upon to try to wedge "non compliant" state governments.

      The real target should be 90% of the total population.

      In all probability, the various federal and state leaders already know this. But the PM and the NSW Premier have already staked out their position (80% target of over 16s).

      The PM is playing a very dangerous game by advocating cherry-picked aspects of the Doherty Report.

      I've read the report with my research scientist hat on - IMHO the underlying models (at least what we can surmise in the smoke screen) will need substantial revision before they can be relied upon to determine health policy with a generational impact.

      The premiers (and the PM) most likely know the models just aren't good enough. We'll need to look at the experiences of other countries before final decision are made.

      In the meantime, the PM is playing a very dangerous game by advocating cherry-picked aspects of the Doherty Report. Alternative models put the mortality in the 10,000s, ten or more times higher than the Doherty Report, which is a government-commissioned document, not a peer-reviewed scientific paper.

      The smart premiers know this. Their circumspection is entirely warranted.

    5. Lanny Guest

      We have been locked up from the outside world 18 months now and have virtually done nothing but shutdowns and lock ups. And scaring Australians re covid! Finally ScoMo realizes we have to learn to live with it and it is people like Anastasia and McGowan who still want to scare Australia. Every country has anti-vaxxers so to get 90% is very difficult a d 0-covid is impossible. All fully vaccinated people should be able...

      We have been locked up from the outside world 18 months now and have virtually done nothing but shutdowns and lock ups. And scaring Australians re covid! Finally ScoMo realizes we have to learn to live with it and it is people like Anastasia and McGowan who still want to scare Australia. Every country has anti-vaxxers so to get 90% is very difficult a d 0-covid is impossible. All fully vaccinated people should be able to leave Australia to visit family etc. Australia will not survive being locked up from overseas for too much longer. Qld tourism is already hanging by its nails to survive, not enough fruitpickers etc. Not enough doctors and nurses. Qld health has been terrible and hasn't improved, so maybe Anastasia should more effort in health rather then Olympics in 2032!

    6. Krista Henderson Guest

      About time Australia became one country and the reason vaccination rates are lower in Queensland is that they think they can stay covid zero behind locked doors forever. Totally unrealistic but then it’s run by a control freak who bends rules for the rich and famous. Awful

    7. Lanny Guest

      Totally agree with you!

    8. Neil Mason Guest

      No the reason vaccination rates are lower in Qld is because vaccines have been diverted to NSW and Victoria, where they have been needed immediately to save lives. THAT is the sort of thing that being one country is about!

    9. Mattew225 New Member

      Perfectly put @platy! The way @OMAT attempts to share international "news" is almost as cringe as the actual quote as Ben's only experience is reading about it online. The most "click bait" articles are the ones that international outlets pickup. They are the worst ones to use as sources of 'information'.

      While the premiers comment was tone deaf in many ways, the context is after a long time keeping covid at bay - QLD...

      Perfectly put @platy! The way @OMAT attempts to share international "news" is almost as cringe as the actual quote as Ben's only experience is reading about it online. The most "click bait" articles are the ones that international outlets pickup. They are the worst ones to use as sources of 'information'.

      While the premiers comment was tone deaf in many ways, the context is after a long time keeping covid at bay - QLD (like all states in Australia) are so close to returning to normality with a vaccinated population.

    10. platy Guest

      @ Mattew225

      Thanks, mate. Hopefully we are on the final stretch, only, per my other comments herein, I suspect we'll need to get up to that 90% of total population for the vaccines to be relied upon to do the heavy lifting (i.e. a lot higher than the mooted 80% of over 16 year olds).

  34. John from Queensland Guest

    I live in the state of Queensland. And this tyrant in petticoats is a throwback to a time when Queensland politicians were regarded as backward country hicks. Something like how some Americans regard folks from the Ozarks as being....well, a little slow and dim-witted. That's why you've heard of Sydney and Melbourne, but chances are you've never heard of Brisbane (capital of Queensland). FYI: the state is very fine indeed, but our politicians really suck.

  35. glenn t Diamond

    @Alex, please don't mention SA if you don't mind!
    This is one instance when we are happy to fly under the radar.
    We don't have a grandstanding and hypocritical (Adani/climate change?) premier like Qld.
    Oh, and the Christmas re-opening date is the brain-fart of a Prime Minister with both eyes firmly focussed on a post-Christmas General Election; nothing else.

    1. tm_smile Gold

      Why not. It’s a national plan with national implications. If SA is responsible for decision making in stranding thousands of fellow Aussies overseas, then Marshall needs to be held accountable.

  36. Aussie Guest

    Palapuckiwotz is such a racist, backwards and closed minded pig.

  37. Morgan Gold

    WA needs to be included in this article

  38. It is what it is Guest

    She is just doing what the voters want her to do. Majority of voters don't do regular overseas travel and they want borders to stay shut. Like every democracy, the majority wins.

    1. Krista Henderson Guest

      Most of her voters are parochial elderly people who have been made to fear life with covid.

    2. platy Guest

      @ Krista Henderson

      To burst your bubble again - the average age of Queenslanders is 37 years, roughly the same as NSW and VIC.

      Older folk generally vote Liberal-National and the runt right wing parties, not Labor and Green.

  39. Bim Guest

    I live in Melbourne, which has gone from covid zero to a growing outbreak and lockdown that we can now only vaccinate our way out of. I have family in Queensland and it is distressing to think about when their borders will open and we can see each other. Lots of Australian families are in this situation. I will probably be able to travel overseas before Palaszczuk opens the border to us southerners. This might...

    I live in Melbourne, which has gone from covid zero to a growing outbreak and lockdown that we can now only vaccinate our way out of. I have family in Queensland and it is distressing to think about when their borders will open and we can see each other. Lots of Australian families are in this situation. I will probably be able to travel overseas before Palaszczuk opens the border to us southerners. This might be strange for people outside Australia to understand, but the covid-free state premiers have had enormous electoral success with their border polices and covid-zero approach. Palaszczuk's comments were probably meant to appeal to Queenslanders.

  40. Dennis Guest

    Many of these politicians- particularly state premiers - have built their power base on this exact type of fear-mongering. They've continued the rhetoric of last year in trying to convince Australians how "safe" it is in Australia and "dangerous" it is elsewhere. I have not actually seen any news coverage within Australia that is showing how much of the rest of the world is open. They've literally turned Australia into a North Korea style dictatorship...

    Many of these politicians- particularly state premiers - have built their power base on this exact type of fear-mongering. They've continued the rhetoric of last year in trying to convince Australians how "safe" it is in Australia and "dangerous" it is elsewhere. I have not actually seen any news coverage within Australia that is showing how much of the rest of the world is open. They've literally turned Australia into a North Korea style dictatorship for their own personal gain. And it's worse because it's not even unified, as especially the Queensland and West Australian premiers have alienated the rest of the country.

    1. platy Guest

      @ Dennis

      Most of the countries around the world till have some restriction due to their respective COVID response. Furthermore, travel to most countries around the world is subject to greater or lessor restrictions. Articles were published just today in the Australian press about Norway opening up, as where ones on Singapore adding restrictions.

      The premiers of QLD and WA and adopting similar COVID policies to those of SA and TAS - but you don't...

      @ Dennis

      Most of the countries around the world till have some restriction due to their respective COVID response. Furthermore, travel to most countries around the world is subject to greater or lessor restrictions. Articles were published just today in the Australian press about Norway opening up, as where ones on Singapore adding restrictions.

      The premiers of QLD and WA and adopting similar COVID policies to those of SA and TAS - but you don't get to hear about them because they are held by Liberal-National governments, so the PM doesn't single them out.

      In other words, welcome to being brainwashed by the right wing.

  41. Tom Guest

    Conservative approach is one way to describe their actions....

  42. Alex Guest

    Probably should mention that this is also the predicament politicians have when they have successfully kept their jurisdictions to covid zero. Grappling with reopening when your population hasn’t had an opportunity to be vaccinated is clearly an issue. Whether it be Taiwan, NZ or states like WA, QLD, TAS and SA here. Open up too early and you risk the health of your people. Open up too late and you are a scaremongering authoritarian in...

    Probably should mention that this is also the predicament politicians have when they have successfully kept their jurisdictions to covid zero. Grappling with reopening when your population hasn’t had an opportunity to be vaccinated is clearly an issue. Whether it be Taiwan, NZ or states like WA, QLD, TAS and SA here. Open up too early and you risk the health of your people. Open up too late and you are a scaremongering authoritarian in the minds of others.

    How she explained the situation was bloody awful. Many of her decisions have been questionable. But she isn’t the one setting up field hospitals like NSW is at the moment.

  43. Pablo Guest

    This has been fascinating to be part of as a Queenslander. The rules around travel are so frustrating. I’m desperate to travel for both work and pleasure.

    I think what many people outside of Australia (and probably even more so outside the states with zero community transmission) is that there is a perception that the ONLY lack of freedoms we have is that we can’t travel, and have to “loosely wear a face mask!”

    ...

    This has been fascinating to be part of as a Queenslander. The rules around travel are so frustrating. I’m desperate to travel for both work and pleasure.

    I think what many people outside of Australia (and probably even more so outside the states with zero community transmission) is that there is a perception that the ONLY lack of freedoms we have is that we can’t travel, and have to “loosely wear a face mask!”

    For the whole pandemic, except for the first 6 weeks or so in March/April 2020, most of Australia, except for Victoria and NSW, have only had a few weeks of lockdown. I think I’ve probably only experienced 11 days of lockdown since April 2020.

    The media, and the politicians have been extremely successful of saying, “if we open up, you’ll look like Melbourne, or Sydney, or New York, or Delhi.”

    And that message has worked.

    So I actually don’t think most Aussies outside of NSW and Victoria feel like they have lost many freedoms, except for travel.

    And what Anastasia has been very successful at tapping into is the fear that has pervaded the world around COVID, so many people would rather keep even state borders closed (except for sporting teams and celebrities - I think Anastasia is still resentful that she didn’t get Zac Efron and Matt Damon here ) as people feel like they have more freedoms compared to the rest of the world.

    None of it makes sense, but I think for those outside of these zero covid states, it feels like our own safe little cocoon.

    The media has a lot to answer for in the way they report on this.

    1. Samo Guest

      This. The problem is that Australian politicians spread the narrative that lockdowns are inevitable if you have covid spread. Which is rather bizzare to watch as an European who haven't been under lockdown for a single day (well, I stayed home for a week while I had covid but that was it and was based merely on government advice). I had more freedoms than Australians had during the pandemic but those succesful countries are something they'd rather not talk about.

  44. Frank k Guest

    That would be Anna ,,she is so forgettable

    1. tm_smile Gold

      Yet she’s one of the longer serving premiers in the country and you are…?

  45. SSS Guest

    Palaszczuk is an idiot. She and other state leaders are using fear and fake claims to support their control over their states - “you will die unless I keep this state protected, and only I can protect it”.
    I’m an Australian and am incredibly embarrassed and frustrated by the way we’ve handled moving towards living with Covid. There’s a clear path followed by other nations but we’re trying to be “smarter”.
    Upshot -...

    Palaszczuk is an idiot. She and other state leaders are using fear and fake claims to support their control over their states - “you will die unless I keep this state protected, and only I can protect it”.
    I’m an Australian and am incredibly embarrassed and frustrated by the way we’ve handled moving towards living with Covid. There’s a clear path followed by other nations but we’re trying to be “smarter”.
    Upshot - I will be able to fly to countries like Singapore and New Zealand before I can fly to Queensland (and Western Australia - the other hardline state).

    1. platy Guest

      @ SSS

      Actually other nations, like Singapore, are reimposing restrictions despite high vaccination rates. There is nothing fake about nearly 700,000 dead Americans. It's clearly the smart choice to learn from the experience of other nations. Employ feeble control measures (like the USA) relax restrictions too early (like the UK), or aim for high vaccination rates (like Denmark), etc.

      So, just which nation do you think we should follow?!

      Incidentally, most countries around the world...

      @ SSS

      Actually other nations, like Singapore, are reimposing restrictions despite high vaccination rates. There is nothing fake about nearly 700,000 dead Americans. It's clearly the smart choice to learn from the experience of other nations. Employ feeble control measures (like the USA) relax restrictions too early (like the UK), or aim for high vaccination rates (like Denmark), etc.

      So, just which nation do you think we should follow?!

      Incidentally, most countries around the world still have some sort of restrictions on international arrivals.

    2. Neil Mason Guest

      So? And you won't be able to go to SA or Tasmania either. And I think you can forget about New Zealand welcoming travellers from the place that gave them their Covid outbreak.

  46. Frank k Guest

    Tanya is semi literate knob who struggles with any word over 2 syllables. Absolutely drunk with power and whose deputy is no better. God help Australia !

  47. Angus Guest

    This makes me embarrassed to be Australian. I am an expat looking in from the outside and this isn’t the first time I have considered revoking my citizenship of late. I certainly won’t be visiting Queensland while she is still premier.

  48. Paiul Groundwater Guest

    She’s only on Australian, doesn’t represent our country just Queensland. It’s like the governor of Texas speaking for the whole USA.
    As someone who worked in Avation, Tourism and Travel I know most of us want to travel and are over this fortress mindset some people have.

  49. maestroben1 New Member

    She is absolutely awful and has no idea. Also, a complete hypocrite who travelled to Tokyo for work purposes (not tourism) as many Australians in and out of Australia need to do (not to mention separated families, partners and the rest). And yes as others have said, the fact that Australia has prevented its own citizens from leaving is beyond appalling.

    1. Kevin Guest

      I never thought Australia would have joined the other fantastic countries that kept their people from leaving, Cuba, North Korea, USSR, East Germany...

  50. Rhett Guest

    Alonzo maybe you should actually talk to people. We have friends from around the world including Australia that are about to go insane to be able to travel. My wife and I have had the delta strain. We are positive that we got it from friends that had the vaccine, both were as sick as we were!! You're entitled to your opion as a FREE american but so is everyone else!!!

    1. Alonzo Gold

      I don't have to talk to anyone. I refresh the CDC and WHO page every hour. That's all the information I need. I operate on data not hearsay.

  51. crosscourt Guest

    The woman is a bloody pain in the backside. Qantas has threatened to bypass Queensland for international flights because of her stand and I hope they carry it through. Queenslanders have a lot to answer for voting her back in at the last election. All she does is play politics.

  52. Adam Guest

    Anastacia has gone off the rails. She runs Queensland, the Florida of Australia. They are isolationist to begin with and she panders to that. Locked down the borders at the drop of a hat so residents couldn’t even return…but makes exceptions for sports teams to come in…she’s a psycho. Always spouting “keep Queensland safe for Queenslanders”, and then turns around begging for a handout from the federal government because the tourism sector is dying. She...

    Anastacia has gone off the rails. She runs Queensland, the Florida of Australia. They are isolationist to begin with and she panders to that. Locked down the borders at the drop of a hat so residents couldn’t even return…but makes exceptions for sports teams to come in…she’s a psycho. Always spouting “keep Queensland safe for Queenslanders”, and then turns around begging for a handout from the federal government because the tourism sector is dying. She can be left behind, along with Western Australia and their Covid zero fantasy. It’s not realistic. It’s about widespread vaccination as the only way forward…not locking everyone out forever. I’ll be able to get to the US before I can get to Brisbane

  53. Alonzo Gold

    I'm baffled that people actually think it's safe to travel or that they should be traveling. She's right. Unless you have your booster shot, you should be at home away from others. We're in a goddamn pandemic.

    1. Robert Schrader Guest

      I’m baffled that people think it’s their business what others choose to do with their lives, “global pandemic” or not. If you’re scared, sit your scared ass at home. Stay out of my life.

    2. Alonzo Gold

      Yeah that's not how the world works. Newsflash buddy

    3. platy Guest

      @ Robert Schrader

      I'm baffled that there are folk who are so selfish that they refuse to take responsibility for the health and wellbeing for others in their community. Confusing fear with altruism is a fool's response to reality. Only the minority of the community travel anyway. How many dead justify your delusional perception of self entitlement for freedom?

    4. Neil Mason Guest

      I'm not in your life, I want you to stay out of mine. Why do you find that so difficult to understand?

    5. George Hamor Guest

      Most airlines flying out of Australia, certainly Qantas, will not allow anyone to board unless they have proof of them being double vaccinated. People should then be allowed to travel both between states within Australia and overseas. The premiers of the different states have differing views in regards who can leave and who can come. It is mind boggling stupidity, it is done because a large number of their citizens prefer to be locked in...

      Most airlines flying out of Australia, certainly Qantas, will not allow anyone to board unless they have proof of them being double vaccinated. People should then be allowed to travel both between states within Australia and overseas. The premiers of the different states have differing views in regards who can leave and who can come. It is mind boggling stupidity, it is done because a large number of their citizens prefer to be locked in rather than having the freedom to travel.

    6. John T Guest

      And if you're fully vaccinated? Why can't you travel? Should we all just stay home hiding from the world until we die?

    7. Alonzo Gold

      Yup, stay at home. Preferably under your bed.

    8. Eskimo Guest

      @Alonzo

      You never left home and stayed away from others for the last 18 months?

      That's why you've gone insane.

    9. Alonzo Gold

      Nah man, too risky. Zoom is the way to go.

  54. Wanna Travel Guest

    The Australian govt including the state premiers have messed up the whole Covid response. It feels like the country is falling apart with states bickering at each other and it is actually pretty scary. I wasn't born here but I moved here over 20 years ago to Brisbane and I consider myself an Australian, not a Queenslander. To me, a Queenslander is a type of high set house with large verandahs. Annastacia is scary how...

    The Australian govt including the state premiers have messed up the whole Covid response. It feels like the country is falling apart with states bickering at each other and it is actually pretty scary. I wasn't born here but I moved here over 20 years ago to Brisbane and I consider myself an Australian, not a Queenslander. To me, a Queenslander is a type of high set house with large verandahs. Annastacia is scary how backwards thinking she is. She wants to hold on to her job until the 2032 Olympics and she favours celebrities and sports stars. Apparently no one else matters if they have loved ones overseas or even in different states. She slams borders shut at the drop of a hat and brags how she is keeping Qlders safe.

    The Covid death rate here this year is so minimal and overwhelmingly in older people with underlying health issues who are not double dosed. People need to protect themselves or suffer the consequences. But stop holding the rest of us hostage!

    The one thing Anna got right was opening Pfizer to all ages because AZ takes 12 weeks to be double dosed and Pfizer/Moderna take 3/4 weeks respectively. So while QLD is lagging behind now, we will catch up because most people are getting Pfizer/Moderna now.

    But there is no reason to keep borders closed once Australia reaches 80% double dosed. Over 70 is at 93% single dosed, over 50 is at 83% so the most vulnerable will be protected.

  55. Another Lump Guest

    It's not their overly authoritarian restrictions that bother me, as basically all countries have used covid as an excuse to expand government powers. It's the fact that they aren't allowing their citizens to leave. How does that keep people safe? It's one thing to prevent or restrict entry/re-entry, but preventing departure? That's simply indefensible.

    Where are the people holding up Australia as the model covid response last year? Oh yeah, that was just to make...

    It's not their overly authoritarian restrictions that bother me, as basically all countries have used covid as an excuse to expand government powers. It's the fact that they aren't allowing their citizens to leave. How does that keep people safe? It's one thing to prevent or restrict entry/re-entry, but preventing departure? That's simply indefensible.

    Where are the people holding up Australia as the model covid response last year? Oh yeah, that was just to make a certain US president look bad.

    1. Kevin Guest

      This is what happens with you disarm the citizens. Australia has no 2nd amendment.

    2. platy Guest

      @Kevin

      Democracy doesn't need guns. Rational debate and fair and free elections are all that are required. You don't force your political will under threat of violence.

    3. Kevin Guest

      You're right! I can see how well dialog and rational debate are working out so well for the protestors who are getting tear gassed and shot at with rubber bullets and arrested... Apparently they don't have a First amendment either.

    4. platy Guest

      @ Kevin

      They are acting illegally. They are being arrested in their hundreds. Unlike the USA, this doesn't involve cops shooting protestors, or protestors trying to murder politicians in a chaotic mob of domestic terrorism.

      Said protestors also have the option to challenge the actions of government legally through the courts if they believe such actions by government are over reach.

      All such cases thus far brought in Australia have failed to limit the...

      @ Kevin

      They are acting illegally. They are being arrested in their hundreds. Unlike the USA, this doesn't involve cops shooting protestors, or protestors trying to murder politicians in a chaotic mob of domestic terrorism.

      Said protestors also have the option to challenge the actions of government legally through the courts if they believe such actions by government are over reach.

      All such cases thus far brought in Australia have failed to limit the extraordinary powers used by state governments to manage the epidemic.

      Democracy in action.

      Separation of powers in action.

      No guns.

      No 700,000 dead bodies from COVID.

  56. Never In Doubt Guest

    Goal post moving away from “COVID zero” is underway in many parts of Australia, as some politicians come to their senses.

    Note that when they quote vaccination %’s they’re always talking about “% of eligible population” which currently is 16+, not “% of entire population”.

    1. Neil Mason Guest

      The only places that are moving away from Covid zero are those that can't get there.

  57. Eskimo Guest

    In other news,

    Australians Baffled That People voted for this Politician.

    1. Mike C Gold

      No, they are not, she was re-elected on the basis that she had kept her state safe, which she had up till then. What has happened since the election is a separate issue.

    2. Eskimo Guest

      @Mike C

      Now I'm baffled with your response. You can also say the same thing about Hitler?

      He kept the Aryan race safe, which he had up till D-Day. What has happened since D-Day is a separate issue.

    3. platy Guest

      @ Eskimo

      In just which election did the Nazi Party win a majority?

      Are you aware of the powers endowed by the Enabling Act of 1933, which afforded the Chancellor the power to avoid the governmental checks and balances and trample on the individual rights prescribed in the Weimar Constitution?

      The Premier of QLD established her leadership credentials in the face of the COVID crisis and was returned by due electoral process.

      The...

      @ Eskimo

      In just which election did the Nazi Party win a majority?

      Are you aware of the powers endowed by the Enabling Act of 1933, which afforded the Chancellor the power to avoid the governmental checks and balances and trample on the individual rights prescribed in the Weimar Constitution?

      The Premier of QLD established her leadership credentials in the face of the COVID crisis and was returned by due electoral process.

      The QLD Labor government maintains a lead in recent polling (52.5% to 47.5%), just as the Labor opposition does federally (54.5% to 45.5%).

    4. Mike C Gold

      Hitler was never reelected or even fairly elected in the first place.

      In every election here so far since the start of the pandemic, state and territory governments have been reelected with increased majorities in open fair elections. Same thing happened in New Zealand.

      Annastacia Palaszczuk is many thing, but your comparison to Hitler is frankly preposterous.

    5. Eskimo Guest

      @platy
      @Mike C

      Haven't the 2016 election teach you anything?

    6. platy Guest

      @ Eskimo

      Every state election in Australia since the start of the pandemic have gone with the incumbent governments, indicating that the electorates support the hardline policies adopted in managing COVID.

    7. Wanna Travel Guest

      You can't believe how the media scaremongered us throughout this. They showed situations in Italy, New York, Brazil, India and said "aren't you glad this isn't happening here"? Australia never would have been that bad. We have free Medicare and no barriers to get medical help. I know some countries where it is expensive people delay going to doctors. We also don't have crowded living situations like some other countries.

      Then Anna comes along...

      You can't believe how the media scaremongered us throughout this. They showed situations in Italy, New York, Brazil, India and said "aren't you glad this isn't happening here"? Australia never would have been that bad. We have free Medicare and no barriers to get medical help. I know some countries where it is expensive people delay going to doctors. We also don't have crowded living situations like some other countries.

      Then Anna comes along with a God complex saying "Vote for me, I am keeping you safe. Aren't you glad you live here and not in (blablabla). And people fell for it! I didn't vote for her, I saw the God complex a mile away and didn't drink her cool aid.

    8. platy Guest

      @Wanna Travel

      Just how many people do you think can be treated in Australian hospitals at the same time? How do you rationalise the approaching 700,000 dead in a country like the USA? Why do you think Australia would be different to the over 200 other countries in the world who have struggled to contain COVID? Why do you think QLD is any different in its policy to any other Australian state? Why should other...

      @Wanna Travel

      Just how many people do you think can be treated in Australian hospitals at the same time? How do you rationalise the approaching 700,000 dead in a country like the USA? Why do you think Australia would be different to the over 200 other countries in the world who have struggled to contain COVID? Why do you think QLD is any different in its policy to any other Australian state? Why should other people get sick and die for the minority who want to travel?

    9. Samo Guest

      Exactly. I've been in Sweden for most of the pandemic and we never had lockdowns, masks or travel restrictions for citizens/residents (non-Swedish EU residents need a test to enter and that's it). The worst thing that happened was that restaurants were closed after 20:30 for a few months and large events were banned for a while. I would certainly pick this over Australian zero-covid strategy, which blew up anyway.

    10. Eskimo Guest

      @Wanna Travel

      Too bad some people fall for it.
      If it was really working, there would have been no huge spike in cases.
      Time to start pointing fingers at who infected Australia.

      By the way just to point out some special treatments for the elite power class.

      "Government officials, and/or their dependents may quarantine at their home, usual place of residence, or private accommodation."
      While the tax paying Crocodile Dundee has...

      @Wanna Travel

      Too bad some people fall for it.
      If it was really working, there would have been no huge spike in cases.
      Time to start pointing fingers at who infected Australia.

      By the way just to point out some special treatments for the elite power class.

      "Government officials, and/or their dependents may quarantine at their home, usual place of residence, or private accommodation."
      While the tax paying Crocodile Dundee has to pay for a hotel.

      Why should Crocodile Dundee get sick and die for the Government officials who want to travel?

    11. MurrayF New Member

      Same thing in New Zealand. Huge landslide win for Labour, They are now becoming hated for their socialist, paternalistic control we are suffering so much with the Zero covid approach. I am sure if politicians and so called experts had their salaries cut by 50%+ they would see the need to reopen the economy. A potential 1% death rate is pathetically low for the response of the world to Covid - Trillions of new debt,...

      Same thing in New Zealand. Huge landslide win for Labour, They are now becoming hated for their socialist, paternalistic control we are suffering so much with the Zero covid approach. I am sure if politicians and so called experts had their salaries cut by 50%+ they would see the need to reopen the economy. A potential 1% death rate is pathetically low for the response of the world to Covid - Trillions of new debt, huge numbers of jobs lost, people starving and the huge government overreach into the rights of people. Makes me think of reading the preamble of the US constitution to reflect on a narrative of how a ruler can lose their right to rule.

  58. Jerry Gold

    My perception of Australians is that they're some of the most worldly people I interact with on a regular basis. My view of the Australian government is that they're small minded, change resistant, and poorly represent the people who voted them in to office.

  59. Steve Guest

    A bit of Oz Politics, all the state goverment are run by Labour government except NSW. The labour government are left wing. The 2 State QLD (Anastacia) and WA, have shit premiers. They have screwed up their own state by not planning to adequately respond to COVID and investing in hospitals. Bizzarely, her state is the biggest beneficator of Oz tourism industry and she is screwing her own constituents.
    I live in NSW,Australia and...

    A bit of Oz Politics, all the state goverment are run by Labour government except NSW. The labour government are left wing. The 2 State QLD (Anastacia) and WA, have shit premiers. They have screwed up their own state by not planning to adequately respond to COVID and investing in hospitals. Bizzarely, her state is the biggest beneficator of Oz tourism industry and she is screwing her own constituents.
    I live in NSW,Australia and I am proud of my premier. She is hard working and focusing on ensuring the small businesses are not shut was extended period. During, NSW accepted 80% of International passengers and managed the COVID Quarantine.
    I was not born in Oz but immigrated here. I lived in London, US, Middle East, India and visited around 50 countries but I still love Oz because of the Weather, Lifestyle and the people.

    1. Alex Guest

      Ummm forgetting Liberal states of South Australia and Tasmania? Both of which have been just as hardline as WA and QLD?

    2. Bim Guest

      Your "wonderful" Premier's inaction and refusal to do anything when an unvaccinated and mask-less limo driver became case zeeo caught covid from an international flight crew and started this mess, has seeded outbreaks in the Melbourne, the nation's capital and New Zealand. People are dying in their homes in Sydney and it's been now four months or so you've been in lockdown - how are businesses enjoying that? Your premier's hubris has created a nightmare...

      Your "wonderful" Premier's inaction and refusal to do anything when an unvaccinated and mask-less limo driver became case zeeo caught covid from an international flight crew and started this mess, has seeded outbreaks in the Melbourne, the nation's capital and New Zealand. People are dying in their homes in Sydney and it's been now four months or so you've been in lockdown - how are businesses enjoying that? Your premier's hubris has created a nightmare for the people of New South Wales and the rest of Australia suffering lockdown is traceable to her inaction.

    3. Dan Guest

      Ok, I’ll bite. This constant “NSW should have locked down harder!” is as naive as it is blatantly wrong. NSW accepted not only over half of all international arrivals, but virtually all air freight. There were constant arrivals of foreign air crew (especially from the US) which ultimately led to “breakouts” from quarantine. By the “should have locked down harder” narrative, you’re suggesting NSW should have entered around 20 “lockdowns” over the last 18 months....

      Ok, I’ll bite. This constant “NSW should have locked down harder!” is as naive as it is blatantly wrong. NSW accepted not only over half of all international arrivals, but virtually all air freight. There were constant arrivals of foreign air crew (especially from the US) which ultimately led to “breakouts” from quarantine. By the “should have locked down harder” narrative, you’re suggesting NSW should have entered around 20 “lockdowns” over the last 18 months. NSW did not “spread” it to New Zealand. The virus leaked from NZs managed quarantine.

      Consider yourself lucky that it was NSW who finally had the “uncontrolled” outbreak as that was the one motivator to get people vaccinated and start finding a way to move forward. Covid-Zero is dangerous, unsustainable and frankly irresponsible.

      Queensland is nothing more than the hick capital of Australia. As a whole, they’re backwards, insular and racist so there’s no surprise the premier is playing up to that narrative. Her “I once went to Tokyo and this is what I saw” statement is no different to the average bogan spewing “one time, in Bali”. Yes, some people will die of this virus, but they’ll simply make up one of the 500 people a day who die in Australia. Don’t want to die? Get vaccinated! Pretty simple.

      NSW and Victoria are ready to move on. I feel sorry for the rest of the country who are being held back.

    4. platy Guest

      @ Dan

      Here's the funny thing. QLD and WA (Labor), and SA and TAS (Liberal-national) have so far managed to control the Delta VOC, so clearly this variant can be managed if you get the basics right.

      NSW messed up. Deal with reality, Gladys is damaged goods and even her own party are plotting her removal, knowing she still has to front the corruption commission.

      Yep - the outbreak has probably incentivised folks to...

      @ Dan

      Here's the funny thing. QLD and WA (Labor), and SA and TAS (Liberal-national) have so far managed to control the Delta VOC, so clearly this variant can be managed if you get the basics right.

      NSW messed up. Deal with reality, Gladys is damaged goods and even her own party are plotting her removal, knowing she still has to front the corruption commission.

      Yep - the outbreak has probably incentivised folks to go get their vaccination.

      You might consider that the politicisation of COVID kicked in with clot Morrison of vaccine stroll out fame and gormless fools gold plated Gladys stirring shit in anticipation of the QLD election, which backfired terribly. Typical right wing trash.

      Clot Morrison has proven a thoroughly inadequate leader and utterly failed to unite the country in its time of crisis - not surprising for a dope who was too busy sunning himself in Hawaii to take the bush fire crisis seriously and thinks some godly being can sure folk with the touch of a faith healer.

      If the Liberals in NSW don't trash Gladys to the slag heap, the corruption commission will likely do the job for them. More fool those in NSW who buy into the right wing BS.

    5. Lanny Guest

      Well said! I totally agree with you. Anastasia is just playing politics and pretty pathetic at it! She should concentrate on improving health system in Qld which has been lacking for years if she really cares about "her" queenslanders!

    6. platy Guest

      @ Steve

      Some basic facts, mate. South Australia and Tasmania do NOT have Labor state governments (it's Labor and not Labour by the way). They have Liberal (National) ones. Both of those states have adopted broadly similar lock downs and border closures to those by the Labor held states of Queensland and West Australia. Basically you are talking shite.

      But of course, our Liberal Prime Minister, clot Morrison, he of the faith healing brigade with...

      @ Steve

      Some basic facts, mate. South Australia and Tasmania do NOT have Labor state governments (it's Labor and not Labour by the way). They have Liberal (National) ones. Both of those states have adopted broadly similar lock downs and border closures to those by the Labor held states of Queensland and West Australia. Basically you are talking shite.

      But of course, our Liberal Prime Minister, clot Morrison, he of the faith healing brigade with no connection to science or medicine, will fabricate political mileage by hypocritically trying to call out Labor states for supposed discretions that are no different to the policies of the aforementioned Liberal run states. There's no gold plate standard NSW COVID response any more, mate. Some and mirrors. Even the (NSW Liberal-national) Deputy Premier, John Barilaro, called out that previously they have just got lucky.

      Of course NSW is special. It has a right wing premier who was consorting with a corrupt MP. We know Gladys knew that Daryl, her ex-lover boy, was shonky from the evidence already presented before the corruption commission. She screwed up the cruise liner Ruby Princess - a brother of a friend of mine died of COVID because of her incompetence.

      Gladys is yet to be held accountable for her own alleged corrupt behaviour. In the meantime she's porking the barrister who represents her at the corruption hearings (one Art Moses). Ring any "conflict of interest bells" in your brain, mate? How long have you lived in Australia - can you recall the conga line of corrupt Liberal party premiers in NSW? Try Nick Griener (and his ineffectual environment minister, Tim Moore). Try barrel Barry O'Farrell. Remember John Brodgen being forced to resign over racist slurs and harassing women? Just more Liberal leader trash for the garbage collectors.

      Incidentally, the cash for the hospital system comes from the FEDERAL government (not directly from state government), but when the Liberals (Nationals) are in power they bleed the cash out of the public system and divert it to private sector, such is their ideological war against universal health care with equality of access for all Australians. These are the same folk who have removed access to welfare and support for migrants. Under the last Liberal government here in Queensland, employees were sacked from hospitals in their thousands. The previous state Labor Government built extensive new hospital facilities.

      The current COVID outbreaks of the Delta VOC (power Sydney Airport) appear to have been seeded by the federal (Liberal) government and NSW state government failing to implement the very health policies that were supposedly mandated to manage the risks of inbound overseas travellers. They failed. Just as the federal government failed to procure diverse and timely vaccine supplies and then. failed utterly to deliver those vaccines to the priority groups they themselves identified, before giving up on their own failed timelines. The vaccine roll out is months late, with the devastating consequences now being faced by NSW and VIC.

      These failures of the federal Liberal (National) government represent the greatest acts of incompetence of governance in a generation or more, certainly in the 30 years plus years I have lived in this country as a migrant myself.

      Tourism in Queensland was absolutely booming before the NSW lockdown. Local accommodation is currently full here in FNQ as Queenslanders travel safely and freely in their own state.

      Annastacia (not Anastacia), our local Premier supports our local tourism community - she visits our local community, visits our local bars and restaurants to consult with everyday locals outside of the spotlight of the official engagements and glare of the cameras. I don't even see our local federal (Liberal National) MP out and about - that guy (Warren Enstch) is so dumb he can't even tell the difference between a vaccination rate quoted for the total population versus the over 16 year old cohort - not surprising since the federal Liberals are filled with anti-science and religious nut jobs (read Matt Canavan, George Christensen, for starters).

      In the meantime, your hallowed Gladys will need tov be very careful about how she interprets the Doherty Report and 70%/80% vaccine targets. That report itself says clearly that the Delta VOC( and any other similarly virulent ones) cannot be contained by vaccination programs alone.

    7. John Phelan Guest

      Do you think you could possibly address the real issues of Covid and borders without mentioning in every sentence the political parties involved? When every mention you make of the ALP is favourable, and every mention of the Liberal Nationals is unfavourable, it's pretty clear you are being driven by party politics, not health or economic issues. Same as Annastacia, really ....

    8. platy Guest

      @ John Phelan

      Yes, it would be nice if health policy and managing COVID was beyond politics, wouldn't it? But unfortunately, it isn't, John.

      FWIW I am (probably) the only person on this blog who has actually read The Doherty Report, the original scientific / medical published literature, who holds multiple higher degree qualifications of relevance to comment on the science and has experience working in viral vaccine development.

      That doesn't make my opinion...

      @ John Phelan

      Yes, it would be nice if health policy and managing COVID was beyond politics, wouldn't it? But unfortunately, it isn't, John.

      FWIW I am (probably) the only person on this blog who has actually read The Doherty Report, the original scientific / medical published literature, who holds multiple higher degree qualifications of relevance to comment on the science and has experience working in viral vaccine development.

      That doesn't make my opinion any more important than anybody else's, but it does mean my opinions are coming from extensive research on and understanding of the challenges presented by a pandemic.

      I have repeatedly advocated a position on this blog informed by the relevant documents and the published and real world data - that Australia will need to surpass the so-called 80% vaccination target to achieve substantive control of COVID. We need to aim for Denmark not the UK.

      When I look at COVID from my personal perspective of informed scientist, and when I consider the impact of inappropriate policy decisions on health, welfare, community, economy, I inevitably despair at the ignorance and spin exhibited from certain political quarters.

      The PM had to be dragged to take action in mid March 2020 by the Premiers of NSW (Liberal-National and VIC (Labor).

      The PM just didn't get it! He was too focused on a photo opportunity at the footy.

      Once over that hurdle, there were promising signs - notably the adoption of JobKeeper to keep business and people afloat. There were signs that the governments might be able to work together. All very laudable.

      The Liberal-National held states of SA and TAS should be applauded for keeping their population COVID safe and substantially avoiding the need for restrictive controls such as lock downs and other measures. Just as the Labor states of QLD and WA.

      But then the QLD election loomed and the opposition LNP adopted a "open the borders" policy to take to the electorate.

      From my perspective, this was clearly a stupid position. It was counter to everything we had learned on how to keep COVID at bay both in Australia and overseas. The political nonsense ensued with QLD being attacked by the PM (including levying fictitious examples of displaced people and others drawn not the spotlight against their wishes - stuff that you yourself are still shamefully trotting out now per your initial post above). It was nasty stuff. And it came from the PM. But it fed the right wing trolls, such as yourself, folk unable in a little critical analysis.

      Of course the people of QLD had their say and resoundingly rejected the state LNP. Other state election have subsequent gone with the respective incumbent parties reflecting the desire for a hard line stance in applying COVID control measures.

      Now we know that the feds messed up. That's not spin, John, that's fact. On the record. They messed up vaccine procurement, roll out, dodged and weaved on targets. They advocated the illusion of a gold plated response to bolster NSW. They were incompetent. That is undeniable.

      Now my position is that the 80% vaccination target is misguided. I therefore have issues with the PM's advocation of such. I am concerned for the health and wellbeing of the nation when the PM speaks about COVID and his ignorance on matters scientific are manifest (just yesterday he made a speech confusing vaccination rates expressed as total population with those expressed as over 16 year olds - there is a significant difference and this is very basic stuff).

      I am encouraged that certain premiers (both Labor and Liberal-National), including the QLD premier who are reserving their positions and maintaining a cautious approach.

      The irony of your derogatory personal accusation, that I don't care about health or economics, John, is that those are my very concerns.

      The problem is that our federal government and our PM are clearly in danger of messing up by promoting a premature relaxing of restrictions in their desperation to win the next federal election.

      Now, if you want a debate about specific COVID policy measures, that's great. So far, you have only offered up right wing thought bubbles, which can be burst in seconds by fact and logic.

      If you want to stop making childish comments and engage in discussion with the adults, debate the science, the data, the models, the maths, the policies, their impacts, the legal and social contexts, etc., then please, be my guest.

      To be honest, I don't have much patience left in this pandemic for folk who spout political spin and attach to superficial belief systems.

    9. Mh Gold

      Yet the funny (ironic) thing is he accuses those he dislikes of being 'political'.

      Sure, sure.

    10. platy Guest

      @ Mh

      Unfortunately political alignment includes the axis of science / reason. We see this in different countries. In the USA vaccine hesitancy is predominant in right wing voters (Republicans) and the religiously brainwashed. In Australia the right wing advocates lessor controls of COVID in preference to protecting the health and welfare of residents. These alignments are also from the positions of various political leaders (USA, Brazil, UK, Australia, etc.).

      In Australia the anti-vaccination,...

      @ Mh

      Unfortunately political alignment includes the axis of science / reason. We see this in different countries. In the USA vaccine hesitancy is predominant in right wing voters (Republicans) and the religiously brainwashed. In Australia the right wing advocates lessor controls of COVID in preference to protecting the health and welfare of residents. These alignments are also from the positions of various political leaders (USA, Brazil, UK, Australia, etc.).

      In Australia the anti-vaccination, anti-lockdown, pro business at the expense of health, politicians are exclusively represented in right wing political parties.

      Established religious groups align with the right wing to bolster their power base and are rewarded for such. They are among the first to bleat about loss of freedoms putting their power and self interest ahead of the health and welfare of the community.

      Why would any rational and scientifically informed person with a genuine concern for their community accept the febrile right wing and religious belief systems repeatedly found to be wanting?

      It's not a matter of dislike rather reality check.

      There is extensive right wing and ignorant commentary on this blog - a little clounterpoint isn't gonna hurt.

      I approach these questions from a scientific background and as CEO of a small business.

      What's John Phelan's gig -and yours?

    11. platy Guest

      @ John Phelan

      My position is driven by concerns for the health and wellbeing of all Australians, including from the business and economy angle as a CEO myself. My lengthy and factually informed response to you was not published for whatever reason. With my science hat on, the 80% target ain't gonna work.

      That said, I have no patience for feeble political thought bubbles and folk who attach to belief systems over science and reason...

      @ John Phelan

      My position is driven by concerns for the health and wellbeing of all Australians, including from the business and economy angle as a CEO myself. My lengthy and factually informed response to you was not published for whatever reason. With my science hat on, the 80% target ain't gonna work.

      That said, I have no patience for feeble political thought bubbles and folk who attach to belief systems over science and reason - read religious ideologues.

      I am interested in how we beat COVID and restore some sense of normality. I'm concerned about the inadequacies of the Doherty Report - substantively the absence of transparency of the federal government in revealing the maths behind the modelling for scientific scrutiny.

      I'm extremely concerned that the PM is extolling an untenable position for the country and will expose us to unnecessary death and hardship.

      That's what you get when you have a religious twit as PM with absolutely no idea about science (religion always fails on that count - Ratzinger and Francis still unable to accept the veracity of Galileo's evidence - please).

      I see nothing in the posts from your good self to drive progressive agenda. Just negative superficial point scoring. Grow up, mate.

    12. platy Guest

      @ John Phelan

      No mate, save the personal derogation. I have no more patience for your ignorant childish commentary. My lengthy factual response lost in virtual space.

    13. platy Guest

      @ John Phelan

      My (lengthy and considered) response lost in the "system" herein. My primary concern is the wellbeing of our collective health, welfare and economy. The feds have failed. The 80% target won't be sufficient. PM is wrong to promote ineffective goals. Those premiers who are holding out for more data and evidence are scientifically and medically astute. Inevitably political when the right wing is stacked with anti-science and religious zealots.

    14. platy Guest

      @ John Phelan

      Please ignore the last three posts - not intended to repeat post - posts didn't appear initially so I re-wrote...;)

  60. Will Guest

    For even more fun, watch a video of Dan Andrews trying to explain his outdoor cocktail drinking rules. These Premiers were wrong in their hope of COVID Zero, never planned for non-Covid Zero, and now are facing dual pushback and fear from a population with little experience living with what is becoming endemic globally. They have disdain for those they are tasked with leading, and refuse to see perspectives other than their own (in which...

    For even more fun, watch a video of Dan Andrews trying to explain his outdoor cocktail drinking rules. These Premiers were wrong in their hope of COVID Zero, never planned for non-Covid Zero, and now are facing dual pushback and fear from a population with little experience living with what is becoming endemic globally. They have disdain for those they are tasked with leading, and refuse to see perspectives other than their own (in which their lives have continued normally) Tradesmen are pushing back across industries, and people are locked in a quasi-penal colony. Who would have thought....

    1. Samo Guest

      A big problem, not only in Australia, is that once you convince people to be scared of covid (as in "if you get it, you're gonna die"), it's very hard to go back.

      Countries that are most successful in reopenings are the ones that always claimed that covid doesn't pose a threat to most people, but we need(ed) some restrictions to protect risk groups and health care systems. With that mindset, it's easy to eventually...

      A big problem, not only in Australia, is that once you convince people to be scared of covid (as in "if you get it, you're gonna die"), it's very hard to go back.

      Countries that are most successful in reopenings are the ones that always claimed that covid doesn't pose a threat to most people, but we need(ed) some restrictions to protect risk groups and health care systems. With that mindset, it's easy to eventually say "ok, the risk is now low, let's go back to normal". But it won't work if you have 50+% of population who believe that they're going to die if they come anywhere near an infected person.

  61. Moe Guest

    And all this time (precovid) I seriously considered Australia a top contender of a place to relocate and live. But Covid has definitely proven how Authoritarian the Australian and New Zealand Govts really are and how little freedoms I'd have compared to the good ole USA. Truly feel sorry for Australians and Kiwis

    1. platy Guest

      @ Moe

      various measure were instituted under provisions of the various state health care acts - once the pandemic is controlled these will no longer be legally defensible and will no doubt be removed. Luckily we don't have approaching 700,000 dead people like the USA.

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platy Guest

@ Ben Schlappig IMHO OMAT is an excellent website and it would be such a shame it fell into the easy click bait trap. By your own admission, you know very little about Australia. Presumably, that extends to its politics, the diverse experiences of state COVID responses (and in many ways their similarities), knowledge of the 100,000s of folk who have arrived / departed the country during COVID, the reality of daily life without restrictions for most of the country for most of the pandemic. The QLD premier is comparing the free lifestyle of Queenslanders with other contexts, which involve either / or / both high risk of sickness and death, and the deployment of various COVID containment measures. Here in QLD we are COVID-free (or virtually so). Our local accommodation in FNQ is full (according to friends manage holidays apartment blocks). National vaccination rates are (finally) creeping up and are on target shortly to surpass those of the USA. Debate is now centred on the appropriate way to manage borders, both state and national. But there are issues: - incidence of COVID is near zero in most states, but continuing to challenge NSW and VIC - vaccination rates are not consistent (e.g. NSW is way above other states, partly since the recent wave of infections originated in that state and vaccine supplies were favourably directed to the state by the federal government, which is of the same political party) - the modelling used to inform governments (the so-called Doherty Report) itself clearly states that vaccinations alone (whether 70% or 80% target) will not be sufficient to manage COVID - other measures will still be needed - we don't know yet what level of vaccination can be achieved due to underlying vaccine hesitancy - current polls and first dose rates of vaccination in NSW indicate we might be able to attain 90% rather than 80% (note that vaccination rates are quoted locally as percentage of over 16 years old) - the adoption of mandatory vaccination policies are in their infancy Premiers of states, such as QLD, with virtually no COVID and lower vaccination rates would be adopting a far riskier pathway than, say, NSW, for example, if they were to base their decisions on the national average for vaccination rates and COBID infections. IMO, the bottom line, is that by taking random stuff out of context you simply risk stirring stuff up, rather than advancing genuine interest, knowledge or debate. Surely, there's already enough BS on other frequent traveller blogs. It's going to get interesting as the federal government has to face an election in a few months' time - they will be pumping out their propaganda, whilst trying (finally) to get some runs on the board - relaxing border restrictions and hitting vaccination targets.

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platy Guest

@ David Campbell Incorrect facts anyone? There are three, not two, Liberal-National state governments in Australia (NSW, SA, TAS). This is significant because it has become customary to criticise the QLD government for policies adopted by sister states, which happen to be Liberal-National run. Your credibility is already shot. Now - a state-by-state approach to the COVID epidemic is an inevitable consequence of the respective scopes of government. States have the imprimatur to handle health. They have respective legal instruments for such (various health care acts). Their powers to implement measures to control the epidemic are endowed by these state-based statutes. Their ability to invoke exceptional powers at times of health emergency also reside within these laws. That said, PM "clot" Morrison, could have united the country, if he was a leader of substance. But of course, he isn't. He and his government have failed to deliver those areas of responsibility that do lie within their scope. These include procuring diversity and sufficient vaccine supplies in a timely manner (they didn't), rolling out vaccines to priority groups (it never happened), setting up national arrivals / quarantine centres (there's just Howard Springs) and making arrangements to facilitate citizens returning home (a pathetic attempt at best). The PM has utterly failed to stand up and be a leader of strength and conviction - he's too busy lying and hiding. One example, the maths behind the Doherty Report model is not been released for scientific scrutiny - this alone is an appalling lack of transparency - we don't get to check the basis of the very document upon which our future as a nation depends. A few more facts. The so-called agreement to open at 80% was not cast in stone as the PM would have you believe. It allowed substantial discretion on the part of the premiers. of course you wouldn't think that listening to the bleating cries of the PM. In any case, the models of The Doherty Report are already outdated and based on numerous assumptions and datasets of questionable accuracy and relevance. Now for some common sense. Vaccination rates will have to be very high for vaccinations to take the burden of controlling COVID, based on he experience of other countries. Certainly higher than the 80% of over 16 year olds mooted in the Doherty Report and oft quoted by our religious nut job of a PM. Vaccination rates will also need to be consistent across Australia so as not to disadvantage folk - vaccines have been preferentially directed to NSW by the federal government in their 100,000s - other states are still catching up. No premier in their right minds, Labor or Liberal-National, would expose their state to COVID until they have attained adequate vaccination rates and are confident that they can manage the outcomes of their policies. Of course there will be politics running up to the federal election. But stroll out "it's not a race" Morrison has a real problem. He can't hide the incompetence of his own making and the dithering of his government or its right wing element in denial of COVID and vaccinations (refer Matt Canavan, George Christensen, Sarah Henderson, etc). Which his why he's already way behind in the polls 54.5% to 45.5%. He also has a problem because his attempts to discredit the QLD Labor government can easily backfire onto the Liberal-Nationals in TAS and SA, who will also be c circumspect in opening up their states without high vaccination rates. He also has a very special problem with NSW. Gormless fools gold plated Gladys herself. She is yet to face allegations of corruption and may yet be replaced by her own party before the federal election. Consorting with corrupt MPs like Daryl and boning your barrister, who represents you in corruption hearings, is just not a good look. Incidentally, you might like to read the Doherty Report for yourself (if you haven't already). If you have any sense of science or maths, you might get a big shock - it just isn't fit for purpose to inform once-in-a-generation policy decisions.

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Mattew225 New Member

Imagine being in Australia - you have close to zero cases and deaths (for the majority of the pandemic - now we are getting around 1.5k daily cases with roughly 10 daily deaths with two delta outbreaks in our two largest cities), and you are constantly bombarded with news of 147,000 daily new cases in the US with 3,000 daily deaths. Or 35,000 daily cases and 800 deaths a day in the UK. These numbers are unfathomable to any Australian. There was an utter outcry when the boarders weren't shut sooner - as we had a massive advantage of not sharing any land borders so it seemed the most obvious and the easiest thing to do. The populations of WA, QLD, NT, SA, TAS - they LOVE that their premier stands up at almost daily (since the start of the pandemic) pressers and can say they've had zero cases. They live for it, because they can carry on as normal - and have done for the majority of the pandemic. There has been bungle after bungle from the federal government so trust was placed in our state governments and premiers. They were the ones 'getting it done', keeping their populations 'safe'. The measures might seen extreme but to the majority of Australians they make sense. The Australian public made it clear from the get go that 'we' wanted zero cases. So thats what the federal and state governments have been aiming for. The states are aiming for 70% double dose vaccination (bare minimum), with NSW currently at 59.9% double dose and 85% single. We have a clear roadmap for restriction relief at 70 & 80% (we'll easily hit both by mid October). The chief health officer for NSW now believes we can get to 90%. The judgment for the handling of the pandemic will be at the next council/state/federal elections. All of these levels of government will be desperately attempting to show how they did the right thing for their constitutes. Will be an interesting time ;)

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