Queensland’s chief health officer remains under police guard following death threats as the premier stakes her political future on the state’s tough COVID-19 border closure.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has come under heavy fire from Prime Minister Scott Morrison, NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and the state’s opposition Liberal National Party over her government’s strict health policies.
She’s also been accused of heartlessness for not being more lenient on compassionate exemptions ahead of the election on October 31.
In response, Ms Palaszczuk promised to speed up the application process but she’s holding firm on borders, saying she will stake her political future on keeping them shut.
“Now if it means I have to lose the election, I will risk all that if it means keeping Queenslanders safe,” she told reporters.
Ms Palaszczuk accused political opponents of trying to “tear Queensland apart” because the health response to COVID-19 had left the state in better situation than others.
“In Queensland people are going about their normal jobs as if almost life was back to normal,” she said.
“I’m not going to risk all of that, why would anyone risk that?”
It comes as Chief Health Officer Jeanette Young admitted death threats and online trolling over her decision not to allow a Canberra woman to leave quarantine in Brisbane to go to her father’s funeral had damaged her.
“It has taken an enormous toll on me, but then this has taken an enormous toll on nearly every single person in our community,” she said.
Dr Young’s home is being guarded by police after the threats, which she said makes her feel safer doing her job.