The Queensland Premier has been slammed by the Treasurer for spouting fears about Covid-19 in kids that contradict the medical advice.
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has been slammed by the federal Treasurer for spouting concerns about Covid-19 in children that the Treasurer says contradict the medical advice and exhibit a “denial of reality”.
Ms Palaszczuk on Wednesday withdrew her support for the national reopening plan once the vaccination targets are reached, declaring opening Queensland’s borders would be too risky for unvaccinated children.
“You open up this state and you let the virus in here and every child under 12 is vulnerable, every single child,” she told the Queensland parliament.
Ms Palaszczuk demanded more research be presented on the dangers of Covid-19 for kids before she would agreed to reaffirm her commitment to the national plan.
“I want to see a paper. I don’t want to see a slide show, I want to see detailed information,” she said.
“I want to know what is going to happen to the children of this state.”
But Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Ms Palaszczuk was deluded, as medical advice clearly indicated the national reopening plan was safe for Australia’s children.
“She said she’s scared for Queensland kids, does that wash with you?” Sunrise host David Koch asked Mr Frydenberg.
“No. It's a desperate denial of the reality and is not based on the medical advice,” the Treasurer replied.
Mr Frydenberg stressed that the official medical advice followed by the federal government indicated that Covid-19 was “much less severe” in children than it was in adults.
“The medical advice is that we should vaccinated people aged 12 to 15 – which we’re doing,” the Treasurer said.
“The medical advice is what we are following. The medical advice is what the Doherty modelling is based on.”
Mr Frydenberg then warned Ms Palaszczuk about the consequences and realities of attempting to follow a zero-Covid policy past the vaccination reopening targets.
“The states and territories should have no expectation that that level of economic support that we are providing today will continue once we reach those 70 per cent to 80 per cent targets,” he told the Today show on Thursday.
“The people of Queensland are recognising they have to live with Covid – it's a reality that is now being accepted.”
“They can't eliminate (Covid-19). No country has eliminated it. That is why it's so important we stick to the plan and open up accordingly.”
But Ms Palaszczuk insisted her state’s hospital system would crumble if Delta crossed into Queensland’s borders.
“The peak (in infections) is not going to be until October. If you want to see a health system on the verge of collapse, you will see that in October” she told the Queensland parliament on Wednesday.
“I don't want that here.”
Despite Ms Palaszczuk’s concerns, Mr Frydenberg maintained that for the sake of the economy, the Queensland Premier should trust in the Doherty modelling and follow the national plan.
“Yesterday we saw 80 of Australia’s largest companies go very public and say how important it was for the economy that we stick to that plan,” the Treasurer said on Sunrise.
“In Queensland, the Tourism businesses are doing it really tough.
“Why does (Ms Palaszczuk) want to keep the borders closed when the rest of the country is opening up?”