COVID-19: Queensland

Mr DICK (Oxley) (10:37): I'm a proud Queenslander. During this pandemic I have been even prouder to see my fellow Queenslanders and local residents, in particular, lead the way with managing this pandemic in my home state. Just this morning Queensland recorded two new confirmed cases—one in Brisbane, in my electorate at Forest Lake, and one in Cairns. There are 17 active cases and 1,110 confirmed cases. As we know, there have been six tragic deaths. In the last 24 hours we've seen over 19,000 Queenslanders come forward to be tested. This is remarkable. It's fantastic to see the community come forward, take the initiative and take advice from our health professionals. I want to place on record my thanks to Queensland Health officials, led by the best chief health officer in the nation, Dr Jeannette Young; Metro South and West Moreton health staff; local contact tracers; and especially our local residents who have done the right thing and come together to support each other.

I'm also conscious of the stress and strain for many local seniors. They are anxious and concerned about the current outbreaks. Please know that I and my office will continue to be there to support you during this difficult time.

I want to acknowledge our amazing local businesses in the south-west of Brisbane. They deserve a shout-out. They are continuing to trade during this very tough time. I've visited a number of those businesses. I salute them all.

Yet in the middle of this crisis, when the Victorian and New South Wales governments are still getting on top of this virus, we see the Queensland LNP and opposition leader, Deb Frecklington, call 64 times for our borders to be reopened. The LNP's dangerous policies pose a serious risk to the health of Queenslanders and to jobs in my home state.

As the Premier said last night:

We made difficult decisions, hard decisions, often contentious decisions.

There are now more active cases in aged care in Victoria than Queensland has had during the entire pandemic.

Not only that, not only are the LNP campaigning on this, they are setting up billboards in Queensland saying, 'Open the borders'. Some MP called Michael Hart thought that was a smart idea. Well, I've got to tell you, it is not a smart idea. When I think about my Oxley community and the safest way forward for them, the many businesses that I have visited all say the same thing: stay firm and tough on border control.

Time and time again we've seen the state LNP putting Queenslanders at risk—no apology from those opposite—aided and abetted by the Prime Minister and every single LNP member from Queensland. Well, I'm telling them very clearly today: 'Hands off our borders! You've got to stop putting your politics before the health of Queenslanders and the economy of Queensland.' I know my Labor colleagues on this side of the House will continue to stand strong with the Queensland government. Now is not the time to go backwards. Now is the time for forward thinking.