Premier: ‘I’ll lose election before backing down’
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk says she is prepared to lose the looming October State Election over her Government's tough border stance and handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As she hit out at her critics, Ms Palaszczuk said she was putting herself on the line and would make "no apologies for keeping Queenslanders safe".
She said if she lost the election off the back of her Government's handling of the pandemic, then "so be it".
"The only people being political here is Scott Morrison and Deb Frecklington," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"Now if it means I have to lose the election, I'll risk all of that if it means keeping Queenslanders safe.
"I will always stand up for what I believe to be right in this state.
"I will hold my head up high and I will stare down those people who are trying to tear Queensland apart."
The Premier said her Government was trying to do more and be "better" at dealing with personal individual cases and circumstances.
"That's why we have an exemptions unit and we are beefing that up," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"These are very difficult times for everybody.
"My heart goes out to everybody. But these individual cases - the exemptions unit and the clinicians will make those decisions in the best possible way that they can."
Ms Palaszczuk said when Queenslanders stopped her in the street, they told her they "want us to keep going with what we're doing".
She said she was acting on the "best medical advice" from the state's Chief Health Officer, Jeannette Young, who has been the subject of death threats.
"We have to keep Queenslanders safe and accept the medical advice. It has stood us in good stead," the Premier said.
"We are the envy of some other parts of Australia."
Ms Palaszczuk praised Dr Young as "one of the most professional women I have ever met".
"Her advice has kept Queensland safe during this pandemic.
"I think it is not right that a public servant of her high standing, and she is regarded as one of the best in the nation, be attacked for giving her clear advice."
Ms Palaszczuk said she would continue to "stare down" those who were trying to tear the state apart.
Ms Palaszczuk's comments follow an ongoing border wars, with her Deputy Premier Steven Miles defending her over the weekend after Prime Minister Scott Morrison criticised the Premier's refusal to allow a woman to attend her father's funeral.
Queensland has come under attack recently over exemptions for people entering the state - with some claiming the system is unfair as celebrities have been granted exemptions yet ordinary people, including those wanting to attend funerals or see dying loved ones, were denied.