A federal minister has ripped into Annastacia Palaszczuk over the slow vaccine uptake in Queensland.
A federal cabinet minister has accused Annastacia Palaszczuk of being “asleep at the wheel” and leaving Queenslanders vulnerable due to the state’s lagging vaccine rollout.
David Littleproud, whose electorate of Maranoa covers almost 730,000 square kilometres in southwest Queensland, sensationally claimed the premier had potentially sacrificed lives with the way she handled the rollout.
“The Premier has been asleep at the wheel, and her big idea to put jabs in arms was around Bunnings,” he told Sky News.
“Herself and her chief health officer destroyed the confidence of the vaccine some months ago when they demonised AstraZeneca – and in fact themselves were one of the last public officials to get the jab.”
Mr Littleproud said states like Queensland were being left vulnerable.
More than 80 per cent of Australians aged over 16 are now fully vaccinated, but rates vary in different states.
As of Saturday, Queensland’s first dose vaccination rate was 79.06 per cent, a stark contrast to NSW, where 93.8 per cent of over 16s have had at least one dose.
Just 66.3 per cent of Queenslanders are fully vaccinated, while 89.4 per cent of NSW residents have received both doses.
Mr Littleproud said premiers of states like Queensland and WA, which have continued to lock out states with Covid cases needed to “trust one another” and “get on with the job” of reopening their states.
Queensland has committed to opening its state back up to vaccinated travellers from NSW, Victoria and the ACT from next week, but they will need to be vaccinated.
Come December 18, there will be no requirement to quarantine when coming from a state with a Covid outbreak.
When the state hits 90 per cent full vaccination, vaccinated international arrivals will no longer need to quarantine, however doubt remains over whether Queensland will ever hit that milestone.
Ms Palaszczuk and her team have been warning Queenslanders they need to get vaccinated before the virus “comes to Queensland”.
“Queenslanders have shunned the jabs and are now realising that we’re in catch-up mode,” Mr Littleproud said.
“The premier and the state government are trying to catch up with gimmicks that have left us high and dry, and over a million Queenslanders could be susceptible to Covid-19 once Delta hits – and it will hit.
“We’ll get a dose of Delta soon, there’s no way around that and the way that the state government has been dragging its heels, and it means that Queenslanders have been exposed, but also exposed in that we’re locked away from loved ones.”
Queensland recorded one new case of Covid-19 on Saturday – a woman in her 20s who lives in the town of Goondiwindi on the NSW border.
She is a close contact of a previously identified case and was infectious in the community for a day before going into home quarantine.