The State Government has slammed the Federal Government’s decision to redeploy defence force troops, who were helping to man Gold Coast border checkpoints, to Western Australia.
It’s understood about 110 of the Townsville-based soldiers were sent to WA just days after being withdrawn from our border checkpoints.
“I was very disappointed to learn yesterday that the Morrison Government had deployed Queensland-based defence force troops to Western Australia to assist them with their COVID-related border restrictions and quarantine,” Deputy Premier Steven Miles said.
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Speaking to reporters on Saturday, the Health Minister accused the Government of not being honest.
“No less than three Federal Government ministers said that the troops were being withdrawn from the Gold Coast border in order to prepare for the disaster season,” Dr Miles said.
“Now we learn that they lied, now we learn that they were being withdrawn to be sent to another state that still has border restrictions in place.
“It simply shows how political Scott Morrison has been about this whole thing and I think it’s about time he stops using our defence force as a political bargaining chip”.
The State’s Police Minister also reiterated the Deputy Premier’s comments while on the Gold Coast today, claiming the Federal Government is “playing politics”.
“This is outrageous,” Police Minister Mark Ryan said.
“My question is why can’t Queensland troops do COVID-19 duties here in Queensland? Why are they sending them to WA and why are they fibbing to the Queensland community about the reason?
“They said it was to prepare for storm season, obviously that’s not the case because those troops are now doing COVID duty in Western Australia.
“How’s that for a slap in the face for Queenslanders, how’s that for the Federal Government being serious about a COVID response here in Queensland,” he continued.
It comes as the state recorded zero new cases of coronavirus in the past 24 hours, with just six cases now active.