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KAP: It’s time to end the pandemic, not extend it

TODAY, the Queensland Parliament will vote on whether to extend the state of emergency in Queensland.

Katter’s Australian Party (KAP) Deputy Leader and Hinchinbrook MP, Nick Dametto is urging Queenslanders to provide submissions for the Public Health and Other Legislation (Extension of Expiring Provisions) Amendment Bill 2022, before 12pm today, Friday 4 March.

The new Bill, which was tabled on 22 February 2022 by Health Minister, Yvette D’Ath, seeks to extend the Queensland’s emergency laws a further six months, continuing the Chief Health Officer’s power to issue public health directions and put measures in place such as, social distancing, mask wearing, testing, quarantine, isolation, restrictions on movements and gatherings, vaccination requirements and penalties for non-compliance.

Under the Public Health and Other Legislation (Extension of Expiring Provisions) Amendment Bill 2022, Queensland’s state of emergency laws will be extended from 30 April 2022 to 31 October 2022, or the day the Minister for Health ends the declared public health emergency, whichever day is earlier.

The KAP Deputy Leader said after a strategic meeting with the KAP State Members they intend to vote against the Bill if the policy objectives continue to impose mandates for Queenslanders.

“Since the start of the pandemic the Labor Government has shifted the goal posts and the public has received nothing but conflicting information,” Mr Dametto said.

“We are seeing mask mandates and density limits ease on Friday, 4th March, which is a small step in the right direction. Why are we talking about possibly extending the public health measures until the 31st of October? I thought we were trying to get life back to “normal” and learn to live with the virus.

“Queenslanders need to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel. The pandemic has put an immense amount of pressure on many and it’s time for the segregation in the community to stop.

“The KAP is urging Queenslanders to take some out of your busy lives and provide submissions by this Friday. I understand that we don’t have a lot of time however, the more people that voice their concerns the more powerful our stance is,” he said.

The closing date for submissions is 12.00pm Friday, 4 March 2022 and submissions should be sent to cssc@parliament.qld.gov.au.

Queensland was the first state to declare a public health emergency on 29 January 2020.

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