Queensland’s deputy premier has hit back at Peter Dutton, demanding he “eat some chocolate and read a book” after he slammed Annastacia Palaszczuk’s three-day lockdown as “panic”.
While coronavirus restrictions remain in place across the state, the Greater Brisbane snap lockdown ended on Thursday after health authorities contained two clusters of the virus.
Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, Mr Dutton said leaders should be able to deal with an outbreak of few cases.
“There has been from the start, probably even in this latest example, been a bit of panic by Premier Palaszczuk,” Mr Dutton said on Sunday.
“We’re lucky that the cases ultimately dwindled and the contact tracing was effective.”
Taking to Twitter, Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles questioned why the Morrison government couldn’t “take a day off attacking our premier.”
“Go eat some chocolate and read a book Peter Dutton,” Mr Miles tweeted.
“We might not have needed the lockdown if you’d delivered the four million doses you promised by March 31.
“Maybe the new defence minister could help get our aged care workforce vaccinated?”
The nation’s new defence minister said the default position should be to keep borders open because people were being vaccinated.
“I hope it is in the past because it’s incredibly disruptive, and it makes it very difficult for people to be able to plan,” Mr Dutton said.
“We want to make sure that people’s businesses are viable, particularly over the coming months, and the close of borders in a kneejerk way just does not help that.
“There was a lot of worry from tourism operators, and rightly so, that bookings would fall away dramatically.
“People would obviously not be able to go to restaurants yet all of their shelves are stocked, they had meat and all the food rotting, that otherwise would have been served to people over a very busy period of Easter.”
Mr Miles has been outspoken in his defence of Ms Palaszczuk and his disapproval of the Morrison government, including with their COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
Last Wednesday, he tweeted that the federal government had attacked Queensland’s vaccine progress, something Mr Miles said “the Morrison government are responsible (for).”
Queensland recorded no new locally acquired COVID-19 cases on Sunday.
Health Minister Yvette D’Ath said one overseas traveller had tested positive for COVID-19.