LNP thinks CHO has too much power
Published Friday, 18 September, 2020 at 06:00 AM
Deputy Premier and Minister for Health and Minister for Ambulance Services
The Honourable Steven Miles
LNP members have publicly stated they believe Queensland’s Chief Health Officer has too much power.
Deputy Premier Steven Miles said the statement of reservation tabled as part of the interim report into Queensland’s health response to COVID-19 made the LNP’s views clear.
The statement of reservation made by LNP Sunshine Coast members Mark McCardle and Marty Hunt states:
The advice of Dr Young is critical yet the responsibility for the ultimate decision must rest with the Premier. True leadership is shown when tough decisions are called for and a true leader does not obfuscate that obligation. Dr Young can offer the advice but the Premier must make the call. (p.84)
The Deputy Premier said the legislation was clear.
It is legislated under the Public Health Act 2005 that it is the Chief Health Officer who has the power to give public health directions – and what exemptions are available under these directions – during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.
“From day one we have been in a good position in Queensland because we have let the Chief Health Officer do her job,” the Deputy Premier said.
“Over the past few days, Deb Frecklington has said she’d tell the Chief Health Officer what to do when it came to exemptions.
“And we’ve seen the Prime Minister reject health advice about borders.
“That’s not following medical advice, it’s injecting politics into a pandemic.
“The only obligation of a leader should be to let the CHO do her job and give her the resources she needs.
“That’s what Annastacia Palaszczuk has done and it has meant we can keep delivering Queensland’s plan for economic recovery.
“Deb Frecklington should outline what amendments she would make to the public health act to give her the powers to politically override the expert medical advice of the Chief Health Officer.”
Media contact: Amy Hunter 0423 651 484