Around 35,000 people have appealed to the Australian government to stop Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk from travelling to Japan to attend the Tokyo Olympics.
A petition doing rounds on the internet has been signed by around 35,000 people making it ‘one of the top’ on the platform.
The petition titled ‘Deny Annastacia Palaszczuk an exemption to leave Australia to attend the Tokyo Olympics’ says the people of Australia believe the Queensland Government should lead by example.
“We hereby petition for Annastacia Palaszczuk to be denied the right to leave Australia at this time until she increases Hotel Quarantine capacity to such an extent that she will not take up a space that could have gone to a Stranded Australian,” reads the petition.
Australia has banned people from leaving the country. Australians are allowed to travel only in ‘exceptional circumstances’ for which they need to apply for an exemption.
The Department of Home Affairs says, “If you are an Australian citizen or a permanent resident, you cannot leave Australia due to COVID-19 restrictions unless you have an exemption.”
“Vaccination status does not currently determine or influence the outcome of a travel exemption request. Exemptions can only be approved if you meet the guidelines for a discretionary exemption, or meet an exempt category,” read the Department of Home Affairs guidelines.
You can apply online, but you must meet at least one of the following:
your travel is as part of the response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including the provision of aid
your travel is for your business/employer
you are travelling to receive urgent medical treatment that is not available in Australia
you are travelling outside Australia for a compelling reason for three months or longer
you are travelling on compelling or compassionate grounds
your travel is in the national interest.
Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles recently stated: “Every month, about 40,000 Australian citizens and about 6,000 permanent visa holders are allowed to leave the country. Many of them seek to return, rejoining the queue, going back through hotel quarantine, putting our community at risk. It turns out the only thing that’s required to get a permit from the federal government to leave the country is proof you have a meeting in another country. It’s not good enough that just because you can afford a business class flight or a charter flight, you can breach our closed international borders.”
Annastacia Palaszczuk recently stated her intent to take space up in Hotel Quarantine on her return from the Tokyo Olympics on ABC show Q+A.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk should not be allowed to steal a precious hotel quarantine space from a more deserving Stranded Australian trying to return home. DENY her the ability to do so,” write the petitioners.
However, Ms Palaszczuk says her attendance in Tokyo is crucial in securing the games for Brisbane in 2032 and helping Queensland recover from the coronavirus pandemic.
According to 9news.com, Ms Palaszczuk said, “It has been made very clear by John Coates(President of the Australian Olympic Committee), that it would be a disaster if the head of Queensland did not go and it is basically to go there, to make the pitch and to come back and then spend 14 days in hotel quarantine.”
“I think it is very important that we have that really strong representation of federal, state and local because even Thomas Bach, the head of the Olympic committee, has said the strongest thing going for our bid is the enormous cooperation of all three levels of Government,” said Ms Palaszczuk.
NRI Affairs News Desk