NQ FIRST Leader and Whitsunday MP Jason Costigan has exposed a potential cover-up of a possible breach of strict COVID-19 regulations involving the Melbourne-based crew of a passenger plane.
In a shocking revelation on the opening day of the final parliamentary sitting week before the State Election on October 31, Mr Costigan questioned Deputy Premier and Health Minister Dr Steven Miles about what happened at the Whitsunday Coast Airport last month.
Specifically, in a Question on Notice, Mr Costigan asked Dr Miles:
“With reference to a reported breach of COVID-19 laws at the Whitsunday Coast Airport on 25 August 2020 involving the Melbourne-based crew of a grounded Jetstar flight who left the ‘bubble’ at the airport for overnight accommodation in the Whitsundays, is the Deputy Premier & Minister for Health & Ambulance Services able to confirm that the reported breach has substance, and if so, why has the breach not been publicly notified by the airport’s owner, the Whitsunday Regional Council, or the Palaszczuk Labor Government?”
Mr Costigan said the question had been framed after information from a reliable source whom he refused to identify, insisting the question was tabled in good faith after his latest road trip south.
“It was in the public Interest that I raised this issue in the House. After all, it’s my job to ask the questions and it’s the Minister’s job to come up with the answers,” said Mr Costigan, who came out swinging last week after Queensland Health officials were forced to set up a makeshift COVID-19 testing operation in Airlie Beach after ‘fragments’ of COVID-19 were found in local sewage.
Normally, the Minister would have 30 days to respond but with the Palaszczuk Labor Government going into caretaker mode early next month, Mr Costigan said there was no guarantee that Dr Miles would provide an answer or one that meets his or the community’s expectations.
“If this report has any substance, we’re talking about one helluva cover up but let’s see what they come back with. If we don’t get anything back before the government goes into caretaker mode, people will be able to draw their own conclusions and it’s hardly a good look,” he said.
“It’s not just the Palaszczuk Labor Government under the microscope here. It’s also the airport owner and operator, the Whitsunday Regional Council, which has been far more concerned about the outcome of this State Election than protecting local people, who certainly don’t want Coronavirus to spread from those hotspots in Victoria to the place that I call paradise.”