News

Queensland Premier lands in Tokyo, despite national outrage against trip

Queensland Premier has arrived in Tokyo to support Brisbane’s bid to host the 2032 Olympic Games, despite criticism of her travel exemption.

Queensland Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, will attend meetings to secure the deal for Brisbane to host the Olympic Games in 2032.

Upon announcing her intention to visit Tokyo, Palaszczuk faced criticism for travelling overseas despite her moves to limit hotel quarantine capacity in Australia.

Annastacia Palaszczuk
Image: The Courier Mail

Palaszczuk advocated reducing Australian hotel quarantine capacity by 50 per cent after the rapid spread of the Delta variant.

The National Cabinet agreed to her request.

Consequently, numerous Australians remain stranded overseas. Many have labelled Palaszczuk’s trip hypocritical, as the Premier will jump the queue and return to hotel quarantine immediately after securing Brisbane’s bid.

Before Palaszczuk’s departure, a petition was created on Change.org to deny the Premier an exemption to leave Australia.

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“,  the petition outlined.

However, Palaszczuk defended her decision to travel to Tokyo.

The people of Queensland expected me to go and represent their best interests. (IOC vice president) John Coates has said if I don’t go, the whole bid could fail“, she asserted.

(I)t is very important that (Australia) has 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“, she added.

Palaszczuk is fully vaccinated, having received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine. Meanwhile, Lord Mayor of Brisbane Adrian Schrinner, has accompanied her on her trip.

The host of the 2032 Olympics will be announced on Wednesday, after a vote that evening.

If Brisbane succeeds, it will be the third time Australia has hosted the games, following Melbourne in 1956 and Sydney in 2000.