Australia

Queensland Deputy Premier takes swipe at ScoMo over baby death

Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles took a swipe at Scott Morrison on Saturday, after questions about the tragic death of an unborn baby. A northern NSW woman lost one of her unborn twins this week after waiting 16 hours for a flight to Sydney for treatment rather than going to the Mater Hospital in Brisbane.Brisbane…

Queensland Deputy Premier Steven Miles took a swipe at Scott Morrison on Saturday, after questions about the tragic death of an unborn baby.

A northern NSW woman lost one of her unborn twins this week after waiting 16 hours for a flight to Sydney for treatment rather than going to the Mater Hospital in Brisbane.

Brisbane was closer to her Ballina home and was able to provide the specialised treatment she required for her unborn babies.

But the woman, and doctors at Lismore Base Hospital, reportedly believed she would have to apply for a permit to cross the border for care.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Friday demanded an explanation from Queensland as to how the “terribly distressing” incident could happen.

He has also put pressure on states with few cases, like Queensland, to open their borders.

But Mr Miles told him to stick to his own responsibilities.

“Scott Morrison should spend a bit more time on the things he’s responsible for, like international borders, like aged care, like supporting the Victorian government in their response,” he said.

“And a bit less time lecturing those states that so far have done a very good job of keeping on top of COVID, and are doing their very, very best to keep their communities safe in an ongoing way.”

Mr Miles said the border restrictions were “clear” that those requiring emergency medical care, or support people for those emergency requiring medical care, were allowed to cross the border.

He said there was “no border” that would prevent health care workers from “saving lives”.

He said he would write to the NSW Health Minister to ensure NSW hospitals were aware of the rule.

Queensland opposition leader Deb Frecklington also criticised the government over the tragedy, but Mr Miles said it was a”very tragic, private matter”.

“I want to say a few things about this case because a lot has been said about it,” he said.

“This last 24 hours, watching politicians use this tragic event to further their political arguments … it’s left me feeling sick.

“I can assure you we are doing everything we can to ensure these border restrictions do not limit patients (requiring care).

“I can’t speak for hospitals in NSW.

“If there is a communication problem south of the border, I want to fix it.”

Meanwhile, Queensland recorded four new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday.

All four cases were related to the known outbreak at the Wacol correctional training academy.

One new case was a trainee at the academy and three were the wives of previously recorded cases.

Mr Miles said some of these cases had already been reported in the media in the past 24 hours.

There are 18 Queenslanders with COVID-19 in hospital, and 24 active cases in the state.

Mr Miles praised health services for conducting 18,763 tests in the 24 hours to Saturday, adding it was a “really promising result” that the testing blitz turned up only four cases.

Mr Miles announced tighter restrictions in place in some Queensland regions would expand to the Darling Downs region around Toowoomba, coming into place at 8am on Monday.

The tighter restrictions had already been put in place in some other Queensland regions, including the City of Brisbane, Ipswich and the Gold Coast, and limit gatherings at someone’s home to 10 people including the people who already live there.

Informal public gatherings outside the home are also limited to ten people, but cafes, restaurants, and shops with COVID Safe plans continue to operate as they were before the change.

There are also changes to aged care and disability accommodation visitation, with no care and support visits allowed unless it is an end of life visit.

Mr Miles also said on Saturday the “busy” Graceville Netball Courts had been closed on Saturday after it was visited by people who “may have been infectious” last weekend.

The netball courts are among an extensive list of places visited by individuals while they may have been infectious, available through Queensland Health.

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