Qld Cabinet meeting could be scuttled by virus

PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk has been urged to lead by example and push ahead with her promised Cabinet meeting in Cairns next month despite the coronavirus crisis.

The lack of confirmed dates for next month's promised meeting has stoked concerns it could be cancelled to avoid heat from current high tensions over youth crime.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (left) and Queensland Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick (right). (AAP Image/Darren England)
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (left) and Queensland Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning, Cameron Dick (right). (AAP Image/Darren England)

Ms Palaszczuk told last month's Cairns TNQ Convoy to Capital Q business delegation she would bring her full Cabinet to the Far North - and she wanted them to be shown first hand each of the community's major issues.

Barron River MP and Emergency Services Minister Craig Crawford believed the meeting was still on the cards.

"I imagine it's simply a matter of getting the date because there's a lot happening at the moment with coronavirus," he said. "It would be good to have some notice so organisations up here can sharpen their pencils."

Advance Cairns executive chairman Nick Trompf said the visit was an opportunity to walk the walk on the "holiday here this year" campaign in response to the impact of coronavirus on tourism.

"There would be no better advertisement than having the leaders of the state come with their whole families on board to spend some time," he said.

Advance Cairns chairman Nick Trompf. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN
Advance Cairns chairman Nick Trompf. PICTURE: STEWART MCLEAN

Mr Trompf said business leaders were excited to show the government's frontbenchers what the region needed ahead of the April 28 budget announcement.

"Now, more than ever, we need cabinet ministers to understand the issues on the street and in the business houses," he said.

A spokesman for the Premier said the visit had not been axed but its scheduling would be determined by the advice of Chief Health Officer Dr Jeannette Young.

"The Palaszczuk government recognises the impact the coronavirus is having on Queensland communities, just like the Cairns community," he said.

"That's why the Premier announced in February that the Queensland Cabinet would meet in Cairns to discuss a broad range of issues impacting the Cairns community.

"The government will continue to be informed by expert advice."

The Cairns Post understands Speaker Curtis Pitt has considered a coronavirus contingency plan that could suspend parliament entirely in the event of an outbreak.



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