Controversial MP wants large swathe of state sealed off
NORTH Queensland should be quarantined from the rest of Australia, maverick Kennedy MP Bob Katter has said, in a controversial measure that includes the Federal Government providing an urgent $1 billion loan pot for the region immediately.
It comes after the Tasmanian government made the unprecedented call to deploy the island's "moat", forcing all travellers into the state into 14 days of mandatory self-isolation.
Mr Katter, citing the high death toll in Italy from coronavirus, said it was time to shut North Queensland's doors to the rest of the world in order to keep the region safe from the disease.
The border in this instance would be somewhere north of Marlborough, with a line drawn out west to Boulia and the Queensland-NT border.
Freight would be allowed through, but there would be checkpoints, and prime movers had to either fumigate their cabs and change drivers, or transfer containers between vehicles.
The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Queensland jumped by 40 on Friday to a total of 184, with a majority of those still in the southeast corner.
The number of cases in Mr Katter's version of North Queensland to date have been relatively low when compared to southeast Queensland, with two confirmed cases in Mackay, two in Townsville, and one in Cairns.
So it's not too late to shut the gate to the rest of the world he said, because "we are totally pure, pristine".
And because the tourism industry "has fallen through the floor", there's not much more damage that can be done to the northern economy.
He's also calling for the Federal Government to make a $1 billion loan facility available for North Queenslanders so that businesses or residents impacted by the crippling effects of coronavirus will be able to survive.
Originally published as Coronavirus: Katter calls for NQ to be sealed off