NightQuarter owner’s ‘hate mail’ over Govt Nazi reference
A Sunshine Coast night markets operator has moved to clarify comments likening Queensland Health officials targeting his business as 'Gestapo-like' after he received 'hate mail' over his Nazi referencing.
NightQuarter owner Ian Van der Woude on Tuesday blasted the Palaszczuk Government's 'hypocrisy and double standards' for imposing tough COVID restrictions on his venue while allowing a capacity crowd at Suncorp Stadium for tonight's State of Origin decider.
"The Government is pummelling the s..t out of businesses like ours with their aggressive and predatory policing of COVID restrictions while allowing a full house at Suncorp Stadium," he told The Courier-Mail.
"They (Queensland Health officials) came in like the Gestapo or SS to our opening weekend, throwing their weight around."
Mr Van der Woude revealed that he and his partner Michelle had copped a backlash over his comments, with one person describing them as 'absolutely horrible'.
Mr Van der Woude clarified that he was 'in no way condoning the abhorrent acts and genocide by Hitler's Germany'.
"In fact, I have some Jewish friends and will never mean to offend them," he said.
"I come from a Dutch family in northern Holland who proudly and bravely worked in the underground in World War II, protecting and moving Jewish families through the country to keep them safe.
"They were courageous role models for me and taught me to have respect for people of all colours, religion, economic position and race."
Mr Van der Woude said the point of his 'Gestapo' analogy was 'not to denigrate the Jews, but rather to emphasise the poor behaviour by this State Government'.
"And to act as a reminder for Queenslanders to remain vigilant where Government officers start to harass members of the public and the business community - such as me and Michelle at our NightQuarter business," he said.
"All Queenslanders should be ashamed of some of these tactics. And if it goes unchecked, we will go down a very scary road.
"It is the behaviour of Annastacia Palaszczuk and her Government, particularly her health officers), that all Queenslanders should be offended by."
Originally published as NightQuarter owner's 'hate mail' over Qld Govt Nazi reference