Federal Member appeals for end to hard border closure


Member for Parkes Mark Coulton. Photo TWH

Local Federal Member Mark Coulton has called for changes on border closures, saying that the hard closure of the Queensland border to slow the spread of COVID-19 is inflicting serious hardship on people seeking medical treatment.

Mr Coulton, who is also the Federal Minister for Regional Health, has backed the Prime Minister’s call for change.

Mr Coulton said residents of his electorate who lived close to the border had reported being denied access to medical treatment in Queensland, which he described as frustrating and at times, bizarre.

“My frustration is that the advice I was given directly from the Queensland Department of Health, was not carried out as it was meant to be,” Mr Coulton said.

“We have had a lot of people being stopped at the border with advice from police officers that is quite frankly way out of line.

“I have been told people have been stopped at the border by Queensland police officers telling them that they don’t need to go to appointments with their doctor in Brisbane.

“That is bizarre, and way out of line. Police officers should not be making the call on whether a medical appointment is urgent or not. We should not be stopping people who live either side of the border from being able to attend medical appointments.

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