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Australia Politician says states should be stripped of powers over Covid lockdowns and border closures

13:01  01 august  2022
13:01  01 august  2022 Source:   dailymail.co.uk

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Terry Young said there were people trying to go to work from Queensland into NSW and come back and couldn't because they had to quarantine (pictured is the closed NSW-Queensland border last September) © Provided by Daily Mail Terry Young said there were people trying to go to work from Queensland into NSW and come back and couldn't because they had to quarantine (pictured is the closed NSW-Queensland border last September)

A federal politician has called for Australian states to have fewer powers after they closed borders and locked down millions during the pandemic.

Liberal National MP Terry Young said the federal government should have been able to take the lead on Covid policy, but was handcuffed by the constitution.

'I'm one of those people who would like to see the powers of the states and territories reduced,' he said in the House of Representatives on Monday.

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Mr Young was opposing a bill that would stop the federal government overriding laws made in the ACT and Northern Territory, and launched into a rant about how states handled the pandemic as his reasoning.

'I think one thing that the pandemic showed us for sure was that Australians had a gutful of living in what they called eight countries,' he said.

'With closed borders and different rules in every state when it came to who could go to work, who couldn't go to work, who they could see, who they couldn't see.

'We had people trying to go to work from Queensland into NSW and come back and couldn't because they had to quarantine. And yet on their passports they had one common thing... they were all Australian citizens.


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'I might reside in Queensland but I am an Australian citizen, and as such myself and many other Australians and Queenslanders believe we should be allowed to move within our country and our borders as we see fit.'

Mr Young said those people, including him, would have preferred Scott Morrison and his government - which was critical of long lockdowns and snap border closures - set the policy.

'They wanted the federal government to lead when it came to mandates on the pandemic and we were actually constrained by the constitution,' he said.

'So anything that gives states and territories more powers, I'm against.'

Under the Australian Constitution, states are responsible for setting health and local police policy, giving them the power to both make and enforce Covid rules.

The federal government has no power to intervene, which is why states largely did their own thing during the pandemic no matter how much Mr Morrison complained.

This, as Mr Young noted, meant rules in each state and territory were in many cases very different - notably Western Australia's long-standing hard border.

The House was at the time debating the Restoring Territory Rights bill, particularly in the context of euthanasia, which has been struck down by Canberra in the past when passed by the ACT or NT.

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usr: 0
This is interesting!