'Shouldn't be allowed': Outrage over QLD Premier's trip to Olympics

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Annastacia Palaszczuk, pictured here talking to the media in Brisbane.
Annastacia Palaszczuk talks to the media in Brisbane. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

Annastacia Palaszczuk has been met with fierce backlash after refusing to cancel a trip to the Tokyo Olympics to pitch for Queensland to host the 2032 Games.

Tens of thousands of Australians have signed a petition demanding the Queensland Premier's trip be refused.

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But Ms Palaszczuk said on Tuesday that Australian Olympic Committee president John Coates made it "very clear" it would be a "disaster if the head of Queensland did not go".

"If we're in a situation where we're in a lockdown I won't be able to attend, but the delegation is the federal sports minister, the premier and the lord mayor," she said.

Ms Palaszczuk said the trip to Toyko would be exclusively to make the pitch for Queensland to host the 2032 Games before she returned for 14 days in hotel quarantine.

But as a petition calling for Ms Palaszczuk to be denied the right to leave Australia has attracted more than to 29,000 signatures.

The change.org petition says the Queensland premier has "successfully advocated for a brutal and heartless halving of Australian quarantine spaces".

Annastacia Palaszczuk and John Coates, pictured here speaking to the media ahead of the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games bid.
Annastacia Palaszczuk and John Coates speak to the media ahead of the 2032 Brisbane Olympic Games bid. (Photo by Jono Searle/Getty Images)

"Annastacia Palaszczuk should not be allowed to steal a precious hotel quarantine space for a more deserving stranded Australia trying to return home," it says.

Journalist Janet Albrechtsen described Ms Palaszczuk's trip to Tokyo as "hypocritical".

"Queensland needs to be represented at the meeting of the international Olympic committee in Tokyo in July." So, use Zoom then," Albrechtsen tweetded.

"@AnnastaciaMP wins gold medal for hypocrisy."

And she wasn't alone in expressing her displeasure.

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Annastacia Palaszczuk defends trip to Tokyo Olympics

National cabinet agreed last week to cut overseas arrivals Australia-wide in response to growing concern over hotels' ability to contain the Delta variant of Covid-19.

Federal Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews said the Commonwealth will support Brisbane's 2032 Olympic Games bid, including "facilitating exemptions for travel on official Olympic business".

The minister does not play a role in considering exemption requests, which is a decision made by the Australian Border Force commissioner or his delegate.

Ms Palaszczuk said she understood the views put forward in the petition, but called the 2032 Olympics "the biggest opportunity that Queensland's ever seen".

The state will learn if its Olympic bid has been successful in just over two weeks' time.

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have the 2032 Olympics here in Queensland, we're never going to get that opportunity again, and I'd hate to see it fall at the final hurdle," Ms Palaszczuk said.

with AAP

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