David Littlerpoud MP David Littlerpoud

Barcaldine should be free to raise concerns

October 20, 2021

Federal Member for Maranoa, David Littleproud has called on Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk to preserve and protect the right to free speech after the Mayor of Barcaldine Regional Council, Sean Dillon, raised concerns about the planning of the vaccine roll-out for his community.

“The Mayor has every right to express his concerns at the handling of a process that directly impacts his community,” said Mr Littleproud.

“This is about protecting the very fabric of our society – the right of free speech. It is an essential part of a democratic society and should be upheld.

“It is vital in a situation like this where you are explaining to a service or model that has been designed for people from out of town.

“Communities like Barcaldine are not Brisbane. Regional councillors know more about their local communities and the issues on the ground than anyone from Brisbane.

“Cr Dillon has asked fair and reasonable questions that have also focused on logistics from the Central West Hospital and Health Service. His questions even extend to concerns for people with mobility issues and whether the venue was suitable.

“The Premier has said ‘it is her job to keep Queenslanders safe’ but at the same time ‘and the way I can help protect you is for you now to go and protect yourself by getting vaccinated.’”

“Our regional communities can’t get vaccinated if they have not been given proper, considered and flexible access to the roll-out.

“Regional Queensland demands an approach that works for regional Queensland.

“The Premier should come in and back Cr Dillon for speaking out about his concerns that the proposed plan did not suit his regional community.”