Is Mount Isa doing enough?
I am writing to you because I believe that Mount Isa as a town is not doing enough to protect its citizens from COVID-19.
As of this moment we do not have a case of it in the North West and I believe that has given us a false sense of security that we are immune to this.
FIFO workers are allowed to travel to Mount Isa and possibly bring the virus with them. Yet Glencore still has their office employees working onsite when they could carry on their work in their own homes.
I understand that mining can't stop, but if it is quite easy to isolate those workers where possible, isn't it better than nothing? Rather than having a greater number of people at risk in the community.
The same could be said for many office workers in town. My friends are still having to come in when it's entirely possible for them to do their work away from other people. The PM has mentioned working at home where possible but hasn't pushed this strongly enough.
Do you think it's our responsibility as a community to take the initiative and do it ourselves? I was hoping with your voice and influence as a newspaper and online presence, you could help protect our community.
Surviving the virus
Two years ago on my birthday, 19th March, at 10:22 AM, I received a diagnosis of cancer. Fast forward to a few surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy and I am happy to be in my 60's and still alive.
Now, in Mount Isa, when I feel strong or brave enough to venture to the shops, I find that I have wasted a trip.
I don't need much to keep myself isolated from a virus that might kill me, so if all you younger, healthier people that managed to grab all those basic items would care to make them available to some of the charity shops, or drop one or two at my place, that would be nice.
NQ's First's $6b plan
CORONAVIRUS has certainly changed the way we live and by the time you read this, chances are the State or Federal Government, perhaps both, are announcing another round of economic stimulus to keep us going and potentially, increased measures to keep people literally apart.
The $4b package unveiled by the Palaszczuk Labor Government on March 24 was welcomed but did it go far enough? And why did it take so long?
The same can be said of our State borders, which prior to closure, was an open ticket for anyone with the virus to come into Queensland.
I would have done more in terms of putting a halt to motor vehicle registration, liquor licensing fees, other State taxes and even Council rates and charges.
I had already outlined my own economic stimulus plans on February 24, announcing our $6b 'Real Royalties for Regions' program, which is about delivering new infrastructure in North, Far North and Central Queensland.
This doesn't put cash into people's wallets and purses right now, nor does it stop the bills rolling in. However, if NQ First can secure the balance of power at the State Election we will roll out our $6b 'Real Royalties for Regions' program, from royalties from Queensland's resources sector.
These are the very same royalties generated in North, Far North and Central Queensland but where does the money go? Into tunnels and bridges in the South East, under both Labor and the LNP, aka the South East Liberals, neither of which are genuinely interested in us folk.
In the current climate, 'Real Royalties for Regions' makes even more sense, getting local people back into work and doing whatever is needed to avoid long-term damage to the economy.
Jason Costigan MP