• The Aboriginal community of Yarrabah is located just over 50 kilometres from Cairns. (AAP)Source: AAP
Queensland’s Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships is meeting Indigenous community mayors today to discuss lifting biosecurity restrictions.
Douglas Smith

2 Jun 2020 - 1:03 PM  UPDATED 2 Jun 2020 - 1:03 PM

Queensland’s Minister for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnerships is today meeting with Indigenous mayors to discuss lifting community restrictions “as quickly as possible.”

Premier of Queensland, Annastacia Palaszczuk said the minister was meeting with Indigenous mayors to find a way to start easing restrictions so residents can be free to travel to and from their communities.   

“Minister Crawford is speaking with all of the mayors, the Indigenous mayors this morning, and we are trying to accelerate as quickly as possible - the easing of those restrictions that comes under the Commonwealth Biosecurity Legislation,” said the Premier.

It comes after the state government on Sunday revealed its roadmap to lifting lockdown measures in three stages, with the hope of convincing the Federal Government to remove remote communities from the Biosecurity Determination by June 12.

This would enable stage two of the plan to commence with state-based arrangements between government and communities on and individual basis. 

Katter encourages Yarrabah to lift restrictions despite medical warning against it
The Federal MP for Kennedy leads a protest in the Aboriginal coastal community of Yarrabah, calling for biosecurity restrictions to be dropped despite the risk of COVID-19 still prevalent to the community.

Residents in communities such as Yarrabah have been vocal in their protests against the lockdown rules, after Queensland announced it was easing restrictions across the state, except for Indigenous communities. 

STAGE 1: People entering or re-entering a community will have to self-quarantine where safe to do so. However, quarantine exemptions will remain in place for essential workers, those travelling through communities without stopping and those granted an exemption by the Chair of the Local Disaster Management Group in the designated area.

STAGE 2: Chief Health Officer will publish a direction that enables communities to become part of ’safe travel zones’ residents can easily travel within based on public health advice. 

STAGE 3: Quarantine restrictions for entry into remote communities Indigenous communities will be removed, with the Burke and Cook Shires to be subject to the same provisions as other areas of Queensland under the Roadmap to Easing Restrictions. 

Currently, Indigenous communities in Australia remain in full lockdown under the Federal Biosecurity Act. 

Queensland reveals roadmap for Indigenous communities
COVID-19 movement restrictions within QLD Indigenous communities to ease in three-stage plan, says state government.